Coronavirus (COVID-19): Keep your premises safe with our new Thermal Imaging and Density Control systems!
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All the latest security news and information, plus insights and updates from IDS Security Systems Ltd.

business fire

There are few things that can bring years of work crumbling to the ground as quickly as a fire can. Besides the structural damage fires can cause, they also pose a significant threat to the safety of your employees. That's why it's absolutely vital that you have a comprehensive plan established so that you can get things under control quickly if a fire occurs. Here are a few things you can do to help protect your business from fire:

1. Create a Plan and Identify Exits

It's impossible to say when or where a fire will start in your business. While there are certain places that fires are more likely (like the canteen) there's always a possibility that one could break out in the corridor or stairwell too. There should be a suitable exit strategy that's accessible regardless of where you are in the building. Once these exits have been identified, mark them out on a floorplan of the workspace and put them on display alongside your emergency plan of action. Your plan of action should be:

  • Clear, concise and easy to follow
  • Visible to employees throughout the workplace
  • Understood by everybody

2. Practise Drills

This one may bring back a feeling of nostalgia as you remember standing in lines on the school playground - but there's a reason that fire drills are done in schools, they show everyone what to do if the fire alarm sounds. Practising fire safety drills is not child's play, it's a great way to make sure that all your employees understand how to safely exit the building in the event of a fire. 

3. Fire Extinguishers

If a small fire breaks out, it can be controlled quickly using an appropriate fire extinguisher. There are six different classes we use to categorise fires here in the UK and for each one there is a recommended type of fire extinguisher you should use. 

  • Class A - Combustible Materials - Fires caused by flammable materials like wood & paper
  • Class B - Flammable Liquids - Fires caused by alcohol, petrol, paint etc
  • Cass C - Flammable Gases - Fires caused by gases like butane and propane
  • Class D - Flammable Metals - Fires caused by magnesium, lithium, potassium etc.
  • Electrical - Fires caused by equipment like computers and printers
  • Class F - Cooking Oils - Fires caused by hot oils (usually deep fat fryers)

Depending on the potential hazards in your workplace, you'll need to make sure you have the right fire extinguishers to tackle the fire. For reference, dry powder can tackle all classes of fire except cooking oil - so you may want to make sure you have one of these handy! To avoid confusion under pressure, you might want to run a training session with your employees to make sure they know the correct way to use the fire extinguishers in an emergency.

4. Relationship with the Fire Service

There's no harm in getting friendly with the local fire service and giving them a rough idea of your business' floor plan. If they know exactly how to move through your business premises, it will help them navigate through the building even if the walkways are filled with smoke. 

5. Fire Alarm System 

The final tip we have for you (and probably the most important) is to make sure you have a fully functional fire alarm system installed at your business premises. This is the first warning that you and your employees will get if a fire breaks out, so it needs to be working at all times.

fire alarm

Here at IDS Security, we have over 20 years of experience designing and installing fire alarm systems. We've worked with businesses across Wales to protect them from fire. Our experts can survey your business, design a fire alarm system that suits the building and install it with minimal fuss. We even offer a 24/7 call-out service to provide you will continued confidence that your business is protected from fire. 

Learn More & Request a Quote >

According to Statista, the number of burglary offences recorded in England and Wales from 2002/2003 to 2019/2020 has reduced massively. In 02/03, the total number of burglaries in England and Wales stood at approximately 890,100, whereas in 19/20, the total number stands at around 365,000 - a whopping 525,000 difference!

With such a huge change in the number of burglaries occurring, it's fair for homeowners to ask whether or not home security systems are worth installing. Well, here at IDS Security Systems, we still believe that despite the huge drop in burglaries over the 15 years, an efficient and effective home security system is still worth investing in...and here's why. 

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With all of the uncertainty that is going on in the world right now regarding COVID-19, one of the many things that most of us can agree on is the common symptom of a fever. However, with many people worried about the coronavirus, any slight change in body temperature can spark worries of a positive infection. So, what temperature is considered a fever and when is should people begin to seek medical advice? Let's find out.

What Temperature is a Fever

 

The Body's Temperature 

The human body acts the same way as a furnace, constantly emitting heat, which is needed to keep you alive. However, when your body begins to give out a little more or a little less heat than usual, it's usually trying to tell us that something is wrong. 

Normal Range 

The 'normal' body temperature for humans is not always the same. Often, there could be a whole degree difference between one person and another. Traditionally, the set standard for the human body temperature was set at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) way back in the 19th century, since then things have changed slightly with more recent studies showing the human temperature at around 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit (36.7 degrees Celsius). 

For a typical adult, body temperature can be anywhere between 97-99 F (36.1-37.2 C), with babies and children possessing a slightly higher range of 98-100 F (36.7-37.8 C). Your body's temperature doesn't stay the same all day and it will change throughout your life too. The kinds of things that can affect the temperature of your body are:

  • Your activity levels
  • Your sex
  • Your age 
  • The time of day 
  • The food or drink you've consumed 

The temperature of your body can also differ depending on where it is taken. For example, underarm measurements can be a whole degree lower the temperature recorded from your mouth and rectal measurements can be up to a degree higher than mouth readings. Any reading that is higher than your normal range is considered to be a fever.

 

Fever

If you're asking yourself 'what temperature is a fever?' the answer is often anything above 100.4 F (38 C). Here, you are likely to start experiencing several symptoms including feeling terrible but a fever isn't always bad for you. It's often a sign that your body is doing exactly what it should be doing when germs start to invade, it is fighting them off. If, however, you begin to experience temperatures of 103 F (39.4 C) or higher, if you've had a fever for more than three days or if you start to experience symptoms such as chest pain, vomiting, rashes and headaches then it's sensible to get in touch with your doctor

In the case children, fevers are a little more complicated. Get in touch with a paediatrician if your child:

  • Younger than three months and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher 
  • Between three months and three years and has a rectal temperature of 102 F (38.9) or higher 
  • Older than three and has an oral temperature of above 103 F (39.4)
  • Between 3-6 months and is fussier than usual along with a high temperature

 

Treating a Fever

In general, a slightly higher temperature isn't always a cause for concern. Adults experiencing fevers up to 102 F (38.9 C) should rest and take on plenty of fluids. However, with fevers above 102 F, ibuprofen and aspirin can be used to reduce the fever. If it doesn't respond to the medication or is higher than 103 F (39.4 C), medical attention may be required. 

In terms of COVID-19, your temperature alone will not tell if you are infected but a high fever is accepted as one of the common symptoms. Therefore, it is important to regularly check your temperature to see if you are displaying a 'higher than usual' temperature. 

 

How IDS Can Help 

Here at IDS, we understand how worrying times like these can be, especially for businesses, big and small, that care about the health and safety of their staff, customers and visitors. To make things a little easier and to provide some peace of mind for business owners, we now offer state-of-the-art thermal imaging cameras that can help track and display the temperature of any individual that enters your premises. 

Temperature measurements are accurate to within 0.5 °C, and the cameras can scan multiple people in less than 1 second. If your thermal imaging cameras detect an individual whose temperature exceeds the optimum range, an automatic alert will be generated and you can deny access or carry out a full health assessment as necessary. You can learn more about our thermal imaging cameras below. 

Thermal Imaging Cameras from IDS Security >

 

If you require further information on how our thermal imaging cameras can help your business protect from potential COVID-19 infections or for more on any of our other top-of-the-range offerings, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the IDS team today.

In order to protect your home or business from the risk of fire, you're going to need to install an effective fire alarm system. Now, we all know that a fire alarm alerts you that there is a potential fire present or an irregular amount of smoke in your property, but how do they actually work? And what makes them different from a regular smoke alarm? IDS Security is here to let you know!

How Do Fire Alarms Work

Smoke Alarms 

Firstly, we need to understand that a fire alarm system isn't complete without a smoke alarm. A smoke alarm makes up a fire alarm system in that it is the sensor that first detects the possibility of a fire in your home or business through increased levels of smoke. This tiny device, packed with electronics and small amounts of radioactive material is responsible for reducing the number of fire deaths in half since its wide-spread adoption in commercial and domestic settings. 

How do smoke alarms work?

Smoke alarms fall into one of two categories; ionisation or photoelectric. Ionisation smoke alarms were introduced before photoelectric alarms and are considered effective at detecting flaming fires. Photoelectric smoke alarms, on the other hand, are effective at detecting fires in their early stages. 

Ionisation smoke alarms - As we've mentioned, these smoke alarms are effective at detecting advanced fires and work similarly to how a window sensor intruder alarm works. Here, there is an electrical circuit present and when this circuit is broken, the alarm sounds. The only difference between an ionisation smoke alarm and an intruder alarm is there is no physical contact between the two sensors. They work in the following way:

  1. Wires extend from both the positive and negative ends of a battery in the detector. 
  2. These wires attach to separate electrodes. 
  3. The electrodes complete a circuit but not in a physical sense. Instead, Americium-241 (a radioactive material) transforms the air molecules between the electrodes into positive and negative ions. 
  4. These charged ions between the two plates complete the circuit.
  5. In the process of a fire, smoke enters the smoke alarm through holes or slits in the housing unit. 
  6. Both positive and negative ions seek the smoke, not the plates.
  7. The circuit is then broken and the alarm sounds. 

Photoelectric smoke alarms - Also known as optical smoke alarms, photoelectric smoke alarms alert you when an LED light within the alarm chamber is broken. These alarms are capable of detecting a fire in the early stages before it breaks out into a fully-fledged fire. These smoke alarms work in the following way:

  1. An LED casts light in a straight line across the inner chamber. 
  2. A photoelectric sensor at the opposite end detects the light, notifying the system that the circuit is complete. 
  3. Smoke enters the alarm housing and interrupts the light, redirecting it to a different sensor.
  4. When this other sensor detects the light, an alarm is sounded. 

 

Fire Alarms and How They Work

Fire alarms are slightly different to smoke alarms, in that a smoke alarm simply detects when there are unusual levels of smoke present in the immediate area. Fire alarms, on the other hand, detect the high levels of smoke and then act on it. The sensors are connected to an alarm system that blares out when the detection system is activated. Some fire alarm systems come with an attached sprinkler system that sprays down water from your ceiling in an attempt to put out the fire. However, if your fire alarm system does not include this, it is going to alert both you and your nearest fire brigade to put the fire out. 

The differences between smoke and fire alarms 

The main difference between smoke and fire alarms are:

  • A smoke alarm simply acts as a sensor and detects the smoke, while a fire alarm acts on it. 
  • A fire alarm system consists of several different devices, all connected together to give your home or business protection against fire. It can alert and even take countermeasures against the fire if it has been integrated with the correct appliances.
  • As we spoke about at the beginning of this blog, a smoke detector is usually integrated into a fire alarm system. It forms a part of it and is required in order to perform its functions effectively. 

 

Our Fire Alarm Systems 

Here at IDS Security, we specialise in the design, installation and maintenance of fire alarm systems for commercial, public and residential properties. We cover all categories of fire detection system, from conventional formats through to large, networked, multi-panel addressable systems. If you would like to request a quotation for your own fire alarm system, please call 02920 753 251 to speak with a fire protection specialist at our office in Cardiff, or email us at admin@ids-security.co.uk

Learn More About Our Fire Alarms >

Make Your Workplace COVID Secure

On March 23rd 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a nation-wide lockdown in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since then, life as we know it has been completely flipped upside down, with many people not able to leave their home, see friends and family or go to work, leaving businesses in extremely difficult positions. With their doors temporarily closed to minimise the spread of the virus between members of staff and customers, businesses were left in the cold as to when they would be able to open again.

Fast forward a couple of months and many businesses have started to open their doors to the public, bringing some degree of normality back into people's lives. However, in order to do so, these businesses are required to carry out a risk assessment to examine the possible dangers associated with the spread of COVID-19 and put steps into place that manage and minimise these dangers. To support employers in creating a COVID-secure workplace, the government has published several guides on safe working during the coronavirus pandemic, each designed for a specific area of work. It is vital that employers try their very best to follow these guides as close as possible, as to keep their employees and customers safe during working hours as well as following the law. Boris Johnson announced that the HSE will be performing spot inspections to ensure all employers are keeping their employees safe. 

So, what exactly is a COVID-secure workplace and how can you create one? Read on to find out! 

 

What is a COVID-Secure Workplace?

In short, a COVID-secure workplace is any workplace that has implemented sufficient measures that minimise and prevents the risks of catching and spreading of coronavirus. Unfortunately, as long as the coronavirus pandemic lasts, every workplace in the country will face the risk of COVID-19 being transmitted among staff and customers. However, by creating a COVID-secure workplace, you will be making your work environment as safe as possible for all those who are returning to work as well as customers and visitors.

 

Creating a COVID-Secure Workplace 

The government guidelines mentioned above outline several steps that employers need to take to ensure their workplace remains safe. The steps you take to manage the risks of transmission will depend on your specific area of work, but most can be applied to all. Here we take a look at these.

Conducting a risk assessment 

The government announced that all employers must perform a COVID-19 risk assessment before asking members of staff to return to work. This includes the same steps as a regular risk assessment; identifying potential hazards, evaluating risks and taking preventative action but this assessment will concentrate solely on the risks associated with coronavirus transmission. Employers will need to take into account which members of staff will be returning to work and which tasks will need to be carried out while on-site. Things that may need to be considered include a phased return to work and offering a reduced service. 

The results of your risk assessment should be used to minimise risk to the lowest possible levels by identifying and implementing sufficient control measures, some of which have been outlined by The Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH). Here they explain that while elimination and substitution are often the most effective forms of risk mitigation, it's not feasible or possible to eliminate or substitute risk completely. As a result, there are several types of control measures that you can put into place: 

  • Engineered Control Measures - These are the most effective control measures, whereby physical changes to the workplace are made. These include installing physical barriers such as screens between people to keep them safe. 
  • Administrative Control Measures - These actions include changing workplace activities and tasks, keeping the environment and equipment clean and potentially redesigning the workplace. This could involve measures such as social distancing, increased hygiene practices, signage and limiting the number of people allowed on-site at any one time. 
  • PPE - Protection equipment such as masks and gloves are the least effective form of risk mitigation against the coronavirus. Therefore it should be the very last resort for all employers.

 

Sharing your results 

Once you have identified the actions you need to take to mitigate the risks of transmission, you will need to record and write up your findings so that you can share this information easily with your staff. If your business has over 50 employees, you will be expected to share your results on your website also. In doing so, businesses are likely to make their workforce feel safer, encouraging them to take an active role in managing the risks of transmission. 

 

Maintaining social distancing

Social distancing plays a vital role in the government's plans to get the workforce back into work by drastically reducing the risk of airborne transmission of the virus. There are several ways in which businesses can encourage social distancing on-site, which include laying down markers, limiting the number of customers and employees that are allowed on-site and placing signage up that reminds people to maintain a safe distance from one another. 

If there are certain work activities that can't be completed while social distancing, employers will need to review whether these are vital. If they are, then considerations need to be made on how to make these activities as safe as possible, with PPE may be having to be used by all individuals involved. 

 

Deciding on returning staff 

When it comes to deciding which members of staff should return to work, employers need to make this a gradual process to ensure the measures that they have put into place can be as effective as possible. Initially, only essential staff should be encouraged to return to work, any employees that can work from home should continue to do so. Phasing the return to work is particularly important for workplaces that require staff to work in smaller, confined spaces.

In addition to staff members, employers also need to consider customers and visitors that come to their workplace. These should also be made aware of any new measures that are put into place to limit the potential transmission of the virus.

 

Implementing additional hygiene measures 

There has never been a time where hygiene in the workplace has been more important. The frequency of surface cleaning, handwashing and sanitising should be increased as well as the encouragement of staff to wear masks whenever possible. Another important thing that needs to be considered by employers is waste. If members of staff use disposable PPE such as masks and gloves or tissues, these need to be disposed of into closed bins and discarded hygienically. 

Employers can encourage staff to carry out additional hygiene measures by hanging up posters, calling meetings and running training sessions to promote high standards of hygiene around the workplace. 

 These are just some of the standard measures that you can put into place to ensure the safety of your employees. However, it is very important to consider the safety measure and advice that pertain to your specific industry. 

 

How IDS Security Can Help Your Workplace Become COVID-Secure 

Here at IDS Security, we're striving to make the transition back into work for employers as easy and safe as possible. As a result, we now offer two fantastic and effective services that can keep your workplace safe, minimising the risks of transmitting coronavirus. These are thermal imaging cameras, which measure your employee's temperature. An important indicator when monitoring if an individual is infected with COVID-19. And density control cameras, which help to count the number of individuals on your premises at any one time, also another important factor when trying to manage safe distancing between staff, customers and visitors to your site. You can find out more information on our two brand-new services by clicking below. 

Thermal Imaging Cameras >             Density Control Cameras >

 

By following the above guidelines, as well as implementing industry-specific measures in combination with services from IDS Security, you will be well on your way to ensuring your workplace is COVID-secure and your staff members, customers and visitors are kept as safe as possible from coronavirus.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you, be sure to get in touch with a member of the IDS team today by calling 02920 753 251, emailing us at admin@ids-securityltd.co.uk or filling out our contact form

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