On 11th December 2005 a massive explosion took place at the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot near to junction 8 of the M1 by Hemel Hempstead. The subsequent fire, detonated from the enormous blast, engulfed much of the site in flames.

Luckily no one was killed during the incident but many were injured.

The event had a drastic effect on local businesses; as many as 80 buildings on the surrounding industrial estate were damaged and the area was cordoned off as fires raged for days after. Companies from a range of business sectors saw their offices totally burnt out with six buildings having to be demolished and many others requiring repairs before they could be reoccupied.

Over the days and weeks that followed, companies affected by the catastrophe experienced a dramatic test of their business continuity models. Major corporations Fujifilm and Northgate Information Solutions were two of the worst casualties of the event. The office buildings of both companies, located near to the Depot, were so extensively damaged that they were later pulled down. Due to a solid emergency relief plan both Fujifilm and Northgate were up and running fairly quickly, other businesses on the estate, however, did not bounce back so fast.

Each year an untold number of companies across the country are affected by internal, local and regional disasters. Causes can range from large-scale catastrophes like flooding and fire to localised and internal building issues, with offices being evacuated because of a local gas leak or a broken water line for example.

When businesses face an evacuation of their offices it is crucial that management and staff have a place to go where meetings can be held and a phone line and internet connection set up as quickly as possible.

In a disaster recovery situation serviced offices offer an immediate occupancy solution that can provide temporary accommodation for businesses while they wait to return to their home of business. The ease of a serviced office licence, which requires minimal legal involvement, allows companies to move into a new office more or less immediately, signing up for a flexible contract to tide them over.

Each year Easy Offices helps businesses in a Disaster Recovery situation to find temporary serviced office space. If your company is dealing with Disaster Recovery call 01932 834 720 for more information on serviced offices in your local area.

3 Responses to The Buncefield Fire: Serviced Offices and Disaster Recovery
  1. Sydney Serviced Offices 13th December 2011 at 7:33 pm Reply

    It is awful when disasters like this occur. Great post though. Serviced offices are very helpful in these unfortunate and unplanned situations.

  2. Hi,

    I am looking for some information regarding emergency office space. I would

    like to get some information with regards to pricing for 10 and for 50 staff.

    I would be grateful if you could provide me with information regarding some

    other concerns listed below:

    • Internet speed, bandwidth, usage policy and any other terms that may be in

    their contract
    • Network infrastructure i.e. wall ports, routers, security (is the network

    shared with others)
    • Telephone system i.e. wall ports, available lines, handsets and usage

    charges
    • Printers i.e. are printers provided, cost per print, can additional

    printers be installed by Linde?
    • Office equipment i.e. what equipment is provided, can additional chairs and

    desks be acquired and at what cost?
    • Ventilation may be a concern if servers running at the new office location.

    If there is no air-conditioning on-site, check to see if a temporary solution

    be put in place.

    Kind regards,

    Dan Jarrett

    • Hi Dan.

      I take it you are building a Disaster Recovery Plan?

      If you want to give us a call we can give you an idea of prices, office locations and all the other information you are asking for in as well as explaining timescales etc.


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