Brussels, May 2020 – Now that Europe is taking the first steps towards economic and social recovery after the COVID-19 crisis, it is also time to rethink the future. European politicians and institutions are now joining forces to present a recovery plan that builds on existing plans and ambitions to make our Society healthier, more environmentally friendly, more energy efficient and safer. Euralarm calls on policymakers to take measures to increase the security of renovated buildings and to strengthen the cohesion of the European Union.
The EU Recovery Plan that is soon expected will push for investments and reform. It will strengthen the EU economy by focusing on common priorities, like the European Green Deal, digitalisation and resilience.
In recent months, European citizens experienced what it means to be confined to one's home all day. With around 250 million homes across the EU that need energy renovation, now more than ever, it is time for the EU to invest in renovating homes, offices, schools and other private and public buildings. The Renovation Wave as part of the Green Deal is therefore welcomed by Euralarm and many other stakeholders.
Boosting the rate of deep renovation in all buildings not only improves energy efficiency but also economic growth. Building renovation and retrofit add almost twice as much value as the construction of new buildings. While investing more in renovations, governments and authorities as well as building owners need to pay attention to the implications on the fire safety of buildings because renovations can introduce significant changes in fire safety requirements.
With the growing number of electronic and electrical devices in buildings, (e.g. energy storage as part of the energy efficiency measures, electric cars), the fire load in buildings will continue to increase and must be considered in the overall fire safety concept. Regular fire safety reviews - including risk assessment - by certified professionals are today even more crucial and should be prioritized by private and public building owners and operators.
As one of the Green Deal proposals the “Renovation Wave” is a unique opportunity to introduce a holistic approach towards fire safety and security when renovating buildings. Safe and secure buildings will contribute to the new European economy as well as the future European ecology. Euralarm therefore calls on EU decision makers to encourage all renovated buildings to be fitted with the latest technologies in terms of fire safety and security.
During the crisis, large parts of the European workforce had no other choice than to work from home, using teleconference and digital co-operation tools to continue their daily work. In just a few months, remote work has accelerated the digitalisation of the European economy. With ambitious measures supporting a “Digital Recovery”, the digital transformation can be confirmed and amplified in the short term.
In the building industry, we have seen the effects of a slow adoption of digitalisation and we welcome an acceleration of the digital transformation. During this crisis, connectivity has proven to be pivotal to remote work.
It became clear that wherever our members had remote access to security and fire safety systems, there has been no disruption of service provided. We continued to ensure the safety of the people and infrastructure.
Pivotal to ensure business continuity, connectivity must be immune to cyber-threats. Euralarm recommends to reassess the European cybersecurity strategy. Some sectors of the industry – including services – have specificities that should be taken into consideration when rethinking the cybersecurity strategy.
The EU Recovery Plan is a unique opportunity to bring the Single Market back on track and to definitely address unjustified barriers that remain in place for products and for services. In our sector, and despite all our efforts to create European standards for products, systems and services, obstacles remain for cross-border trade, especially for SMEs. It is now time to put an end to these barriers and work together towards a society that shares and cares.
Again it is the COVID-19 crisis that demonstrates the crucial need that barriers are definitely removed. Therefore, Euralarm calls on the European Commission to engage in a consultation with stakeholders most affected by these remaining barriers to find sector-specific measures to achieve the long-expected Single Market in Europe.
Euralarm represents the electronic fire and security industry, providing leadership and expertise for industry, market, policy makers and standards bodies. Our Members make society safer and secure through systems and services for fire detection and extinguishing, intrusion detection, access control, video monitoring, alarm transmission and alarm receiving centres. Founded in 1970, Euralarm represents over 5000 companies, employing 700 000 people within the fire safety and security industry with an estimated revenue of 67 billion Euros. Euralarm Members are national associations and individual companies from across Europe.
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When Euralarm took the decision earlier this year to move the 2020 Euralarm GA and Industry Event from May to October, we expected that things would be back to normal around the summer. Unfortunately, this is not the case: we are still in a situation where it is not possible to foresee the developments around COVID-19 for 2020 with regard to travel, event organization and local regulations.
Based on these uncertainties, Euralarm took the decision to cancel the Euralarm 2020 Industry Event which was planned for October 2020. The Taskforce will start to work on planning for the 2021 GA and Industry Event, to be scheduled in May 2021 in Brussels. The 2020 GA as announced will go on the 29 October, as an online meeting.
The Covid-19 pandemic has an enormous impact on the European industry. It requires them to focus all resources on the immediate challenges of the recovery from the crisis. Therefore Orgalim together with Euralarm and other associations sent a letter to European President van der Leyen requesting to review the prioritisation of the Commission work in 2020 in light of Covid-19.
According to the supporting partners, among which Euralarm, the single most important factor for the request to review the Commission Working Program 2020 is the focus on economic recovery after the crisis. We call the Commission to postpone the current and planned consultations for 2020 which do not immediately support a recovery from the crisis by minimum six months. With this letter the industrial partners are asking Europe to support the ability for their respective industries to focus all required resources and investments on the immediate challenges of the recovery from the crisis. Such a recovery should allow the industries to focus on rebuilding a solid and sustainable industrial base and reinforcing the long-term competitiveness of the European industries.
Euralarm supports the Orgalim and partners request which is divided into three parts:
A complete overview of the request to review the prioritisation can be found here.
The COVID-19 crisis causes a burden for companies that have to finish their testing and certification programs because of standards that will be superseded. Examples are the EN 60950-1:2006 and EN 60065 that are used for conformity testing of fire and security products for the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU. Euralarm therefore urges to postpone the end date of the co-existence period of the EN 60950-1:2006 and EN 60065 with nine months.
Like others, the fire safety and security industry has to deal with the exceptional circumstances that are caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic not only affects the members of Euralarm but also the external resources that work for them such as test houses and notified bodies. As a result of the crisis the available (internal and external) resources are reduced significantly, causing delay and increasing project timescales.
By the end of this year the EN 62368-1 for the safety of electrical and electronic equipment within the field of audio, video, information and communication technology, will come into force. To make sure the existing products will comply with EN 62368-1, many manufacturers have to convert and/or adapt the products.
Because of the COVID-19 crisis manufacturers have already postponed these conversion/adaption projects or are experiencing disruption of the internal testing programs. Others have been informed that outsourced testing would not be performed according to the planned schedule.
It is therefore quite impossible for manufacturers of fire safety and security products to have all their product portfolio compliant to the EN 62368-1:2014 before the deadline of December 20th, 2020. This date was fixed by the European Commission long before the pandemic started.
In order to allow these companies to finish their testing and certification programs and therefore guarantee that the products will fulfill the essential requirements of the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU (Commission Communication 2018/C 326/02 of 14.09.2018) Euralarm has urged the European Commission to consider postponing the end date of the co-existence period from December 20, 2020 to September 20, 2021.
Euralarm released a Communiqué with recommendations on updating national Codes (like a Building Code, Fire Code, etc.) when new Standards become available.
The development of new or revised standards follows a certain process that is finalised with the ratification of the standard by the standardisation body (CEN, CENELEC, …). Following the ratification there are dates that the new or revised standard is available, announced and published followed by a date that the former standard or the former version is withdrawn.
When a new or revised standard is published, the national authorities must clearly define when the new (edition of a) standard will be implemented into the local building, fire or other codes. Because products have to be compliant and therefore have to be tested, certified and approved by recognized test laboratories, certification bodies and approval agencies some time is required following the date of availability of the standard.
In some countries however, local authorities require to demonstrate compliance to the latest edition of the standards i.e. “as soon as published”. This is for example the case with the Civil Defence Fire Code of the United Arab Emirates that is widely used in the Middle East.
Obviously, it is impossible to comply with this requirement. Due to general industry readiness, a delay is necessary to allow manufacturers time to develop fully compliant products and – when required – to get their products tested, certified and approved.
Euralarm therefore recommends that regulatory authorities adopt the Date of Withdrawal (DOW) as stated in every EN standard as the effective date of implementation of new Standards into Codes. The Date of Withdrawal marks the date that former (versions of the) standard become obsolete. Information of the Date of Withdrawal of standards can be found on the respective websites such as CEN or CENELEC.
This new fire safety bill aims to help people feel safe in their homes around the country, whilst ensuring that a fire related tragedy similar to that of Grenfell Tower fire never happens again.
The proposed Fire Safety Bill will ‘amend the Fire Safety Order 2005 to clarify that the responsible person or duty-holder for multi-occupied, residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for:
This clarification will empower fire and rescue services to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account if they are not compliant.’
Today we celebrate the day when, exactly 50 years ago, Ernst Meili founded Euralarm. Starting with 24 companies from 12 countries and two national associations for fire safety, Euralarm developed into a European association that represents today over 5,000 companies, employing 700,000 people, within the fire safety, security, extinguishing and related services industry with an estimated revenue of € 67 billion.
For almost 50 years Euralarm has been proactively contributing to standardisation processes, providing guidance in the digitalisation of our industry, raising the standards for training and qualifications to address society’s needs for safety and security and partnering with research institutes.
On this special day we’d like to thank all our partners for sharing our passion and for joining us in our journey towards a safer and more secure Europe.
In an increasingly digital global economy, new technologies have a lot of benefits to offer Europe. Tools such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing, drones, and quantum computers can make the industry more efficient, sustainable and successful. European Standards (ENs) are on the forefront to make new technologies trustworthy and safe: they provide European best practices to lead the digital transformation of society and boost innovation, while establishing a level-playing field.
For those who missed the presentation on the Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA) in Brussels this video gives all the answers you might have on OSSA . Vice President Daniel Vornefeld explained the purpose of the Alliance during a keynote speech at Milestone's MIPS event in Dallas, Texas. Click on the image below to start watching Daniel's presentation instantly.
"From cybersecurity to standardisation, this collaboration helps us advocate the right policy framework for the future."
"WAGNER decided to permanently engage in Euralarm’s activities with special respect to matters of fire safety, contributing to reduce trade barriers and to enhance competitiveness and harmonisation of the European market."
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Euralarm represents the fire and security industry, providing leadership and expertise for industry, market, policy makers and standards bodies.