Tuesday, 5 February 2013


This week we shall discuss a subject that is not taken seriously by many employers in  both the developed and developing economies, to their pain. The subject of Background Check for employees is critical to the prevention of fraud, workplace violence, sexual harassment,  etc.  Yet it is overlooked by many, either out of ignorance or in considerations of costs.

A couple of months ago in the USA, a company driver that had been indicted for misusing company vehicle and had been informed he would face a Disciplinary Committee, arrived at the hearing armed with a gun which he hid out of sight. When the hearing progressed, and he saw he was going to be sacked, he excused himself to use the toilet and used the opportunity to pick his gun from where he had hidden it. On getting back inside, he shot at members of the panel. Police check later revealed that the man had a history of violence and had been jailed once.  A simple background check would have singled him out as someone to be watched closely, if employed at all.

Money spent on background check of new employees is money wisely spent. It could save money on litigation by families of victims of workplace violence, and prevent fraud by keeping away people with troubled financial backgrounds.

Background Check,  or Vetting as it is sometimes called, involves confirming bio-data elements as supplied by a potential employee (or current employee in the case of re- vetting). These elements include Date and Place of Birth, family background, schools attended and period of attendance, qualifications obtained, employment history,  financial stability, neighborhood  history, criminal records checks, places frequented, companies kept, and confirmation of referees, among others. Together, these elements give the Whole Person picture of the subject.

It is generally agreed that most CVs contain at least one false item. Whether this false item is critical will depend on what role the potential employee is being considered for. The result of a background check will determine whether an employee should be given a position of  trust, or whether an already employed person should continue to occupy a position of trust.

Rather than forgo background check altogether, we would recommend a limited check. A limited check could (depending on the area of concern to the employer) be schools attended and qualifications obtained, criminal records check,  confirmation of referees ( to ensure they are not fake and that they are willing to stand as guarantors)

In conclusion,  employees should consider what risks they run ( of loss through fraud and internal theft, of litigation,  workplace violence, loss of integrity,  low morale among the workforce,  etc) when they overlook background checks, instead of what costs they incur when they do. A stitch in time could save nine.

Background checks( Limited or Whole Person) is one of the specialties of DSL
. And you can encourage more of such information by liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter.

Ostar Christopher, CPP, CFE, CAS, PFSO, CSO, SSO, FNIIS, FIIPS. BA, MA, MSc
Chief Executive Officer
+234 809 944  3271
+234 802 222   1738

Image: www.great-lakes-safety.com

Copyright 2013

Monday, 28 January 2013

A Deadly Fire Razes a Club in Santa Maria, Brazil & Kills Over 200 People:


The CNN reported that a fire razed a club in Santa Maria, Brazil, in the early hours of 27th January, 2013, killing hundreds of people.

This incident calls to question some safety measures in place in most public places. In this instance, a place that is parked with over 2,000 people  cannot be a club, properly so called. That kind of crowd is fit for an outdoor event, not a closed space.  What kind of exits exist in such a crowded enclosure? I dare say they were not adequate. Do the doors open out, or in(as in many places I have been to )? Why would the guards initially prevent people from escaping from the inferno? It might be because there were either no fire alarms, or they were not audible enough to have been heard by the guards at the gates. Pyrotechnics in such a place, with all that crowd? This beats me. 

Safety Measures for such a place: 

1. For a space that is built to accommodate as many as 1,000 people at a time, there should be numerous Fire/Emergency exits.
2. Emergency Exits should be clearly marked or identified as such using either lettering and/or the traditional picture of a running man.
3. Emergency Lights must be installed and should be functional at all times to direct people to the exits should power supply fail.
4. At the start of the event( and occasionally during the show), the attention of the audience must be drawn to the positions of the emergency exits.
5. Emergency doors should be integrated with the fire alarm systems to fail safe( open on their own) once the alarm goes off.
6. The doors should open outwards, and not inwards. If they open inwards, the surge of the crowd will push against it and jam it close.
7. It goes without saying that the exits should not be blocked by any objects as is often the case, especially if there has been no recorded fire incidents in recent times. The emergency exits should never be locked as a Security measure.
8. Regular fire drills are necessary to keep the people aware that fires could occur, get them to know what to do when they occur, and test the fidelity and integrity of installed fire detection and suppression systems.
9. For a place that holds such a large number of people at a time, it will be good practice to have the fire alarms enunciate both locally, and at the nearest Fire Station for quick response.
10. Where (9)above is not possible, it is good practice to have a fire engine and an ambulance with paramedics standing by for the duration of the event.
11. As kids, we were thought not to play with fire. As adults, we do this regularly, calling it pyrotechnics. When we so decide to tempt the devil, we should at least remove inflammable materials like fabric that could easily catch fire.
12. If caught up in such a situation as the Santa Maria club inferno, look for the nearest exit, 'bearing in mind that the nearest exit could be behind you', as they say in aircraft safety talk. Ideally, you should have identified the exits before settling down.
13. On the ground and first floors, the nearest emergency 'exit' could be a window without burglar bars. Smash it and leave through it. Avoid the herd mentality that makes people all head for the door they came in through in such an emergency.
14. If the smoke is too thick, use the wall to guide you to the exit. 
15. The smoke might be lighter near the floor, but do not attempt to crawl as you might be trampled upon. 
16. A wet handkerchief held over the mouth and nose might filter out some of the smoke and prevent, or at least delay, the risk of asphyxiation which was a major cause of death in this tragic incident.
17. Once safely outside, go as far as possible from the crowd and the fire to catch your breath. Gathering at the Muster Points are not useful now since no one would take a roll call, and the possibility re-entry is very remote.

We sympathies with the government and people of Brazil, especially those who lost loved ones in this inferno. But like all such Security and Safety incidents, it should offer an opportunity to reassess the Safety(and Security) measures in place at this pace and other such public places. There might, for instance, be need to put a ceiling on how many people a club can take in at any given time. As we said at the beginning of this piece,  a place that holds as many as 2.000 people cannot be a club, properly so called.
 Please encourage more of such information by liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter.

Ostar Christopher, CPP, CFE, CAS, PFSO, CSO, SSO, FNIIS, FIIPS. BA, MA, MSc
Chief Executive Officer
+234 809 944  3271
+234 802 222   1738

Image: www.guardian.co.uk

Copyright 2013

Monday, 14 January 2013


Ostar Christopher Earns CFE Credential

Austin, TX – October 19, 2012— The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and leading provider of anti-fraud training and education, is pleased to award Ostar Christopher, of Lagos, Nigeria, the globally preferred Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential. In order to become a CFE, Christopher has met a stringent set of criteria and passed a rigorous exam administered by the ACFE.

Christopher has successfully met the ACFE’s character, experience and education requirements for the CFE credential, and has demonstrated knowledge in four areas critical to the fight against fraud: Fraudulent Financial Transactions, Fraud Prevention and Deterrence, Legal Elements of Fraud and Fraud Investigation.

Christopher joins the ranks of business and government professionals worldwide who have also earned the CFE certification. Christopher is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Darforp Security Limited in Lagos, Nigeria.

CFEs have the ability to: examine data and records to detect and trace fraudulent transactions; interview suspects to obtain information and confessions; write investigation reports; advise clients as to their findings; testify at trial; understand the law as it relates to fraud and fraud investigations; and identify the underlying factors that motivate individuals to commit fraud. CFEs on six continents have investigated more than 1 million suspected cases of civil and criminal fraud. 

About the ACFE
The ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. Together with nearly 55,000 members, the ACFE is reducing business fraud world-wide and inspiring public confidence in the integrity and objectivity within the profession. Identified as “the premier financial sleuthing organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the ACFE has captured national and international media attention. For more information about the ACFE visit ACFE.com.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013


In order to find some security, people are increasingly avoiding stand alone accommodations and moving into gated estates.  This has obvious security advantages. First, the gates offer opportunity for proper access control. Second,  the chances of a particular house being chosen for an attack are small (security  in number). And third, Neighborhood  Response (intervention) is easy to raise in the event of an attack.

Whether the estate is large or small,  best practice  security is to deploy multi-layered, integrated security solutions to give residents the peace of mind to sleep with both eyes closed. The following are a number of mutually reinforcing security solutions to consider in the protection of residential estates:

Perimeter fence: minimum of 7ft and topped with concertina wire or good spikes. The would-be intruder should at least do some work before gaining access.

Keep away ladders, blocks, and other objects that could aid an intruder in scaling the walls.

Proper lighting on both the inner and outer sides of the walls  removes dark spots where criminals could hide.

Infra-red intrusion alarms  that enunciate in a Control Room when an attempt is made to breach the perimeter security in any way.

Access Control - manual, and electronic where possible.

Trained man guards to ensure the human interface with electronic security

CCTV surveillance cameras intelligently deployed, will cover security blind spots and gaps when human intervention fails for whatever reason.

Central Monitoring Station: remote monitoring of alarms and CCTV cameras is done from here 24/7.

Armed Response Team: Except there is an intervention team to respond to distress calls and alarm situations, all the monies spent on electronic security is as good as wasted.

Manual/Virtual Patrols:  Every system is as good as the men that man it. The best electronic security system that has no one to monitor it ( say, from a Control Room) is useless. In the same vein, a system that is supported  by poorly-motivated, untrained man guards is not going to give the expected results. A good camera might capture a thief attempting to breach security, but it cannot stop or arrest him. Some interventionist force ( e.g, a human being or a guard dog) has to do this.

Again, the above is meant to be a guide. Obviously, funds are going to be a major determinant of what is deployed. Good professional advice is able to determine the optimum mix of the human and electronic elements of the desired deployment.

DSL Management has been in the business of deploying and managing these solutions for over 23 years.

Please encourage these series by liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter

Here is wishing us all a crime- free 2013.

Ostar Christopher, CPP, CFE, CAS, PFSO, CSO, SSO, FNIIS, FIIPS. BA, MA, MSc
Chief Executive Officer
+234 809 944  3271
+234 802 222   1738

Image: www.sites.google.com

Copyright 2013

Monday, 10 December 2012


Christmas is here again, with its peculiar Security problems. So it is natural we should launch this weekly Darforp Security Blog with Security Tips for the season.

In many parts of the world, the rate of crime increases just before Christmas. Part of the reason for this is the quest by criminals for money to spend during the season on travels, entertainment etc, and the fact that money is easily available on people and in homes as people stock up.

In Nigeria, as in many parts of the world, people take advantage of the holidays to travel to the countryside to visit with family and friends. This may mean having no one at the town house for the period. We, therefore, have to take measures to safeguard the empty house, have a safe journey to and fro the countryside, and stay safe while away.

A.    The Town House:
if no one is staying behind here,
·         Ensure the windows and doors are locked. We assume the windows, especially the ones on the ground and first floors have good burglar-proof protection.

·         Draw the curtains close.

·         Leave all Security lights, and at least one light point inside the house, on. This is to make believe that there is someone in the house.

·         Keep travel plans closely guarded. Not everyone (even among your friends) has the Need To Know this.

·         Lock away ladders and any such items that will aid intruders scale the wall.

·         Arm the intrusion alarms, and have the CCTV systems record on motion-activated mode, if electronic systems are installed.

·         Have the local police and/or a trusted neighbor keep an eye on the house while you are away

B.      On the Road:
·         Only road-worthy vehicles with correct and current particulars should be put on the road. This prevents avoidable delays with the police and mechanic.

·         Leave early enough to avoid doing the last lap of the journey at night. This allows time to deal with unexpected hiccups.

·         Keep valuable locked away in the vehicle trunk.

·         Keep doors locked and windows wound up enough to stop a hand being trust into the car from outside, in slow moving traffic.

·         Maintain the approved speed limit.

·         Have someone (like the trusted neighbor looking after your house) manage the journey for you. Agree on points from where you should call to report progress. If they do not hear from you, they should call you. Likewise, if you have unexpected problems, report to them while finding a solution.

·         Do not offer lift to strangers. You could be overpowered on the way and disposed of valuables, including your car.

·         If traveling in a commercial vehicle, do not accept food or drink from strangers. They could be drugged.

·         Keep an eye on your luggage while your commercial vehicle is dropping off passengers. Your luggage could be switched.

·         Drive on the inner or middle lane if in a slow-moving traffic. Hoodlums operate easily and freely from the side nearest the side or service lane.

·         Do not economize on gas. Better to have a full tank at the end of the journey than to have an empty one in the middle of nowhere, especially with night approaching.

C.    The Countryside:
·         Maintain low profile. Flaunting wealth and opulence naturally attracts criminals to you

·         Get the threat analysis from those who stay in the place. The current or prevailing crime profile should be a good guide.

·         Avoid isolated spots. Do not move alone. There is strength in numbers.

·         Avoid keeping late nights.

·         Let someone know where you are at all times.

·         Know who your true friends are.

The above list is not exhaustive. It is supposed to be a guide. Should you need a quick advice on any Security issue, call our Helpline: +234 0802 222 1738.
Merry Christmas.

Darforp SecurityGroup
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