I have read with interest the response in these pages to the fires at the Green Acre Homes’ Peckham and Camberwell building sites, and how many people seem to believe that the security issues surrounding these fires can be addressed with a generic solution

What must be understood by developers and builders is that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution to protecting a building site and that they need to look at how they should secure each of their individual sites accordingly.

Independent security consultants are (and if they are not, they should be) trained to undertake a comprehensive environmental and criminal threat assessment that can identify the security risks to a site. Through this research and liaison with the local police, a security consultant is able to design a security solution that is tailored to meet realistic threats to that site, rather than ones that are unlikely to occur, and which can have potentially high installation costs.

On-site security guards, CCTV and fire detection and evacuation systems can all have their part to play but it is vital that these systems abe used and positioned appropriately on a site to be an effective deterrent to crime.

Ultimately, what these fires have made clear is that it is paramount that developers consider on-site security as integral a part of a development as the building materials being used, and that they work with independent security consultants from the outset of the design process to understand what they are defending against.

It makes sense and could, if done properly, save a lot of time, effort and money.

Steve Garton, director, Advent IM