THE MAGAZINE

High-Rise Security and Fire Life Safety, Second Edition.

By Gina Arbeau, CPO

High-Rise Security and Fire Life Safety, Second Edition. By Geoff Craighead, CPP; published by Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann; available from ASIS, Item #1485, 703/519-6200 (phone), www.asisonline.org (Web); 496 pages; $80 (ASIS members), $88 (nonmembers).

Highly acclaimed in its first edition, the update of Geoff Craighead's High-Rise Security and Fire Life Safety manages to outdo the original. The thoroughly referenced work picks up where the last edition left off, detailing advances in practices and technology as well as discussing the impact of the destruction of the Twin Towers. It's destined to be a bible to building security professionals, an in-depth overview for other security professionals, and an engaging read for laypersons.

Craighead's narrative is often fascinating, as when he compares the longevity of buildings of the past to the skyscrapers of today--the latter having been built with potential disasters much more in mind. Numerous references enlighten the reader on code requirements and best practices. Besides the well-known National Fire Protection Association, Craighead invokes the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers as well as Berkeley Laboratories, both of which provide advice on biological and chemical emergencies.

Plentiful visuals further enrich the text, including diagrams of floor layouts and evacuation routes, photos of audiovisual signaling strobes and various types of fire extinguishers, and an illustration of a typical package generator for backup power. Charts, tables, and other graphics are also found throughout.

The work is both thorough and broad in scope. At times, some of this breadth might be considered excessive, however. For example, in chapter eight, Craighead speaks to "managing the security function," which security managers would likely find beyond the scope of this book. On balance, however, the extra breadth is more helpful than not, as when Craighead provides up-to-date information on smart cards and biometric ID systems--the future of access control.

This exceptional guide to the industry thoroughly addresses all relevant areas of security and life safety for high-rise buildings, exactly as the title promises. In addition, the writing is clear, concise, and cogent.


Reviewer: Gina Arbeau, CPO (Certified Protection Officer), CSS (Certified Security Supervisor), is human resources manager for Group 4 Falck and former coordinator of security and life safety for Gulf Canada Square, a 22-story Class A multitenant office building in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is a member of ASIS International.

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