Besides the rapid change of increasing mechanization and new trends, increased networking, interaction and convergence of systems, we need to look further - identify causes and trends which let us develop intelligent systems that intervene before the actual event appears, early and proactively. We have to deal with social and political trends in order to face with sophisticated systems that can help to guard the social life and make it easier.
We have to go for a 5 "S"-Strategy: Safety + Security + Services = Smart Solutions.
In cities and built-up areas (airports, stadiums, railway stations or congress centres) you find more and more crowds with extreme large numbers of people. The current static concept of evacuation needs to be replaced by an intelligent dynamic safety systems where the single units interact with each other. Such a: Smart Evacuation System adapt to the hazard on hand and can control the evacuation process.
Europe needs a safety alarm system to alert people in case of natural disasters or terrorist attacks. There is no pan-European system that alerts the population in imminent danger. We focus on alerting the general public with an alarm system that has a wake up effect, for example a smoke detector with an integrated radio chip. The course must be set in policy with a uniform installation requirement to establish smoke detectors in private houses and apartments.
The demographic development let the resources of young people shrink. There are less people who can take care of the older population. The elderly population needs to get the possibility for a longer independently life in their own four walls. For this we need technologies like smart life safety systems (for example Ambient Assisted Living [AAL]).
The convergence and consolidation of the system is where we see new and different approaches to business models that determine how to achieve cost reduction, productivity increase, improved core competencies and better economies of scale. We have already seen similar trends in industries such as information and communication technology, or ICT, cellular/mobile telephony and consumer electronics. The issues of safety and security are no longer clearly separable. In the future, a convergence of systems is necessary to allow a comprehensive security through proactive intelligent systems. The "dual use" of the systems is increasingly coming to the fore. The systems are more flexible and increases the gain in safety by multiple functions. To make all these chances and opportunities more than a vision, the circle must be closed with technical recognition by standardization.
Michael von Foerster
Vice President Euralarm & Chairman Fire Section