Security seems to be directly at odds with fire safety. Securing a building to prevent intruders, shoplifting, even the wandering of patients with dementia, has the potential to trap occupants trying to leave in an emergency and may hinder access by the firefighters called to the building. Despite this apparent conflict, generally, some deep lateral thinking will resolve these issues and solutions will be found. Suffice to say that when designing a new building, these issues need to be addressed at the design stage, rather than become an ‘add on problem’ to be fixed ‘at a later date’.

Arson is a major factor in fire causes for commercial and industrial premises. To reduce the potential for loss due to arson, you should, as a preliminary initiative, consider the following measures:

  • Implement good housekeeping procedures to reduce potential ignition sources.
  • Control access to non-public areas.
  • Keep all entrances locked after hours.
  • Provide adequate lighting to any area that may conceal an intruder.
  • Have security staff patrol any area that may conceal an intruder.
  • Install a monitored automatic sprinkler system.
  • Install a monitored building surveillance system.
  • Keep accurate records of any burglaries or fire alarms and review regularly to identify any patterns that may be emerging.

For further discussion or advice on this matter, please contact the Community Safety and Resilience Department.

<-- Housekeeping Building Fire Safety Firefighting Systems & Equipment in Buildings -->