Bradford blaze serves as a reminder of the importance of tailored solutions for industrial sites

A huge blaze which closed schools and disrupted transport systems for several days in Bradford last month illustrates the far-reaching impact of a fire which goes undetected until it is too late – and serves as reminder of the need for tailored solutions at industrial sites, says fire detection and life safety systems specialist CDS.

Around 20 schools were forced to close, rail services were cancelled, and roads diverted while residents were warned to keep their windows shut because of concerns about smoke pollution.

At its height, 100 firefighters and 15 fire engines were needed to tackle the flames pouring from around 8,000 tyres at the former go-kart track.

MD at CDS, Simon Abley, explained: “Obviously investigations are under way into this particular incident, but the massive knock-on effect serves as a reminder of how challenging industrial sites can be. Conventional fire alarm systems are not always the best solution.”

CDS has been protecting major industrial sites and commercial premises for more than 30 years and has worked with them to build site specific solutions which meet their needs. This means using a multitude of fire detection devices including beam detection and thermal imaging cameras.

“Carrying out risk assessments is one of the many services we provide and for sites with complex operations we highly recommend this. It enables our team to design a bespoke fire detection solution that provides the best possible detection of fire without affecting the operational activities of the customer.

“As we have witnessed in this case, the impact of a fire can goes way beyond the destruction of the premises and its contents. It can have devastating consequences on the surrounding area.”

Image by Dominic’s pics is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Accountancy firm Cooper Parry praises entrepreneurial spirit of CDS’ new directors

Rebel accountancy firm Cooper Parry has published a glowing testimonial to the entrepreneurial spirit of the directors who took over at the helm of CDS in the summer.

Simon Cashmore and Simon Abley have brought to their previous business ventures is anything to go by, the future of CDS looks very rosy indeed!

He and Simon Abley grew their last business, outdoor services specialist TCL Group, 14-fold in the 12 years between acquiring it and selling it to European giant idverde last year.

In an article written for the self-styled ‘disruptive, mould breaking’ accountancy company as part of its series on entrepreneurs, its relationship partner Peter Sterling heaps praise on CDS’ new chairman Simon Cashmore.

“I saw straight away that the entrepreneurial spirit lay deep within his DNA,” said Peter, who met Simon C initially in 2006.

“We’ve always loved working with Simon and his long-time business colleague Simon Abley. They have been all-round ‘good guys’ to work with!”

He describes Simon Cashmore as a demanding leader with great attention to detail and a passion for driving change.

“Even in 2008 when the financial crash brought the housing market to a grinding halt, Simon and his management team at TCL never lost belief in the business. It came back strongly, and Simon led a number of carefully researched acquisitions to broaden not only the geographical spread of the company but the ranges of services it offered.

“It says a lot for Simon that in many cases the vendors of the businesses acquired remained with the group post-acquisition,” he said.

And this model is continuing with CDS, whose co-founders Martin Iliffe and Tony Mikunda remain firmly on the board as shareholding directors, alongside the firm’s existing, highly qualified team of engineers and salespeople.

The two Simons are replicating the successful ‘buy and build’ model they used at TCL Group at CDS. They aim to grow the business organically and buy companies within the wider compliance sector over the next few years to offer a broader range of services to existing customers and expand their geographical reach.

“The recession in 2008 taught us that having a business heavily aligned to a specific sector wasn’t sensible. So we set out to find a broader range of clients operating in different markets. We rapidly diversified by buying other complementary services. We became good at buying businesses and dramatically improving their profitability,” explained Simon Cashmore.

“We hit on our own little model. We found businesses we thought were doing a genuinely good job for their customers. We then spent a lot of time with the owners to make sure that we were buying businesses with similar values to us so they would integrate well. Then we cross-sold a broad range of services to these new customers,” he added.

Having got their feet well and truly under the CDS table the tireless Simons are now proactively looking into ways to augment the service offering there and interested in talking to other owner-managed companies in the fire compliance sector looking for their next move.

Electrical Fire Safety Week raises awareness of role appliances play in lethal blazes

It’s Electrical Fire Safety Week from November 23 and residential landlords and business owners are being reminded of the importance of carrying out fire risk assessments and ensuring they have compliant up-to-date fire monitoring systems in place.

A joint initiative by the Home Office’s Fire Kills campaign and national electrical safety charity, Electrical Safety First, the week highlights the dangers posed by using faulty electrical appliances and overloading sockets.

Around 4,000 blazes every year are caused by electrical issues, according to the Home Office, with 215 people dying in house fires between June 2018 and June 2019.

Electrical Safety First, the campaigning name for the Electrical Safety Council, says more than half of all accidental house fires have an electrical cause at their root, with nine out of ten electrical fires caused by appliances.

It has created a number of online tools aimed at helping householders avoid devastating fires in their homes – such as a socket calculator, a product recall checker and a ‘Check It Out‘ plug-in enabling buyers to identify whether products are being sold by third parties rather than legitimate suppliers.

As well as ensuring the fires don’t happen in the first place, fire detection and life safety specialist CDS stresses the importance of installing and maintaining fire monitoring technology such as smoke alarms, sprinklers and remote 4G and 3G early warning monitoring systems.

The government’s Fire Kills campaign says householders are more than eight times more likely to die in a fire if they don’t have a correctly positioned, working smoke alarm.

CDS has been providing expert fire safety advice – from fire risk assessments, to specifying, monitoring and maintaining all aspects of a fire safety system – for more than 30 years to social housing providers, councils, police authorities, hospitals, care homes, universities, factories, warehouses and airports.

Young footballers proudly display their new CDS sponsored kit

A team of young Leicestershire footballers will be proudly displaying their new kit this autumn – thanks to a sponsorship deal with fire detection and life safety specialist CDS.

The Fleckney Athletic under 11s’ nifty footwork is sure to be enhanced by the new shirts which are emblazoned with the CDS logo.

The stylish tops are part of a two-year deal with the Narborough-based business which has been helping staff and visitors to councils, 999 services, universities, schools, hospitals and health centres across the East Midlands stay safe for more than 30 years.

The agreement also sees CDS fund new equipment such as balls, cones and annual player awards, and helps pay for camps and tournaments.

The inspiration for the sponsorship came from CDS sales manager Paul Flude, whose sons play for two of the Fleckney Athletic teams – one in the under 11s. Indeed, Paul himself is now a coach for the under 9s team and has completed his level 1 coaching with Harborough Town FC, which also includes first aid training and safeguarding for children.

“My boys have been playing with Fleckney Athletic since they were six. That’s when I decided I’d love to get involved. I used to play rugby but I’ve now broadened my experience and took an FA coaching course. As well as helping my sons I hope I’ve been useful in enabling plenty of other children to hone their skills on the football field.

“I wanted to do more to help the team – and thought that encouraging CDS to sponsor their new kit was a practical way of encouraging the youngsters. In these days of so many children spending huge amounts of time playing on computers and watching TV it’s great to encourage some good old-fashioned physical activity. This not only gets them moving, but also gets them into the great outdoors. It’s good for their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. And that’s something we definitely want to encourage.

“The club has been amazing for the children. Both my kids have been flag bearers for Leicester City Football Club and the whole under 9s team walked out with the LCFC squad. These are great memories for the team.

“The nature of our company is to keep people safe. Well, safety doesn’t just mean protecting people from bad things, like fires. It also means taking positive, proactive steps towards ensuring people are as fit and well as they can be. So we hope our small contribution will play a part in helping achieve this goal.”