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?Security ? Safety - Procurement ? Common Sense? Is this an oxymoron?

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  • ?Security ? Safety - Procurement ? Common Sense? Is this an oxymoron?

    In a previous posting, battery impedance was discussed. It has once again reared its ugly head.
    On one of my most recent security surveys I had the occasion to see procurement working against security in the strangest of ways. Security and safety teamed up to ensure carbon monoxide, smoke and fire detectors were installed and working properly.
    Since it was a large detector buy, procurement had the task of buying battery operated devices. Why they used battery operated devices and notification to data gathering panels will not be discussed in this monograph.
    Sensors were ordered, installed and within several months a wholesale failure. I arrived within a week of the event. Finger pointing was in the extreme.
    The most obvious question to ask, in lieu of the wholesale failure, was what kind of power source selection? Since all the devices were powered by 9-volt batteries, procurement had ordered only one kind of battery. Apparently the way this contract was written, the vendor would provide only the devices. The buyer would furnish power sources.
    I asked the security and safety representatives to make an appointment with procurement as soon as possible.
    I asked why they had ordered only one kind of battery to power all devices. The answer floored me. ?Mr. Warnock, I?m not your average idiot (his exact words), all 9-volt batteries are the same. We have complained about the detectors we received a very unsatisfactory answer. The manufacturer?s representative had the gall (exact word) to tell me we had not read the preamble of the delivery order or the directions that came with each type of detector. He said detectors required specific type of batteries.?
    I asked to see the paperwork submitted by his office and the preamble with the delivery order.
    ?Sir, I said, it states the battery requirement for each type of device in order to preclude an impedance mismatch. This is only common sense.?
    He bitingly responded, ?I?ve wasted my time with these people (safety and security) the manufacturer just wants to help his friends in the battery industry and it was the firm?s intention to seek a legal remedy. Good-day to you gentlemen.?
    We borrowed the paperwork and got an appointment with the legal officer. She listened patiently to our story, read the paperwork and exploded. She asked us to please wait in the outer office while she made a couple of phone calls.
    Upshot? Procurement?s budget will be reduced to defray the expense of purchasing the correct power sources.
    I continued my survey, returned home and finished my report still shaking my head.

    Lessons learned: Security managers should work closely with procurement and other divisions to assure they are all on the same sheet of music. We all must read all the paperwork and react accordingly. The uncoordinated actions of one division or element had costly repercussions not to mention the missions of both security and safety were, for a time, compromised, a time which could have spelled disaster. This was not a case of ignorance but one of arrogance and stupidity.
    ?Security ? Safety - Procurement ? Common Sense? Is this an oxymoron?
    Enjoy the day,

  • #2
    Like they say: "Common sense isn't so common."
    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mr. Security
      Like they say: "Common sense isn't so common."
      Ahhh, one of my favorite sayings.