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March 30, 2020

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Key workers in security and fire safety – the NSI view

RichardJenkins-NSI-20The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) outlines its views on the issue of ‘Key Workers’ in relation to the security and fire safety sector.

With recently introduced social distancing measures, ‘Key Workers’ essential to the running of public and other services across the UK including the NHS and critical infrastructure, have been categorised by Government. The intent is to ensure health and safety for the public at large during the pandemic and efforts to control COVID-19.

NSI’s view is clear: approved companies working in security and fire safety deliver every day essential services ranging from a wide variety of guarding services, to fire detection and intruder alarm systems, CCTV systems and the 24/7 remote monitoring of these systems in purpose built and secure Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs).

Approved companies working in these specialisms go to great lengths to ensure the integrity of their service. It is our belief essential staff in their businesses are Key Workers, providing critical maintenance and emergency call-outs to ensure effective security and safety cover.   They understand exactly how to balance utilisation of Key Worker status with the demands of social distancing, and so support public safety and the emergency services.

With regard to the Guarding sector, Ian Todd, Chief Executive of the Security Industry Authority expressed the view (26th March): “Roles essential to supporting law and order, with the potential to reduce demand on policing, also meet the critical worker definition. This would include, amongst other areas, the guarding of empty or closed commercial, retail or office premises; the monitoring of similar through CCTV or other remote means; and the provision of alarm response centres including mobile units.”

Richard Jenkins, Chief Executive, NSI comments: “NSI considers Key Worker status is wholly appropriate for specialist employees of companies approved by NSI and SSAIB, many of whom work directly or indirectly in collaboration with Police Forces and Fire and Rescue Services to maintain security and fire systems within public infrastructure, as well as a multitude of commercial and private property throughout the UK.”

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