US trial puts shopping centres in the spotlight

Date: 23 February 2015
Source: Wrightstyle
Wrightstyle is a specialist steel and aluminium glazing company and supplies its fire-rated systems internationally.

In light of heightened security worries, Jane Embury, the company’s marketing director, looks at safety for the retail sector.  The retail sector has changed out of all recognition, with large shopping centres becoming mixed-use destinations offering everything you could possibly want to buy, eat, drink, or be entertained by. And that makes them extremely attractive places for another kind of visitor and although, mercifully, the UK has not experienced a terrorist attack in a shopping centre, the 2013 assault on the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi – which killed 67 and injured 175 others – is a stark reminder that an ideal target for the terrorist is a crowded place.

It hasn’t been for want of trying. In 2004, Operation Crevice disrupted a plot to detonate explosives at, among other targets, the Bluewater shopping centre near Dartford, Kent. Currently, an alleged Al Qaeda bomber is on trial in New York charged with plotting to bomb a Manchester shopping centre.

In November 2014, to coincide with Britain’s counter terrorism week, police forces in the West Midlands, Liverpool and Manchester – and others – warned of the risks to shopping centres. In August, the UK raised its threat level from substantial to severe, the second highest level.

Also last November, Home Secretary Theresa May said that terrorists have sought to kill thousands in around 40 plots targeting Britain since the July 7 attacks on London nearly ten years ago. She also added that in a speech in central London, that more than 750 people have been arrested for terrorism-related offences since April 2010, with 212 charged and 148 successfully prosecuted.

In May last year, the Home Affairs Select Committee said that police should contact every shopping centre with guidance from the British Council of Shopping Centres, including a requirement for shops to have a security plan and to test it. The Council produced the guide in partnership with the National Counter Terrorism Security Office.

But it’s not just about vigilance and having a fast response to any attack. It’s about having both passive and active measures in place to contain an explosive incident.

We’ve supplied our systems worldwide, most recently for retail and leisure regeneration schemes in Hong Kong and Beirut. Our glazing systems are primarily, of course, to protect against fire and smoke.

But we’ve also tested one of our glazed assemblies against a lorry bomb, generally agreed to be some 500-kg of TNT explosive. We also then tested the same assembly against a car bomb - both tests were successful.

You can watch videos of our systems being tested against car bomb, lorry bomb and ballistic attack from our website.

The importance of those tests is that glass fragments kill more people in an attack in an urban area than the explosion itself. Keeping the glass intact in its framing system is a potential life-saver.

The aesthetic advantages of glass are obvious, and how glass can transform the ambience and functionality of interior space is now well understood. The challenge for us is to now keep pace with architectural evolution – from providing unrivalled performance against fire, or acoustic and weather performance, to combating terrorist attack.

That last challenge is perhaps the biggest one that we’ve successfully met, underlining our system’s performance against explosive risks. In today’s uncertain world, designing in safety has become an integral part of retail therapy because, as we now know, there are people out there who would do us harm.

www.wrightstyle.co.uk

Ends

For further information please contact:

Jane Embury, Wrightstyle (for general media enquiries)

+44 (0) 1380 722 239

jane.embury@wrightstyle.co.uk

Charlie Laidlaw, David Gray PR +44 (0) 1620 844 736 or (mobile) +44 (0) 7890 396518

charlie@davidgraypr.com

600450 US trial puts shopping centres in the spotlight glassonweb.com

Others also read

CGH to exhibit architectural glass solutions at GlassBuild America
CGH will be joined in booth #751 by J.E. Berkowitz (JEB), Dlubak Specialty Glass, Global Security Glazing, Solar Seal, and Columbia Commercial Building Products.
Technal specified for University Healthcare Building
Working with BAM Construction North East and Glasshus, Technal supplied its MX Visible Grid curtain walling, PY 55 doors and FY 65 windows to the project, specified due to their versatility and aesthetic qualities.
ClearVue receives AS 2047 accreditation allowing for sale of its high-tech solar window in Australia
Smart building material company ClearVue Technologies Limited is pleased to announce it has now taken the next step on its commercialisation path, confirming certification of its solar window technology to Australian Standard AS 2047 (refer to ASX
Announcement of 4 June 2018).
Donau City Tower 1
Designed by Dominique Perrault, Tower 1 of the Donau City (DC) Towers project is a prominent building across the Vienna skyline and is the highest skyscraper in Austria.
Entering an Era of Elegance
No 1 New Oxford Street – formerly known as Commonwealth House – now has an entrance which echoes its proud heritage, combining sleek elegant aesthetics with modern convenience.
Diamonds are forever at new Crossrail station
Artwork doesn’t usually measure over 50 metres long and weigh several tonnes, but that’s the challenge that Wrightstyle has to overcome as it completes work on Farringdon station on London’s Crossrail project.

From industry

Add new comment