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New Guideline on Developing Evacuation and Salvage Plans for Works of Art and Heritage Buildings

Those responsible for the safe preservation of our cultural heritage bear a heavy responsibility, particularly as the buildings and objects in their custody, or under their control, are usually irreplaceable.  Responsible custodians and conservators are generally conscious of the need to keep property safe from accident, mishandling, negligence and natural hazards and can be expected to recognise the importance of fire and security risk management but it is all too easy to overlook the need to have in readiness a current and rehearsed plan for the minimisation of loss or damage in the event of a catastrophic event such as a fire or flood.  Prompt and effective action in such a crisis greatly increases the chance of valuable property being rescued or salvaged.

The CFPA-guideline “Developing Evacuation and Salvage Plans for Works of Art and Heritage Buildings” (no. 7:2016/S) will help establishments entrusted with art and heritage property such as museums, libraries, archives, and churches plan for the safe preservation of exhibits in the event of a catastrophic event such as a fire or flood, when timely action is critical.  Adoption of the guidance will also have the incidental effect of mitigating risks to the building itself.  Others with custody of art property such as warehouses, forwarding companies, galleries and trade exhibition centres will also find the document highly relevant.

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Save the date: 4th international VdS conference “Fire Protection Systems” in April 2017 in Poland

On April 27th, 2017, the fourth international VdS-conference on fire protection systems will take place in Warsaw (Poland). International experts from insurance sector, industry and fire protection organisations will make presentations on the following topics:

  • Legal and quality marks for fire protection products and systems
  • Fire protection installation from the insurers’ point of view
  • Sprinkler system design for storage facilities
  • Water mist system technology, VdS 3188
  • Fire Detection Systems in Power Stations
  • Gas extinguishing systems – Guidelines and practical experiences
  • Reliable fire protection by spark extinguishing systems
  • Experiences from Fire tests with Lithium-ion-batteries

In addition there will be an exhibition over two days at the conferences site. At the evening of June 26th a get-together with possibilities to visit the exhibition will be held.

“This is already the 4th conference in Warsaw, and we will offer also in 2017 an exciting information forum for planners, installers and operators of fire protection systems, as well as for fire protection engineers, fire safety officers from all industries and loss prevention experts from the insurance industry”, Tomasz Afeltowicz-Schultz, Head of VdS offices Poland and Director of the event says. “And the conference exhibition with renowned specialist companies offers also this time the optimal opportunity for the professional exchange of fire protection experts.”

Conference languages are Polish and English with simultaneous translation.

The participants of the VdS-conference have also the possibility to visit the conference of the European Fire Sprinkler Network (EFSN) on April26th, 2017, at the same place at a reduced price.

You will find more information by visiting the conference-web site at www.vds.de/conference-pl

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Typical fire hazards in industry and business enterprises: 4 films on one DVD on the topic of loss prevention

Publications of the German Insurers (GDV) for property loss prevention

The films visualize typical fire hazards in industrial and business enterprises. They explain recurring situations at risk inspections by fire insurers and illustrate complex fire protection issues. Effects of fires and appropriate measures to prevent damage are shown in the films.

The films can be used as an aid in advising policyholders in fire protection. They are also suitable for the training of staff and as a teaching tool in fire protection training.

Contents:

4 films on one DVD on the topic of loss prevention in both German and English.

Film 1: Storage of combustible material close to buildings

Fire hazards through for example wooden pallets  by an outside wall, fire spread in the building, effectiveness of a sprinkler system

Film 2: Fire loads in production and storage areas

Risks through combustible packaging and storage materials, benefits and impact of automatic fire extinguishing systems

Film 3: Machinery fire hazards

Machinery fires, flammable liquid fires, spray fire, effect of  local protection systems (object extinguishing systems)

Film 4: Electrical devices

Fire hazards through battery chargers, testing and thermography of electrical devices

Language: German/English

Picture format: 16:9 PAL

Running time: approx. 32 minutes

VdS 3401 : 2014-12 (01)

For further information please have a look at https://shop.vds.de/en/product/vds-3401/ or contact verlag@vds.de

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Perfect networking: CFPA at the VdS-FireSafety Cologne 2016

An international group of colleagues represented CFPA at the VdS-FireSafety 2016 (7th/8th December) – for the first time with an own CFPA exhibition booth. The CFPA booth was well visited throughout the fair. In total, CFPA could gain new contacts to about 170 international experts and exchange opinions and expertise about, among other things, certification, training and guidelines on a European level.

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The 5th VdS-FireSafety set a new visitor record: It brought over 2,600 experts from 18 countries to the Cologne Exhibition Centre – 30% more than last year. As usual, it combined a large number of high-quality offers: six VdS conferences (“Fire Detection and Alarm Systems”, “Fire Extinguishing Systems”, “Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilation Systems”, “Structural Fire Protection”, “Urban Public Buildings” and the 40th seminar for Fire Protection Managers), the only fire safety fair in the Rhineland as well as a science and exhibitor forum with a total of 30 lectures on current research results and technical innovations – one of them explaining the work of CFPA Europe.

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The experts at the CFPA booth came from many different countries and organizations, which gave visitors the chance to discuss a broad range of subjects. Among them were Kamila Kempna and Jan Smolka from GIT/Czech Republic, Mirna Rodriguez from Cepreven/Spain, Peter Stocker from Switzerland, Pia Mark from DBI/Denmark, and Tommy Arvidsson, Director of CFPA/UK. In addition, several further colleagues visited the fair: Jesper Ditlev from DBI/Denmark, Guillaume Savornin from CNPP/France, John Briggs from FPA/UK, and of course Ingeborg Schlosser from VdS/Germany, the organization hosting the fair. “Our participation with a booth was a success”, said Tommy Arvidsson directly after the two days in Cologne. “The number of visitors and the big interest has already led to the decision that CFPA Europe will return as exhibitor next year”.

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“Many of our guests call the VdS-FireSafety their annual highlight”, sums up Lars Braun from VdS, organizer of the event. “The fact that we were able to support so many planners, engineers, architects, insurance and official experts and further specialists from all fire protection areas with comprehensive news, ideas and possibilities of exchange is pleasing our whole team.” On the basis of this success, VdS will again host the FireSafety Cologne in 2017 (on 6th and 7th of December 2017) and further expand the range of offers.

Hot work starts fires costing millions

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Despite numerous campaigns, the statistics for fires caused by hot work in Denmark are still far too high. In other Nordic countries, there are stringent requirements regarding training and certification and this has reduced the number of costly fires.

One completely normal Monday morning in April last year, a group of workmen laid asphalt roofing on a temporary roof at ’Experimentarium’ in northern Copenhagen. As a result of the hot work being carried out, the roof caught fire. The fire spread so quickly that a roofer had to jump from the roof to save his life. A total of 19 fire engines attended the scene before the fire was brought under control. Once the fire had been extinguished, most of the old buildings had been destroyed by smoke and water damage. The fire had also spread to a neighbouring listed building from 1929, resulting in serious damage.  In all, the fire caused damage running to tens of millions.

The fire was just one of the recent major fires that was caused as a result of hot work. Hot work is work that produces sparks or flames and is common in, for example, roofing or welding work. These are fires that can be avoided because, with the right measures in place, there is no doubt that hot work can be safe work. At the same time, the fires cost vast amounts of money.

Costly fires
The Danish Insurance Association regularly compiles statistics on fires in Denmark. The industry organization’s statistics on fire causing damage running to millions show that hot work accounts for 4% of them. The same fires account for 10% of insurance payouts. In other words, these fires are costly.

– As the fire at ‘Experimentarium’ shows, fires caused by hot work usually spread very quickly and the damage is devastating. Admittedly, the number of fires of this kind is not overwhelming but they cost vast amounts of money, says Christina Christensen, an engineer with the Danish Insurance Association.

However, ironically enough, it is often not the hot work in itself that starts the fire, she explains.

– The workman has the actual flame under control but often it catches on to something else. In roofing, for example, it is the material that lies beneath the asphalt roofing that the workman doesn’t know is flammable. Or, in some cases, the sparks catch on to rubbish lying on the floor when you are cutting metal, explains Christina Christensen.

Huge difference between Denmark and its neighbours
If we look at our Nordic neighbours, the payouts resulting from accidents related to hot work are significantly lower. According to Anders Frost-Jensen, Director of Infrastructure & Quality at DBI, this is because in Norway, Sweden and Finland they have gone much further in terms of training and certification.

– There is a vast difference between Denmark and the other countries in these areas. In the other countries, it is an implicit requirement for hot work that it has to be carried out by workmen who have been trained by certified instructors in the country’s rules for hot work. Moreover, the work site must be made secure by both the developer and the person carrying out the work going through a checklist before hot work is commenced. This is a requirement stipulated by the insurance companies, explains Anders Frost-Jensen.

In Denmark, there is not the same uniform practice within the industry, even though, in Denmark we have described the same rules in DBI Guideline 10. The point is simply that if the insurance companies required everyone who performs hot work to have undergone training in accordance with DBI Guideline 10 and also to complete checklists etc. it would be hinder competition between the insurance companies.

– In the other Nordic countries, they have prioritized safety, whereas in Denmark competitiveness is the priority, explains Anders Frost-Jensen.

Recommend trained workmen
Thus, one insurance company’s policy may be to increase the excess if non-certified employees carry out the work. Another company could perhaps retain the original excess as long as the workmen follow the insurance company’s checklist for what measures have to be in place before, during and after the work. As a policy holder, you could then choose the company you think offers the best solution.

The Danish Insurance Association is urging members to ensure that employees have been trained and that checklists are followed when they are performing hot work. And, in fact, many members are following their recommendation, even though it is not standard practice in the industry.

– The insurance companies are aware of the increased risk with hot work and know that it will be minimized with the use of fire guards and trained personnel. Many of them set out requirements relating to the training of workmen and use their own variation orders which have to be filled out on site, thus ensuring that the proper conditions for the work are in place before it starts, says Christina Christensen.

More concrete practices required
DBI would like to see the recommendation become a more concrete agreement within the industry that that is how it should be. For the sake of safety.

– If these practices are adopted to a greater degree in Denmark, over time we will see a reduction in the number of fires and compensation payouts, as is the cases in the other Nordic countries. The more developers and workmen learn about hot work, the safer it will be for them to carry out the work. Therefore, from a fire safety point of view, DBI recommends that workmen should be trained by certified instructors and they must be able to prove that they have undergone such training by presenting a certificate before commencing hot work, says Anders Frost-Jensen, adding:

– The best example we have seen from our neighbouring countries is in Finland. The insurance industry asked for certifications and that has had a significant effect. The industry in Denmark should do the same. It simply isn’t ambitious enough for society and the insurance industry to continue accepting that hot work accounts for 10% of the total of the millions paid out in compensation for fire, he says.

DNA spray keeps the burglars away

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The DNA sprays being used by retailers are a success – they are proving extremely effective at preventing theft. Therefore, several Danish food chains are now installing DNA spray solutions in their shops, even though DNA spray has never been used in investigating crimes or as evidence in a court of law.

In September 2014, the Dansk Supermarked Group (a Danish supermarket chain) installed Selecta DNA spray on a trial basis in nine selected shops in a district of Copenhagen. The system functions by spraying the burglar with DNA fluid as he escapes the shop premises. The liquid contains a unique DNA signature that can be traced back to the individual shop and which adheres to skin and clothing and stands out when exposed to UV light. The hope was that the police could use it when investigating burglaries, and that the new technology would also have a preventive effect – which it undoubtedly has.

– In our experience, the DNA spray has been very effective at deterring burglars. In the nine shops where the system was installed, there has only been one burglary since the solution was implemented. Here, however, due to human error, the spray was not released, says Jess Pedersen, Head of Group Security at the Dansk Supermarked Group.

Based on the positive experience from Copenhagen, the Dansk Supermarked Group has decided to install the system in more of its shops. Ten stores in northern Zealand have already had the system installed, and next stage involves installing it at 30 other shops throughout Denmark.

However, the Dansk Supermarked Group is not the only retailer to have discovered the new technology. Chains such as McDonald’s, 7-Eleven and Coop Danmark have also installed the DNA spray system or plan to do so. Rema 1000 has also embraced the solution, and in 2016 is installing it in all the company’s shops in Denmark.

Primarily preventive
Both the Rema 1000 shops and the Dansk Supermarked Group’s Netto shops have signs outside at the front and on the windows at the entrance clearly stating that the shop uses DNA spray. It is the preventive effect of the the solution that is so positive.

– Our aim is that burglars give up and walk away on seeing that we use DNA spray. This way, we are also protecting our employees from very disturbing and unpleasant experiences, says Jess Pedersen.

In fact, the preventive effect has been such that it has still not been necessary to investigate a single burglary where the DNA spray has been released. But the methods for using the DNA traces are nevertheless in place.

– We are ready to act and use the traces from the invisible marking. And all the police districts already have UV equipment which is used for many other purposes. If we have a suspect in custody, we can shine UV light on him and remove a sample of the artificial DNA, which we can then take to the company that supplied the solution to identify the shop where the DNA comes from, says Jørn Kjer, who heads the Danish National Police’s national prevention centre.

Ends with confessions
As there have still not been any burglaries in Denmark where the DNA spray has been used, there is some uncertainty regarding how much validity a Danish court will give to using DNA traces as evidence in a court case. And it might be some time before we find out.

– In the cases we have seen in other countries, where people have been confronted with the fact that they have been sprayed with DNA spray, they have quickly confessed to the crime. We also have examples of burglaries from residential properties, where money has been marked with DNA, and when a suspect has been arrested with DNA traces on his fingers, he has confessed his guilt. Thus, the cases there have been have been conducted as cases where the accused pleads guilty without the court considering concrete evidence, says Henrik Olsen, CEO of Unisecure, which manufactures one of the various DNA spray solutions.

 

Messe Essen GmbH, Norbertstraße, 45001 Essen, Germanyhttp://www.messe-essen.de

Industry Oscar for VdS-Cyber-Security

The Innovation Award of the world’s leading security trade fair, the “Security” in Essen, is considered to be the “Industry Oscar” for special achievements in loss prevention. // VdS received the golden award in the category “Services” for their comprehensive offers in the field of Cyber-Security specially for medium-sized companies. 

The Security Innovation Award, granted by the world´s leading security trade fair, the “Security” in Essen, is known as the “Industry Oscar”. Every two years outstanding performances for optimum loss prevention are rewarded. This year, the golden and thus highest award in the category “Services” went to the emergent Cyber-Security services of VdS: the VdS-guidelines 3473, the first Cyber-security standard specifically for medium-sized companies, and the institutes´ further associated services such as the free Quick-Check, the fast Quick-Audit including attestation or the VdS-Certification of information security for companies.

Dr. Harald Olschok, Managing Director of the German Association of Security Industry (BDSW) and Chairman of the jury for the services sector, stated at the ceremony in the Essen exhibition halls: “For the Industry Oscar `Security Innovation Award´ it is not only technical finesse and innovative impulses that count. The positive consequences for people and society which result from these services are also decisive. Congratulations to the Cyber-Security Standards of VdS for our most vulnerable SMEs, they have prevailed among many high-quality entries from the USA, France and Great Britain. The VdS-guidelines 3473 make this sensitive issue for SMEs concrete and manageable.”

Dr. Robert Reinermann, CEO of VdS, explained at the ceremony: “Germany is the country most affected by cyber-crime worldwide. Economic damage caused by digital attacks in Germany alone is estimated at 45 billion Euros per year, 1.6 percent of the gross domestic product – and the number of attacks is growing rapidly all over the world! Particularly endangered are the often highly innovative, but unfortunately mostly poorly secured SMEs. Again and again cybercriminals gain access to patents, processes, plannings, prices, often to all sensitive corporate data. Digital knowledge theft threatens the survival of many small and medium enterprises. That’s why we offer to SMEs the guidelines VdS 3473 about digital securing with well-known practicality and easy tips for implementation for free. ”

The guidelines VdS 3473 contain all relevant information about the organisational and technical implementation of information security and provide the usual practical assistance, at a cost which is optimally manageable for SMEs. According to a study of the Alliance for Cyber-Security the guidelines VdS 3473 are already among the top 3-standards in the implementation of management systems for information security. All information on the comprehensive range of Cyber-Security services of VdS, Europe’s No.1 Institute for Corporate Security, can be found at www.vds-global.com .

 

Caption Gold: Handover of the Golden Security Innovation Award for the VdS standard for optimal Cyber-Security in the SME sector by Jury Chairman Dr. Harald Olschok, Managing Director of the German Association of the Security Industry (right): with the trophy VdS CEO Dr. Robert Reinermann, with the certificate VdS Manager for Cyber-Security, Markus Edel.

FireSafetyWeek

Fire Safety Week in Finland

The week starts on November 26th with the event A Day at The Fire Station and during the week people are encouraged to conduct their own fire drill, download a mobile app to promote fire safety measures and participate in Nordic Fire Alarm Day on December 1st. This year’s theme is “You ain’t losing anything”. 

The aim of Fire Safety Week is to improve fire safety of the whole country. Organized for the fifth time, with the theme “You ain’t losing anything”, this year’s aim is to show that improving fire safety is about small things which make a big difference.

– You won’t lose anything by taking care of your fire safety. Doing small improvements like checking the battery of your smoke alarm or discarding dodgy electronic wires are small acts but they can save your life, says Elias Kivelä, Campaign Coordinator at SPEK.

Fire Safety Week also raises the awareness on the relation of substance use and deaths caused by fire.

– 70 % of those who die because of fire are intoxicated. A particularly bad combination is smoking and drinking. Once intoxicated, the ability to act is slower than normal and accidents happen more likely, reminds Kivelä.

A Day at The Fire Station is a popular event especially in families with children. This year over 360 fire stations are participating in the event all over Finland providing visitors a glimpse to what it is like to be a firefighter.

– In fire stations people can try on firefighters’ gears, test how to use fire extinguishers and see how to exit from a burning room. A bit older participants can also test if they would pass the physical firefighters’ test, explains Kivelä.

Companies, daycare centers, schools and homes are encouraged to conduct a DIY Fire Drill not only during the week but all year round. Those who participate by registering their fire drill are eligible to win a 2,000-euro cash prize. The week ends with The Nordic Fire Alarm Day on December 1st.

– Every day there is a fire in eight houses. Our main goal is of course to reduce this number but also to promote skills that are needed in case fire occurs. Last year in all residential fires there were 440 cases where the smoke alarm wasn’t functioning and in 862 cases there were no smoke alarm at all even though having one is mandatory by law. Fire drills are also important so you know what to do if something happens – our aim is to have 100,000 registered fire drills, states Kivelä.

Since 2014 the campaign has included an app, “Kipinä” (spark), which guides the user through their own fire safety drill. It also reminds the user to check the functioning of their fire alarm on a monthly basis.

See two short videos of Fire Safety Week:

Check you smoke alarm – YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ohnycCkhgI

Learn the fire exit – You ain’t losing anything – YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJBtqnpw8Vk

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SPEK awarded at the Finnish Security Awards

SPEK’s and Insurance company LähiTapiola’s Hero training won the award for “The Security Act of the Year” at the annual Finnish Security Awards in October. SPEK’s member organizations were also well represented among those whose work was recognized.

Together with its partners, Security & Safety and Risk Management Magazine (Turvallisuus & Riskienhallinta) awards annually different actors who have performed exceptionally and promoted safety in their work. This is to highlight the innovative and excellent work done in Finland in the field of safety and security.

The Security Act of the Year, Hero Training, is complimentary emergency fire extinguishing training provided by SPEK and LähiTapiola. The training is seen very useful as according to the statistics, in 2014 successful emergency fire extinguishing saved one life and prevented 12 injuries as well as financial damages for 20 million euros.

In addition, Mr Saku Rouvali and Mr Timo Tammisto from Jokivarsi voluntary fire brigade were awarded the prize of Volunteer of the Year. They have built two fire trucks which have been used frequently in youth work.