New technologies and standards for services will transform fire safety and security forever

The Euralarm Symposium 2017, which took place in London and supported by the British Security Industry Association and the Fire Industry Association, made a clear point that fire safety and security will be transformed by services standards and related developments in digital services.

The Euralarm Symposium 2017 brought together nearly a hundred electronic fire safety and security experts and representatives from the Industry. The Symposium this year was a two-part event, a first session focusing on the new European service standard EN 16763 and the second on the Fire and Security digital market.

Opening the first session, Lance Rütimann from the Swiss Association of Installers of Safety and Security Systems, presented the new service standard for fire and security services EN 16763, which he contributed to develop. He informed the attendees that the newly published standard creates a level playing field for all providers of services for the fire safety and electronic security markets with the same set of rules for all – from planning through to maintenance”. He also made clear that this quality standard cannot be viewed as a standalone and requires that a company fulfills requirements such as a management system and expertise in the respective application guidelines. 

Mike Snelling, a Facility Manager at Hilson Moran, provided the perspective of the end-user, explaining that the requirements of the standard will help with the evaluation and improvement of system operation with challenges such as false alarms through good record keeping.It has the potential to ensure that service providers have the right knowledge and adequate skills to manage and execute their tasks correctly. 

John Battersby, Managing Director at Sunfish services, an installer of fire solutions, praised the trust that the standard created between the service provider and his client. 

Finally, in a presentation that was particularly appreciated by the audience, Alex Carmichael, Chief Executive, Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board, while providing his perspective as a certifier, predicted that CCTV and access control will probably be early adopters of the standard. 

In the second session, Rolf Sigg, a security consultant, explained that the digitalisation of services will cause major changes in the fire and security industry with new service offerings. New entrants into the market from the ICT Industry will increase competition. To adapt, he suggests that the industry adjusts and builds up its ICT skills within its workforce, integrates remote service centres and adjusts structure and processes. 

In the same session, Bob Bantock, overseeing heritage fire safety for the UK’s National Trust, told the story of how he successfully switched to digital services after experiencing the limits of conventional approaches that became apparent after a fire incident that devastated the Clandon Park property. The presentation clearly outlined how clients will manage and monitor their service providers, down to the service technician. 

Finally, Rob King from Kings Security, showed how his Britain-based company transitioned towards digital services and conveyed his experience with the handling of vast amounts of data, the management of new cyber threats and the necessary retraining of the workforce. The summary message is that digitalisation is about changing the playing field between manufacturers, providers of services and clients. The fire safety and electronic security industry is advised to work actively on this new future.

Download all presentations given during the Euralarm Symposium 2017.

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