Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
October 12, 2016

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Integrated thinking: Connected security for smart infrastructure

Landmark European fire and security standard is approved by standards bodies

CEN/CENELEC has announced the approval of European fire and security standard prEN 16763 following a resounding vote cast by national standardisation bodies from across the continent.

It’s a major vindication of the efforts of Euralarm, which was instrumental in the standard’s inception three years ago and has lobbied for its introduction ever since. 

The creation of a single market for services, which account for 60-70% of economic activity in the EU, has become a top priority for the Jean-Claude Junker-led European Commission – and standardisation supports this aim. Euralarm believes prEN 16763 could become a model for other service sectors to emulate.

The genesis of prEN 16763 can be traced back to 2009 and the creation of a dedicated section within Euralarm. Led by DIN the project was set up to standardise services for fire safety and security systems.

The standard defines basic levels of competence surrounding planning, design, assembly, commissioning, verification, handover or maintenance of fire safety or security systems. It also describes minimum requirements on service output and documentation.

Paul Langer, a ZVEI delegate in Euralarm’s services section, played a pivotal role as chairman of Technical Committee Four (TC4) of the European standardisation platform CEN-CENLEC.

“The adoption of the standard is a good result,” said Langer. “It has been a long struggle and even right before the voting period, I was not quite sure whether we would have an approval. In the end all major European countries have accepted it. This is a victory for the single market.”

Euralarm also believes the standard will accelerate the time between the development of a product and its launch in various jurisdictions – which would be a notable achievement in a fire market where exacting and diverse compliance/testing requirements mean that getting products to market is a convoluted process.

This European standard sets out the following:

  • Establishes minimum quality requirements for service providers
  • Defines competence levels for anyone involved in planning, design, assembly, commissioning, verification, handover or maintenance of fire safety and security systems
  • defines minimum requirements on service output and documentation

While the draft standard makes several concessions to a more integrated European model, prEn 16763  will not outline a detailed, Europe-wide basis for third-party certification of a service provider in all fields of expertise.

Ultimately, Euralarm members hope the standard will pave the way for further convergence of national policies and procedures in Europe, particularly through the development of pan-European application guidelines.


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