How EN 16763 Is Changing The Fire Industry

Fire sprinkler roof mount side viewThe newest change to EN standards has been issued this month and sets out to focus on service delivery. EN 16763 ‘Services for Fire Safety and Security Systems’, has been almost five years of work and covers everything from planning, design, commission, installation and client handover.

Prior to this new standard, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 sets forward some standards. However, they only require fire safety systems and alarms to be installed by an individual that is ‘competent’. However, there are no formal guidelines and no minimum education level for what qualifies ‘competence’.

This lack of required/mandatory education level means that there’s no way for a consumer to ascertain the level of service they will receive before committing to it.

EN16763

The new standard – EN 16763 ‘Services for Fire Safety and Security Systems’ – sets forward to change a few parts of the industry that aren’t currently up to scratch. Here they are, simply:

Minimum Quality Requirements of Service Providers

The new standard sets out an absolute minimum level of education required to do the tasks that are required, most notably the installation and servicing of ‘life safety systems’.

Competence Levels for Anyone Involved in Planning, Design Assembly, Commissioning, Verification, Handover and Maintenance of Fire Safety and Security Systems.

EN 16763 details and specifies the level of ‘competence, knowledge, and understanding of a company and the individuals employed by that company.

Minimum Requirements on Service Output and Documentation

The standards outline a minimum requirement on service documentation and record keeping.

WHY?

These changes to the standards are set to bring a positive change to the industry in a number of ways. Firstly, it raised the overall quality of the services provided in the industry. Whilst meeting these standards is not a legal requirement, consumers will be looking for service providers that meet this standard, as it’s a preferable service.

Secondly, it begins to define a much clearer education route for people to get into the industry. There is a growing gap in people wanting to get into the industry, it requires no formal education and therefore is a daunting industry for people to aspire to enter. These new standards start to define a route for people to enter and soon, legally required education will be required. It’s beginning to look likely that these standards will become written into BAFE certification schemes, making inspection of the work and service provided part of the certification process. This is by no means a bad move, when you consider the number of people trusting currently installed ‘life safety systems’.

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