Fire Buyer catches up exclusively with the new President for Euralarm, Jon Könz to find out what experience he brings to the role
As the new President of Euralarm, do you have any goals for the association?
Certainly, we have goals that we set a few years ago and these are still valid. These are:
- Developing a strong Single Market and expanding global markets for products
- Raising training and qualification standards for industry professionals
- Turning emerging technologies into sustainable solutions
- Advancing knowledge and innovation.
So, the goals are not necessarily new, but the focus elements have changed.
We have had to adapt to two major external factors touching us and the industry. The pandemic as well as the European Commission’s Green Deal goals for sustainability. These have certainly brought us to change some of our priorities.
What experience do you bring to the role?
I bring 19 years of experience in the security industry and 8 years in fire and building automation. Most of these years were in international management, driving solutions and services businesses strategically and operationally, which I think is particularly important to drive Euralarm forward. I have also been in quite a few Boards in the past, so I think I understand the role and what I bring to the table.
Recently, Kidde Fire Protection joined Euralarm’s Extinguishing Section. What are the different sections and how do they impact your members?
We have 4 sections: Fire, Extinguishing, Security and Services. Each of the four sections is responsible for establishing and maintaining liaisons and participating actively in standardisation groups as well as closely monitoring technological developments, regulations, and standards. By staying abreast of standards, Euralarm sections inform their members of both national and EU level changes and advocacy activities. By monitoring the technical and political trends, the sections can provide guidance and influence their development. We work with numerous stakeholders throughout Europe to address today’s and tomorrow’s challenges for fire safety and security. Some members belong to more than one section, others are in a specific field and are members of that section.
What opportunities and challenges do the growing number of standards for the fire and safety industry bring?
The challenge is finding the specialists in all the fields especially newer fields such as Cybersecurity or artificial intelligence. While we have a lot of specialists in the field of Fire and Security, it took us a while to find experts in this field, but we have been able to do so. We also see digitalisation as a vector for new offerings and new business models. An example where we see intervention from the EC is with Artificial Intelligence. We are focussing on ensuring that we have the legal framework to use these.
How does sustainability impact the fire industry and what can we do to help?
Now sustainability is the second area where the EC is pushing heavily. It brings challenges in places such as extinguishing in terms of the issues around F Gas and PFAS, affecting gaseous systems, portables and foam.
In order to achieve the sustainability goals that the EC has defined, millions of buildings must be renovated. Euralarm believes that governments and authorities as well as building owners need to pay attention to the fire safety of buildings, because renovations could introduce significant improvements in fire safety.
To read more exclusive features and latest news please see our February issue here.