At this moment the CENELEC TC79 committee on alarm systems is looking at a revision of the EN50131-1, the European system standard for intrusion and holdup systems. Euralarm is seriously involved in the revision of the standard. Why is this standard important for Europe and what are the benefits of the revision for European citizens, alarm responders, policy makers, insurance companies and for the professional security industry?
Only one chance
In order to keep Europe a safe place to live, work and travel we need to protect ourselves and our resources against burglary and robbery. Therefore, many homes and buildings are equipped with an intrusion or hold-up alarm system. The requirements for the design of these systems are laid down in the European standard EN 50131-1. While the number of buildings that are equipped with such a system increased every year, the digitization of our private and business world exploded. Technology evolved and smart homes and smart building became part of our connected world where each and every device is able to communicate with each other. Remote access, remote services, connected devices, cloud-based systems and interaction with automation system are just a few examples of today’s possibilities.
Just like fire safety systems, all security systems have one thing in common: we install them while hoping we will never need to use them. But if the system is needed ‘we only have one chance’ to detect an incident. No matter if it is a panic, holdup, fire, or intrusion we cannot afford ourselves to miss an event. Missing an event can be the difference between no incident or a major incident. The same counts for tamper or technical problems which could lead to malfunctioning of a system. Because there is only one chance in case of an event, our industry wants to ensure that the equipment used in these systems have a maximum reliability. That is why the professional security industry already for a long time manufactures and delivers products and services that comply with the EN standards. For intrusion or hold-up alarm system this is the EN 50131-1 standard.
The EN 50131 has a long history. The first version of the system standard was published in 1997 and was updated several times since then. Other standards in the EN 50131 range followed soon. Today the standard covers all aspects of intrusion and hold-up systems: from the system requirements to power supplies, intrusion detectors and pyrotechnic obscuration security devices. The advantage of a European standard is that it unifies the view on what an electronic intrusion and hold-up system is, as well as defines its functionalities and performance. The standard has helped end users, insurance companies, risk managers, installation and service companies, alarm responders and local authorities across Europe to understand what a system should do.
Since the introduction in 1997 the standard has defined the difference in requirements for low, medium and high risks. This differentiation is meant to ensure that there is a balance between measures and risks. Over the past decades, more parts were added and updated to keep the standards in line with the available technologies. To ensure a correct installation of a security system application guidelines were provided and, in most countries, professional security installers need to proof that they have the knowledge to classify the risks, choose the correct product and install the system in the proper way. Only with these requirements the security system will offer the desired reliability and will be accepted by end users, insurance companies and police response is provided.
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Editor, International Fire Buyer
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