At the recent meeting of CEN/TC72, held in Paris in October, it was clear that there has been some progress with regard to the backlog of standards that have build up as a result of the long standing Annex ZA / EoC issue. The work conducted by the special task group, which was set up in October 2009 in order to resolve this issue, has been completed and has been agreed by the key stakeholders, including the task group, the CEN Consultant and CEN/TC72 itself. This work has provided a 'template' for these two key elements of the EN 54 series of standards, which have now been forwarded to all other working group convenors. This is particularly relevant to those that have pending items in the queue of either new or revised standards that are awaiting publication, including: - EN 54-2, EN 54-4, EN 54-5, EN 54-7, EN 54-10, EN 54-11, EN 54-12, EN 54-22, EN 54-26, EN 54-27, EN 54-29, EN 54-30 etc.
While this is a significant step in process to close out the Annex ZA / EoC issue once and for all, it is important to note that the basis for the template is EN 54-23, a relatively straightforward standard when compared with several others in the EN 54-54 family, especially those with so called "options with requirements", such as EN 54-2. As yet it is unclear if one of these more complex documents with the new form of Annex ZA / EoC, will satisfy the strict requirements of CEN or if further changes will be required.
An important aspect of European legislation that will have an influence on the way services are offered throughout Europe is the European Service Directive ( ESD ). While the mandate of CEN/TC72 is to provide product standards, it is clear that there will shortly be a new body created to deal with service standards. Euralarm have already restructured in order to support the development of this legislation with the creation of the Service Section; the aim being to provide one European voice for the fire and security industry. It is therefore important to report that the work in CEN/TC72 to update TS 54-14, with the hope of providing pan European guidelines for the planning, design, installation, commissioning, use and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems, has reached the point where each country must review the draft and provide comments. Euralarm, while always supporting the objective of having a pan European document, have highlighted a significant flaw in the current draft. The idea was to create a 'framework' standard, which would reference national standards for all of the areas of divergence e.g. detector spacing. However, the flaw is that the current draft does not contain a 'default' position, hence, should a country not have a national guideline for say detector spacing, then there would either be a gap or they would be forced to create a guideline of their own: This would suggest a proliferation of national guidelines rather than a consolidation, which was the original aim. The view at present is that while the current draft has been submitted to CEN, it is expected to get a very negative reception as it does not address the need for a pan European standard adequately.
As ever, Euralarm remains committed to open high quality standardisation; not only in the traditional arena of product standards, but as noted above, with a strong and growing commitment in support of the new and exciting area surrounding the development of service standards.
Stewart Forbes, AirSense Technology.
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- May 2011 - Special edition
- December 2010
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- Success for Euralarm ! - Positive Voting for the creation of a new CEN-CENELEC Joint Project Committee (JPC) CEN/CLC/TC 4 for an EN-Standard
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- Update on CENELEC / IEC TC79 - Standardisation
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- October 2010 - Special edition
- July 2010