In 2011 Euralarm initiated the development of the first European Standard concerning the quality levels of Services for electronic fire safety and security systems. This EN-standard, now known as prEN 16763, is now in the enquiry phase after long and intensive discussions in the CEN/CENELEC project group TC4. Listening to the experts in the field the standard has a good chance of being adopted.
This European standard lays out the quality requirements for the service providers. It defines basic levels of competence of the employees entrusted with the planning, design, assembly, commissioning, system verification, handover or maintenance of fire safety or security systems. Further it defines minimum requirements on the service output and documentation.
Enzo Peduzzi, president of Euralarm, states: “The draft standard is causing quite a few headaches to users, the industry and the certification bodies. On the contrary of what is current practice in many countries today, the standard does not define in detail every single criteria which a service provider has to fulfill to comply with the standard.” In order to be able to be adopted in all European and CEN/CENELEC countries and to cover all the discipline of fire safety and security, the standard had to be designed as a “Management System Standard”. Instead of the traditional national service standards the industry is used to, this EN-standard will be designed more like an ISO 9000 type standard. The test criteria will be defined in a “Certification Scheme” for each individual category of systems in fire safety and security.
“Euralarm is aware that the standard alone will not provide enough details and information to guarantee comparable level of quality of services provided from one service provider or another. In particular if the service providers are based in different countries,” says Peduzzi. Therefore Euralarm launched a discussion with 24 accredited and renowned Certification Bodies from several European countries. Together we will discuss how the new standard, prEN 1763, could be implemented and how a convergence of the national certification schemes to a pan-European Scheme could be achieved.
Most of the Certification Bodies responded positively and agreed to explore the possibilities to form a ‘Stakeholder Group’. This group should overcome the varying and complex national certification structures which are linked to national legislation, national culture/history, well-known local marks, and local scheme owners. The group shall find a compromise which takes current local structures into consideration. This creates an open market for service providers to operate in all EU countries for which they only need to perform the additional certification efforts for country specific requirements.
Peduzzi: “At Euralarm we believe that with the introduction of this new standard we have the unique opportunity to define the pan-European criteria for the certification of service providers. This would be a major breakthrough for the European Fire and Security industry.” Euralarm is looking forward to the cooperation with the Certification Bodies. The Stakeholder Group will be open for all qualified and accredited Certification Bodies and Certification Scheme holders as well as insurance companies, first responders, consumer organizations, and other stakeholders with a genuine interest in enhancing the service level quality on an European scale of service providers of electronic fire safety and security systems.