Keeping laptops and ipads secure

Laptop Security BagThe plethora of portable devices we now rely upon means that extra care needs to be taken when travelling around with them. But a lost or stolen device can be viewed as a mere inconvenience when set against the value of the data which may be stored on it.

Organisations need to ensure that its employees take the right precautions to keep sensitive corporate information safe. This is not always a straightforward task as this information no longer resides in the office but can be spread across the globe on the devices of its mobile workforce. One major security breach could cause serious damage to the reputation an organisation has worked hard to build.

In 2007 the UK’s largest building society, Nationwide, was hit with a fine of almost £1 million after one of its employees had their laptop stolen from home. The laptop contained confidential customer information and the society was found, by the then Financial Services Authority, to have inadequate procedures and controls in place .

Of course, any organisation worth its salt will have sophisticated encryption software in place but there are a number of precautions that can be taken to ensure that the inconvenience (and embarrassment!) of a lost devise does not arise.

  • Invest in a laptop / iPad security case for protection against damage and theft. Safelincs’ range of cases and bags feature high quality security cables to attach the mobile device to a fixed object and prevent a laptop bag or security case from being snatched. These can be secured to almost any fixed item and are ideal for use in the boot of a car, hotel room or office.
  • Avoid leaving a laptop unattended in cars or hotel rooms
  • If you need to leave your laptop in a hotel room, put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.
  • Wherever possible, sensitive data should not be held on laptops.
  • Encrypt confidential information
  • Always carry a laptop as hand luggage onto aeroplanes
  • Don’t keep access tokens, or USB sticks in the same bag as the laptop
  • When travelling by car don’t park in secluded places
  • Disable Bluetooth on laptops and mobile phones when out of the office
  • A drink with colleagues after work is a common way of unwinding. But keep an eye on your bag, especially if it’s got your laptop in it. Opportunist thieves are known to strike when people are relaxing and off guard.
  • There have been incidences of people in cars being robbed while stopped, often at traffic lights. So make sure that anything valuable is not on show. If possible, ensure all doors and the boot are locked.

 

BBC turns to Safelincs to look after its journalists

Brazillian World Cup 2014 - BBCPresenters and reporters travelling to the World Cup in Brazil have been equipped with smoke alarms, heat alarms and carbon monoxide alarms by Safelincs.
Any organisation that has employees travelling abroad has a duty of care to ensure that their health and safety is protected. The BBC has its people covering football matches in different parts of Brazil and they will be staying in various types of accommodation.
“I’m sure the accommodation the journalists will be staying in will be perfectly safe,” commented Harry Dewick-Eisele, managing director of Safelincs. “However, uptake of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms has not been as great in South America as it has been in the UK, so the BBC is taking very sensible precautions for its employees travelling to the World Cup.”
Safelincs were able to provide the BBC with a comprehensive selection of products at competitive prices, all delivered in timescales that were second to none.

Free online fire safety logbook for organisations with multiple sites

All businesses and organisations have to maintain fire safety logbooks to record their regular equipment tests and findings. Just to give one example, fire extinguishers have to be visually inspected on a monthly base, serviced yearly and refilled usually after five years (except, of course, the service free P50 fire extinguishers). Fire alarms have to be tested and serviced as well and the list of fire safety equipment requiring regular servicing just goes on and on. Most inspections will be on different dates, so keeping track of your compliance can be a real challenge. If your company is spread over multiple sites, the challenge becomes even more daunting. Multiple members of staff will be involved in the compliance checking and will have to report their data to a central office.

log-book-2

Safelincs has developed a FREE online multi-user fire safety logbook which not only allows the recording of maintenance across multiple sites but also manages a reminder system for all people involved. The system supports the Responsible Person in the  central office with an insight into the overall fire safety recording status. The fire safety logbook will hold all the data for you, however, a backup copy can be printed out at any time. And best of all – this service is entirely free! To use this online fire safety logbook visit our website.

P50 service free extinguisher called into action

drain-picJust a month after it purchased a P50 service free fire extinguisher from Safelincs, Abbey Metal Recycling called it into action.

Late one afternoon at the end of April, a member of staff was cutting a sub-frame with a disc cutter. A spark ignited a pool of oil on the surface of water inside a gully pot which drains into an inceptor tank. Within seconds a small fire broke out, but it was quickly extinguished using the powder P50. There was no damage to the gully pot or drain gate and nobody was injured.

Abbey Metal Recycling is a family owned and operated metal recycler based in Cinderford in Gloucestershire. With over forty years’ experience in the metal recycling business, it has earned a strong reputation within the industry for its dependable service.

The company purchased the P50 as it is an appliance which, due to the nature of its manufacture, requires only an annual check by a member of its own staff rather than a costly yearly visit from an external extinguisher engineer. All the components in the P50’s construction are non-corroding and this, together with a ten year warranty, make it an attractive proposition for the environment in which it is utilised by a recycling company.

Furthermore, Abbey Metal Recycling benefited from Safelincs’ free replacement / repair policy for all fire safety items sold by Safelincs which are utilised or damaged in a fire situation. Abbey’s P50 was therefore immediately replaced free of charge.

Cardiac Science finally brings out the new Powerheart G5 defibrillator

Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 AEDAfter about a year delay Cardiac Science finally has started delivering the new G5 defibrillator to replace, over time, the very successful G3 model. The Powerheart G3 had for a long time been the best selling of all our defibrillators.

The new G5

With an impressive 7 year warranty, Rescue Ready self-test technology and real-time CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) feedback for invaluable guidance, it’s understandable why the Powerheart G5 AED CPRD defibrillator is regarded as the next generation of defibrillation equipment.

Whether you are a healthcare professional or someone with minimal first aid training, responding to a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can be a daunting experience. The Powerheart G5 offers ease of use as well as voice and text prompts, helping to guide and calm the rescuer throughout the defibrillation process.

Featuring an integrated sensor device, the G5 assesses the CPR performance given by the rescuer and provides real-time feedback to ensure the correct compression depth and rhythm is achieved. This innovative technology also extends to assessing the patient’s therapy needs, delivering a shock at the necessary energy level, and automatically detecting when paediatric pads are in use. This defibrillator coaches and works with you to give the victim the best chances of survival.

Defibrillators are life-saving devices and it is important that they remain in full working order at all times. To assist with this, the G5 has ‘Rescue Ready’ self check technology, performing regular tests on all main AED components including the battery, hardware, software and pads and provides visible green LED confirmation that the G5 has passed these tests.

Safelincs is committed to providing our customers with the best possible service and value for money. When purchasing the Powerheart G5 AED defibrillator, our customers will receive a FREE AED responder kit, one FREE place on a St John Ambulance defibrillator training course, as well as one set of FREE replacement pads after 2 years of purchase. To take advantage of this amazing offer, please visit our website, where you will also benefit from FREE delivery as well as a limited time special offer price!

Helpful new video about emergency lighting terms

emergency-light-exitEmergency lighting is essential in most businesses, providing an immediate secondary source of light in the event of a power failure. When selecting emergency lighting you will, however, come across confusing terms such as maintained, non-maintained and switchable emergency lights. Our short video explains the differences in an easily understood way.

Safelincs also offers other guides about emergency lighting:

Our friendly staff are always happy to help you with your emergency lighting planning.
Please email support@safelincs.co.uk

 

Fire exits: a guide for businesses

fire-exitSafelincs operates a fire safety forum where people’s fire safety questions are answered by professionals. We followed the numerous queries regarding fire exits in businesses and have created a list of the main concerns that were raised and answered:

Just for clarification – What do we mean with fire exit (doors) in this article?

Mostly, this terms refers to final fire exit (doors) leading to the outside of a building, although the term is also correctly used for all doors inside the building on routes that are leading to the final fire exit. In this article we refer to FINAL fire exits when we mention fire exits or fire exit doors.

Any door leading to the outside is potentially a fire exit, including your normal entrance

In the event of a fire it must be possible for staff and visitors to evacuate your premises as quickly and as safely as possible. This is often through the door by which your staff or the public entered. However, additional fire exits will often be installed to reduce the escape distance or to provide an alternative exit in case the main entry/exit is blocked by fire. Sliding or revolving doors must not be used for exits specifically intended to be used as fire exits. Doors leading to enclosed courtyards might also not be suitable as fire exits.

Final Fire exit doors can be left open

Security may of course be a separate issue, but it is completely acceptable to have final fire exit doors standing open on, for example, hot days. The only time that this should not happen is if the final fire escape door is also acting as a fire resistant door – although this would be very rare. The issue of fire exit doors left standing open is getting regularly confused with the issue of internal fire doors which must be kept shut.

Fire exits must be easily openable from inside the building

Fire exit doors must not be locked or fastened in a way preventing them being easily and immediately opened by any person who may use them in an emergency. There are a variety of ways to secure fire exit doors in a way that allows easy opening by anybody from the inside in the case of an emergency:
Panic bars (also called push bars or crash bars) are used where large numbers of people are attempting to travel at speed through a fire exit, as minimal pressure on the bar releases the locking mechanism.
Emergency push pads are similar to push bars but feature a small pad as opposed to a horizontal bar. They should only be used where a panic situation is unlikely to arise in an emergency evacuation scenario e.g. when only staff familiar with the building and not members of the general public are using the exit.
• The Redlam emergency bolt (often wrongly called Redlam panic bolt) is designed for emergency doors which are not in normal everyday use and should only be opened for maintenance and testing. The bolt is NOT suitable for public areas.
• The Kingpin emergency bolt is similar to the Redlam bolt; when the handle is pulled, the Kingpin breaks into two pieces, allowing the spring-loaded bolt to retract and thus release the door. The door can, at all times, be used for non-emergency purposes by a key holder. Again, this bolt is not suitable for areas used by the general public.
• A maglock (short for magnetic lock) holds the door shut using an electromagnetic force between a magnet and a steel plate. Typically they can have a keypad for access from outside and a green quick release button inside for use in an emergency. These systems can be wired into alarm systems that automatically release if the fire alarm system activates or the power supply fails.

Fire exit doors must not be locked whilst a building is in use

However, when a building is unoccupied it can be locked as securely as required. If dramatic security measures like chains, padlocks or steel bars are required, the first person entering the building in the morning must remove all of these. It is generally recommended to create a wall mounted board in the entrance area with the shapes of the security devices (eg padlock) used painted red on which the removed padlocks etc are then hung. This is a visual aid to stop staff forgetting that doors are still locked. Forgetting to unlock security devices could lead to severe prosecution. We would therefore recommend to only use proper panic bars etc. These can offer excellent security and allow safe escape in case of an emergency.

Fire exit doors can be any colour

The important thing is that the exit doors are clearly signed.

Fire exit doors should open in the direction of escape

However, in the workplace it may be permissible to have an exit door opening inwards if it is providing excess for less than 60 staff without public access.

The more people use a building the greater the number of fire exits required

The minimum width for a fire escape catering for 60 people or less is 750mm. For full details of width requirements versus number of users and for the number of exits required, the Building Regulations area of the UK Government’s Planning Portal should be consulted. (Approved Document B – Fire Safety) http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_AD_B2_2007.pdf . See also our full help guide

Emergency routes and fire exits must be indicated by signs

Fire exit routes need to be marked clearly with emergency exit signs and have to be sufficiently lit, even when the electric power supply has failed. Therefore emergency routes and fire exits usually require emergency lighting of adequate intensity in the case of failure of the normal lighting. Final fire exits signs can be illuminated themselves or externally lit by an emergency light.

Emergency routes and fire exits must be kept clear of obstruction

Final fire exit doors should never be blocked from the inside or outside. Equally, the internal escape routes must not be blocked. Items that are a source of fuel, pose an ignition risk, or are combustible and likely to increase the fire loading or spread of fire, should not be located on any corridor, stairway or circulation space that will be used as an escape route. Such items include portable heaters, (bottled gas or electric radiant heaters), gas cylinders, etc.

If the fire exit leads onto a road or car park a sign is needed to say ‘No Parking’
If possible a barrier could also be put in place.

P50 service free extinguishers – end user video

To emphasise the advantages of the P50 service free extinguishers to end users, Safelincs created a short promotional video demonstrating the benefits and cost savings of the extinguisher.

The P50 extinguishers:

  • Do not require external service engineers. A simple annual visual inspection by the end user is sufficient
  • Do not require a refill after five years, as the firefighting chemicals are guaranteed for ten years
  • Can even be refurbished after ten years to give another ten year life

These extinguisher also help to reduce your carbon footprint, save time and even space, as the superior ratings mean that less P50 units are required to cover a building when compared to traditional extinguishers.

 

Innovative Stove Guard helps to promote independent living

With rising costs in care for the elderly and Government cut backs to services for those with medical and learning difficulties, many families are looking for solutions that will help promote independent living. Recognising the kitchen as the area most at risk of fire in the home, Finnish manufacturer, Innohome, has developed the Stove Guard intelligent self-learning heat sensor that actively PREVENTS an electric cooker fire from igniting.

Constantly monitoring the cooker top temperature and its rate of rise, the Innohome Stove Guard acts as soon as a hazardous situation is detected. As well as sounding an audible alarm, the Stove Guard heat sensor sends a wireless signal to a control unit, discreetly fitted behind the cooker, which cuts the cooker’s electricity supply off. This innovative technology not only acts before the formation of dangerous smoke levels but also stops a fire from igniting.

Unlike traditional heat alarms, the Innohome Stove Guard has many features and benefits to accommodate the user’s needs. To avoid false alarms, the heat sensor has an ability to learn the user’s cooking styles by reducing its sensitivity during normal cooking conditions. Its safety features include an intelligent timer, alarm removal detection as well as smoke, CO and gas alarm recognition, all of which trigger the control unit to switch off the cooker’s electricity supply.

Boasting an impressive 15 year sensor working life and 5 year warranty, the Innohome Stove Guard provides our customers with value for money as well as peace of mind.  For more information on how the Innohome Stove Guard can benefit you and your loved ones, please visit our dedicated Innohome approved supplier website at www.safelincs.co.uk/innohome.

 

Power of ten

10 Year WarrantyInvesting in safety is a necessary expenditure – but one where getting value for money is still going to be important. At Safelincs we believe that safety products with a long lifespan will save money and give long term peace of mind.

Many of our products therefore come with a ten year guarantee to give our customers the confidence that their purchase will last:

•   Safelincs has introduced DecaMed, the UK’s first longlife first aid kit that is guaranteed for ten years. Developed and manufactured by Germany’s leading first aid manufacturer, the DecaMed first aid kit saves time and money by eliminating the need to replace components every year due to passing expiry dates. All sterile components are certified by the BSI. Everything is contained in a durable case and the first aid kit provides massive cost savings compared with standard kits.

•     The P50 service free fire extinguisher is also guaranteed for ten years, after which time it can be refilled and used for another ten years. What sets it apart from standard extinguishers is that it does not require service engineer visits and does not have to be refilled/replaced after 5 years. A simple annual visual check can be carried out by a member of staff rather than calling in an external engineer. Even on a relatively small estate, savings on servicing can run into thousands of pounds.
The longevity is due to the materials used in the construction of the P50s which are 100% corrosion proof. The extinguishers come in powder and foam versions. They are kitemarked by the BSI to BS EN3, the British and European standard for fire extinguishers.

•        The Kidde longlife digital carbon monoxide detector uses the latest battery and sensor technology, allowing Kidde to offer a ten year warranty. Fitted with a sealed lithium battery and digital display, this model is the best and most efficient unit on the market. Its sealed long life battery guarantees a ten year lifespan with an audible signal sounding at the end of that time. The units are kitemarked to EN 50291-1: 2010 and CE marked.

•    We also offer a longlife fire blanket with a 10 year lifespan and warranty.

Other products with 10 year guarantees include panic bars, emergency push pads and fire door closers.

One of the products with the longest warranty is the Saffold fire escape and access ladder which features a 15 year warranty!

Safelincs also sells a number smoke and heat alarms with sealed-in ten year lithium batteries, which last the full life of the smoke alarm. No battery changing, no unauthorised removal of the battery and a tamper-free design make these products a safe and economical choice.

Smoke alarms should be changed every ten years. For those people with mains powered alarms there is a simple and low cost way of achieving this. Safelincs and Ei Electronics have developed a range of replacement smoke alarms branded ‘easichange’ which can be installed in less than a minute by the householder. The easichange alarms come supplied with the removal tool needed to take the old smoke alarm safely off its base and with a new alarm head which can be installed by simply sliding it onto the existing base.