Following a fire in Holborn on 1 April Imperial House, 15 Kingsway was one of the buildings that was affected and our offices had to be evacuated. There were dramatic scenes of smoke billowing from manhole covers as people made their way towards Aldwych.
As we have regular fire drills our staff knew what to do, calmly and without fuss. However, it quickly became apparent that this was no dress rehearsal. Ian Davies, the partner in charge of facilities in the London office took over and implemented our business continuity plan along with designated members of his team.
The key elements of personal safety, communication and business continuity are addressed in the plan. By working with internal line managers, our HR and marketing teams and our IT support providers at Taylor Made, we ensured that disruption was kept to the very minimum.
Over the Easter break the Fire Brigade worked hard to identify the cause and source of the fire, which was finally extinguished on Good Friday. They then had to assess the extent of the damage before allowing access to the building, at one point carbon monoxide levels in Imperial House were twice the permitted level.
However we are delighted to report that we were allowed access to the London office on Tuesday 7 April, which was ahead of our expectations. The road still remains closed to traffic and visitors to our office from Holborn station should be aware that there are diversions in place. If you are coming to our office please visit our website or phone our reception team on 020 7240 9971 for an update.
Ian Davies commented ‘Our business continuity plan was drafted many years ago and we revisit it regularly to make sure it still meets our needs. As part of this process 12 months ago we took the decision to move our servers to a hosted environment and this has proven to be one of the best decisions that we made as our IT systems are unaffected by any localised incidents.’
Ian Gibbon, Chairman of Alliotts summarised ‘The speed at which everyone here adapted to the change in circumstances and did their upmost to ensure that our clients did not suffer has been exceptional and we are grateful to our clients for their understanding of the difficult situation.’
He added, ‘This event also demonstrates the importance in life of planning for the ‘what if’ scenario.’
If you would like to know more about what our business continuity planning included, please contact us and speak to your dedicated partner contact.