European Standards

EN50131 European Standards For Intruder Alarm Systems

Like all other professional alarm companies, since 1st October 2005, we are installing to BS EN50131-1, PD6662 & BS8243

The old British Standards BS 4737, BS 7042 and BS 6799 Wireless Systems are being replaced by the new European Standards BS EN 50131 series as they become available. All new installations are now installed to BS EN 50131-1, PD6662 & BS8243.

Insurance companies will now only allow systems to be installed that comply with the European Standards, in association with PD6662.

European Standards are not retrospective, therefore systems which are currently installed to British Standards will continue to be maintained and updated to that standard.

All the standards are regularly reviewed and amended and are engineers repeatedly attend standards upgrade seminars.

As part of this regular review, ALL our installations comply with BS EN50131-1, PD6662 & BS8243  and are graded to insurance grades G2X, G2, G3 or G4

Risk assessment

The implementation of the European Standards which is a risk based regime, has affected those of us and we now have to produce a written Risk Assessment. as a company, we have chosen to include this Risk Assessment into the System Design Proposal, although this isn’t a requirement of the standards, we feel that it is beneficial for the client to be made aware of the risks and how we intend to overcome them in the design, installation, maintenance and repair of their Intruder Alarm Systems.

One of the most significant issues within the new EN standards will be evaluating the risk associated with the premises and determining a Grade of system. This is because once the grade of a system is determined it will define the extent of the system, its signalling and tamper security requirements.

We will provide a full written risk assessment with every system design proposal.

The European standards have been under development for some time, and not all of the standards are complete, but work on these standards continues. However, there are a suite of European Standards available to enable companies to install to. To enable this, the European Standards will include a document PD 6662. This is a Published Document (PD) and is used to call up parts of the current British Standards where European Standards are still under development. As new parts of the European standards are completed they will eventually replace those parts of the PD6662, which will eventually be phased out.

Insurance acceptance

European Standards have Insurance acceptance. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) consider that the EN Norms (standards), have a better structure to the technical design of a security system, mainly because the EN standards are risk based. European standards provide:

  • Structured standards
  • Graded systems
  • Classification of equipment
  • Risked based system design proposals

A significant advantage for insurers and surveyors applying European Standards to systems is that a specification will grade a system appropriate to the associated Risk. The grading of a system based on a structured risk analysis will determine the:

  • Extent of the system
  • Signalling requirements
  • Tamper security requirements

Within the European Standards there are four security grades of system and the standard defines the grades as:

Grade 1     low risk

Grade 2     low to medium risk

Grade 3     medium to high risk

Grade 4     high risk

Grade 1 system

Intruders are expected to have little knowledge of intruder alarm systems and be limited to a range of easily available tools.

Grade 2 system

Intruders are expected to have a limited knowledge of intruder alarm systems and the use of a general range of tools.

Grade 3 system

Intruders are expected to be conversant with intruder alarm systems and have access to a comprehensive range of tools.

Grade 4 system

Security takes precedence over all other factors. At this level intruders are expected to have the ability and resources to plan an intrusion in detail and have a full range of specialised equipment, including means of substitution of vital components within the intruder alarm system. As you can see systems are evaluated against the risk of the level of intruder that may attack the system hence the requirement that system design meets the appropriate grade.

The risk of premises may be defined by a security surveyor, customer or insurers. It is most likely that insurers will specify systems at Grades 2 and 3, where an insurer is involved, unless the risk is exceptionally high, when a Grade 4 system will be specified.

A further inclusion in European Standards is the classification of components which are used for the intruder alarm system installations. These will be classified for environmental conditions and in turn will determine where they are installed. There are four classifications of components

  • Class 1 = Indoors controlled temperature
  • Class 2 = Indoors uncontrolled temperature
  • Class 3 = Outdoors sheltered
  • Class 4 = Outdoors exposed or general

System specifications as we used to refer to them, will in European Standards terms be known as the System Design Proposal and will propose the optimum system available by the installing company.

As systems will be graded the number of preventative maintenance visits will vary. Dependent on the grade of system the minimum number of maintenance visits will be:

Grade 1

  • 1 Site visit per annum

Grade 2 & 3

  • 2 site visits 

OR

  • 1 site visit plus one remote diagnostic test*

Grade 4

  • 2 site visits

*When conducting remote diagnostic system tests we are required to check the following as a minimum:

  • a review of the event log for successful setting and upsetting

  • a check on the normal and standby power supplies, for correct functioning

  • a check on recent activity of all detectors which would be expected to operate during the normal occupation of the building

  • a check for the correct operation of any alarm transmission system, in conjunction with the alarm receiving centre

Detailed records of all the above system checks will be required to be maintained.

Initially to install to European Standards you will require copies of:

  • PD 6662  Specifies use of UK standards where European Standards are not published

  • EN 50131-1 Specifies system requirements,  Equivalent to BS 4737 Parts 1 pt 2. This document forms part of PD6662. This is because it is currently under a five year review.

  • DD CLC/TS 50131 -7 Application Guidelines,  Equivalent to BS 4737 Part 4. This document may in the near future become a British Standard (BS DD). A “BS DD” is a British Standard, Draft for Development and will provide the general public with a chance to comment on the document which may be considered for change.

  • EN 50136 Alarm Transmission

As some of the standards are still in the development stage SSAIB will inform companies in the near future clarifying which documents are required closer to the date of implementation.

Finally, DD CLC/TS50131 -7 expects Surveyors, Installers, Maintenance and Service personnel to hold an appropriate qualification for the tasks that we undertake in our roles.  This has now been reinforced with the introduction in July of 2016 of BS EN 16763 which again states that everyone who works in the security industry should be suitably qualified in the area that they work, (installers, surveyors etc). At present the actual qualifications have not been decided upon and as a result of this, this requirement may not be implemented. Having said this the SSAIB would still encourage members to obtain a relevant qualification. This is essential for those working on building sites who will require a CSCS, Construction Skills Certificate Scheme card. Information regarding relevant industry qualifications can be obtained from the SSAIB.

Overview of EN50131

The major differences between EN 50131 and BS 4737 are:

  • Structured standards
  • Grading of systems
  • Classification of equipment
  • Risk based

This provides a structured approach to:

  • Assessment of risk
  • Technical survey
  • System design
  • Installation of the system in accordance with agreed specification
  • Installation of equipment in accordance with manufacturers recommendations

A significant advantage for insurers and surveyors applying European Standards to systems is the specification of grades appropriate to the associated Risk. One of the major differences in the European Standards is the grading of systems, which is not a feature of BS 4737.

The grading of a system based on a structured risk analysis will determine the:

  • Extent of the system
  • Signalling
  • Tamper security

Within the new European Standards there are four security grades:

  • Grade 1 – low risk
  • Grade 2 – low to medium risk
  • Grade 3 – medium to high risk
  • Grade 4 – high risk

For a Grade 1 system intruders are expected to have little knowledge of intruder alarm systems and be limited to a range of easily available tools.

A Grade 2 system expects intruders to have a limited knowledge of intruder alarm systems and the use of a general range of tools.

A Grade 3 system expects intruders to be conversant with intruder alarm systems and have access to a comprehensive range of tools.

Finally, a Grade 4 system is where security takes precedence over all other factors. At this level intruders are expected to have the ability and resources to plan an intrusion in detail and have a full range of specialised equipment, including means of substitution of vital components within the intruder alarm system. As you can see systems are evaluated against the risk of the level of intruder that may attack the system hence the requirement that system design meets the appropriate grade.

The will be defined by a security surveyor, customer or insurers. It is most likely that insurers will specify systems at Grades 3 and 4.

A further inclusion in European Standards is the classification of components that are used for the intruder alarm system installations. These will be classified, which in turn will determine where they are installed. There are four classifications of components:

  • Class 1 = Indoors controlled temperature
  • Class 2 = Indoors uncontrolled
  • Class 3 = Outdoors sheltered
  • Class 4 = Outdoors exposed

System specifications, as we currently refer to them, will in European Standards terms be known as the System Design Proposal and will propose the optimum system available by the installing company.

As systems will be graded the number of maintenance visits will vary. Depending on the grade of system the number of maintenance visits will be:

  • Grade 1 – 1 site visit per annum
  • Grade 2X – 1 site visit per annum
  • Grades 2 & 3 – 2 site visits per annum OR

1 site visit plus 1 remote

  • Grade 4 – 2 site visits per annum

Power Supply Standby Requirements

Type of power supplyGrade 1 HoursGrade 2 HoursGrade 3 HoursGrade 4 Hours
Type A121224*24
Type B2424120120

 

The table shows power supply requirements for the grade of system. Type A and B power supplies refer to the standby power type; Type A are mains and rechargeable batteries, and Type B are mains and non-rechargeable batteries.

* For Grade 3 systems under the latest revision of the standards, the 24 hour battery standby time can be reduced to 12 hours if the control and indicating equipment is capable of sending a “mains fail” to the Alarms Receiving Centre.

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