VERSA - leidinggevend voor de EU standaard
For some time now, you can see a lot of interest on the part of the Polish security industry in the new PN-EN50131 series of standards for intruder alarm systems. This interest is furthered by their increasing popularity in the European Union, as well as the desire to put in order the existing technologies.
INDUSTRY STANDARDS IN A NUTSHELL
Standardization in the security industry in the European Union countries has often been based on international standards of the IEC 839 series dating back to the 1980s, or individually created by national experts.
Since the 1990s, CENELEC, the European organization dedicated to developing standards in the field of electrical engineering, has systematically compiled and updated a series of key standards for the security industry, namely, the EN50131 series. It consists of a number of thematic publications (called Sheets), which systematize the various groups of security alarm products, including the operation of alarm control panels, power supplies, sirens, detectors using different technologies, and wireless communications. The new family of standards also includes sheets of general system requirements and, which is important for installers, a draft standard outlining the practical aspects of installation.
The new standards, although not yet mandatory for use in the territory of Poland, are becoming increasingly important because they have a substantial impact not only on the shape of security products, but also on the installation practice. The EN50131 series of standards are the result of the work of expert groups for which the primary objective is to obtain the highest possible degree of foolproofness, as well as security grades adequate for the assessed risk of burglary and tampering. An important aspect of their growing popularity in Poland may also be acceptance by the international insurance companies, for which standardization of the methods for assessment of the quality of security devices can have a noticeable impact on business decisions.
CLASSIFICATION INTRODUCED IN THE EN50131 STANDARDS
The EN 50131 standards bring in a four-grade classification: the devices may fall into grades from Grade 1 (the simplest security devices - where the risk is lowest) to Grade 4 (the most advanced security devices for facilities of highest risk). The breakdown into grades appears in all sheets of the standard, introducing different requirements for the control panels, power supplies, detectors, etc. This division reflects the growing arsenal of resources available to potential burglars lured by an attractive and valuable "loot" which requires more advanced methods to defend against tampering and damaging the system. The higher the security grade, the stricter the requirements relating to the reliability of certain components of the system and the ability to work under adverse conditions. A guide for system designers to facilitate the selection of system grade adequate for the evaluated risk is the CLC / TS 50131-7 sheet, which contains practical directions on the applications of particular grades of alarm systems.
EN50131 STANDARDS AND ALARM CONTROL PANELS
Before 2009, the system of EN50131 standards did not include any requirements sheet for the control panels. Although a CLC / TS technical specifications sheet has existed since as early as 2003, but from a formal point of view it has not been treated on a par with the standard. For this reason, some manufacturers claimed compliance of their control panels with the EN50131 standard just on the basis of requirements of the system standard (previously known as the general standard). Despite the declared by manufacturers compliance with EN50131, it was not obligatory to introduce many behavior specific solutions to such control panels.
In 2009, CENELEC published the missing EN50131-3 standard, which regulates in detail the behavior of panels, depending on the required security grade. This standard introduces requirements for, among other things, the functioning of control panels, user interface and anti-tamper safeguards. It does have some impact on the behavior of the control panel, both from the user's and installer's perspective. Some changes in the operation, imposed by the standard, may require development of new habits in the installers, especially if they have not yet had contact with equipment complying with EN-50131. Hiding the armed mode indication, access to the preview of the system status after entering the password, or blocking the keypads after entering wrong passwords are just some of the many new technical solutions required by those standards. All this, however, is aimed at enhancement of the security class and minimization of the consequences of incorrect handling, and these are benefits which more than enough make up for the necessary adaptation to a new way of functioning.
VERSA - A LEADER IN IMPLEMENTATION OF EUROPEAN STANDARDS
Already at the design stage of the VERSA series control panels, the SATEL company based upon the current at the time CLC / TS 50131-3 specification. In order to maintain the position of the security industry leader, SATEL engineers set themselves the goal of reaching full compliance with the requirements of the new EN 50131-3 standard, published in 2009. The fruit of their work is a new firmware version, incorporating all the requirements of current standards for control panels. Because of this, the VERSA control panels are among the first panels in the world ensuring full compliance with the standards which are in current use practically all over Europe.
Using the classification introduced in the EN-50131 series standards, the VERSA control panels meet the requirements for Grade 2, so they can be used in home systems and simple systems installed in public buildings. This grade provides a perfect balance between the class of security and the convenience and ease of use. The ideal complement to such systems can be the ABAX wireless devices, also fulfilling the requirements of current European standards, which is confirmed by certificates for the principal components of the system, issued by a notified body. In this way you can get a hybrid system that combines the advantages of wireless and traditional installations and fully meets the requirements contained in the standards.
SATEL's TECHNICAL SUPPORT
A very important aspect for the implementation of the products of electronic security industry is to provide the technical support. It is the more important, the more complex devices are offered. It is obvious that to learn all the features offered by advanced control panels requires not only theoretical knowledge, but also design and installation practice. With this in mind, the SATEL company offers a full-scope support available for industry professionals, ranging from the theoretical and practical workshops, through telephone support, to the service and making certificates and marketing materials available. All this underlines the company's commitment to good cooperation with the industry experts. It is the only way to achieve success.