Fire and security installer news and advice

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Security installers and fire installers have long been the backbone of the fire and security industries.

The link between manufacturers of fire and security systems and the professionals monitoring CCTV feeds in the control room, installers perform a vital role. They do more than just install CCTV, intruder alarms, access control systems, fire alarms and other systems; they also help customers design a system fit for purpose for their needs – in terms of number and type of cameras, their position, the choice of NVR, VMS and back-up storage, and so on.

Also known as engineers, they increasingly position themselves as ‘integrators’ of increasingly interoperable, disparate systems. Often, this requires a knowledge of both hardware installation and software commissioning processes, as end-users and customers demand ever-more connected physical security systems – such as linking up a video surveillance system with access control.

Technological change is transforming physical-security technologies and with it the installer’s role. Continual education is therefore paramount if they are to adapt their business models to thrive in a fast-evolving landscape. Cyber security, for instance, is a major priority as installers upskill, and many are moving beyond merely selling boxes of equipment to a service-based model amid the rise of the cloud and remote maintenance. And, as security and fire systems become more integrated, it is crucial that engineers play their part in protecting devices from potential cyber attacks – an issue that the entire supply chain must address.

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is aiming to support installers in improving their cyber understanding of physical devices, having launched a cyber security code of practice for engineers in July 2020.

Apprenticeships in security and fire

EoT-Apprentices-20

Young apprentices battling it out at the IFSEC & FIREX Engineers of Tomorrow competition

Similarly to many trade-based industries, such as the plumbing, heating and building sectors, there is a widely acknowledged and growing skills gap in the electrical security and fire engineering profession. Attempts are being made to combat it, with larger installer companies such as SECOM and Banham Security hosting their own apprenticeship training schemes, while external training specialists – the BSIA-owned Skills for Security, for instance – are also working hard to improve standards and numbers of the next generation of installers coming through.

A major step forward was the implementation of the FESS (Fire, Emergency and Security Systems) apprenticeship standard, following a Government Review of all apprenticeships across England. You can read our guide to the standard, below.

Additional apprenticeship news and initiatives include:

You can follow the latest news and advice for installers, integrators and security and fire system designers by signing up to the IFSEC Global Installer focused newsletter.

Advice for running your security and fire installation business:


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