Defining standards in high end residential security

Defining standards in high end residential security – a conference

The Building Centre in Store Street, London was the ideal setting for a unique conference to discuss ‘Defining standards in high-end residential security’.

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The conference was sponsored by Abloy UK, BRE, Covenant, Facewatch, ISS, Selectaglaze and Stafford Doors, was aimed at end users, insurance companies, architects, consultants and security installers integrators. The full conference, with over 50 attendees, was opened and chaired by Arron Yule, the Managing Director, Abloy UK. During his opening, Yule explained that this was the first of a proposed series of conferences looking at different areas, with the focus of the inaugural event being the “high-end residential sector”.

Lee Dodridge from Covenant followed Yule’s introduction with an overview of the different threats and risks facing the sector. Covenant is a consultancy that provides advice and security support across a variety of sectors, which is supported by a range of tools including access to a live threat database filled by intelligence from the dark web.

With the core of the day being about standards, BRE’s Richard Flint introduced a range of existing standards. Part of the BRE Group is the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) and what became clear is that there are standards and standards and not all are equal even though they carry the same standards rating. Flint explained that UK standards and European standards claim the same level of protection, however, in reality how those standards are tested varies greatly meaning that in reality the protection levels can differ greatly. The UK testing standard being much more testing and less controlled than the EU standards means that they generally reflect a higher standard of protection.

The day continued with presentations from Abloy, Stafford Bridge, Selectaglaze and Facewatch. Alan Swan from Stafford Bridge and Meredith Childerstone from Selectaglaze offered insight to standards regarding doors and secondary glazing. It was clear from both presentations that the critical failing with any project is a lack of early engagement, preventing potential solutions being addressed.

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Abloy UK highlighted a move away from its traditional mechanical products to more sophisticated electronic locking capabilities. When we asked Tom Jenkins from Abloy about the cybersecurity risks and standards for IP locking systems, he admitted that the only existing standard that was ISO 27001. Jenkins explained that this standard did not go far enough so Abloy actually works to government level encryption standards for its systems, as well as having a team dedicated to ensuring the highest levels of protection, with cyber security capability supplied by Volvo IT and built into its systems.

John Bergantini, of Barry Brothers Security, responded to a question posed to the audience concerning how the security market is changing, saying, “People are becoming more educated and seeing more risks. Many of our high-end clients are not just worried about traditional crime like burglary but about terrorism.”

He added, “We are seeing more of our clients looking at electronic locking solutions and, luckily, price is not always an issue. People want more sophisticated solutions with more secure products.”

Barry Bros Security, established in 1945, is one of London’s longest serving security companies and operating countrywide.

The final presentation of the day was from Simon Gordon, of Facewatch and Gordons Wine Bar in Villiers Street, London. He outlined new capabilities from Facewatch, including ANPR inputs and upcoming facial recognition capabilities, which offer high-end residential users the ability monitor for and warn of potential threats in a more careful manner.

He concluded his talk with a comment on the Hatton Garden robbery, saying that the outcome may have been very different if as little as £4 per month had been invested in joining Facewatch.

Over all, the first in a series of targeted conferences was very well received and was certainly an insightful day.

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