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Reducing False Alarms with Standards

by Benchmark

Users can often be confused by the choice of systems in the fire and security markets. When consumers select a system, they should check for compliance with the official regulatory standards. Such standards perform a triple function: they reassure consumers of the quality of the certified products, allow installation companies to reduce false alarms by enhancing the quality of the equipment, and encourage manufacturers to innovate, offering the best products and services to their clients.

While intruder and fire alarm systems are crucial elements for premises and personal security, consumers with low awareness of the technical aspects of the equipment find it difficult to estimate the quality of such systems. This can leave the customer open to a number of risks ranging from poorly designed, installed and maintained systems to financial issues related to the costs of managing false alarms.

Low quality security systems may result in excessive false alarms or premature system failures. This underlines the need for sophisticated and constantly updated security industry regulations, enforcing higher quality systems and services.

The cost of the false fire alarm activations in the UK amounts to £1 billion annually, according to the Fire Industry Association. With more than 80 per cent of false alarms being triggered by 20 per cent of systems, this highlights the quality of systems and their ability to detect false triggers.

Statistics from the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) in the US indicate more than 80 per cent of all false alarms could be prevented with relevant security system software and installation improvements.

Recent updates to security and fire safety standards in PD 6662:2017 were introduced in June 2019 and concern intruder and hold-up alarm system requirements for the installation and configuration of intrusion and hold-up alarms, with the goal of ensuring confirmed alarm conditions. PD 6662:2017 provides guidelines and a scheme for alarm system installation and maintenance in the UK. It also includes the latest European standards which installers, and, more importantly, manufacturers need to comply with when operating in the UK market.

The list of the European standards is quite extensive but limited. For instance, while not included in European standards, the methods of unsetting intruder systems are included int PD 6662:2017, making it the most comprehensive and up-to-date scheme for intrusion and hold-up alarm systems.

The update was designed to deliver modifications and improvements which align previous standards.

Richard Jenkins, Chief Executive at the NSI, points out the owners of alarm systems compliant with PD 6662:2017 can be assured their systems are in line with the latest European standards and best practices in countering false alarms.

OS Malevich 2.10

With the latest OS Malevich 2.10 update, Ajax has achieved full compliance with PD 6662: 2017, proving the company’s commitment to adhere to best practices in countering false alarms. To comply with the standards, software and hardware updates were introduced, including the DoubleButton, a new wireless hold-up device generating confirmed alarm conditions if both buttons are pressed simultaneously. It is designed to prevent accidental activation.

The system also includes a number of new features and functions, such as a system restoration after alarm, two-stage arming, automatic deactivation of devices, selective system integrity checks, and alarm transmission delay when disarming.

All Ajax hubs will upgrade to OS Malevich 2.10 by the end of 2020 through automatic installation when the system is disarmed. All future manufactured devices will be compliant with PD 6662:2017, and existing partners and installers will be provided with updated labels to mark updated legacy devices.

Compliance with PD 6662:2017 is a crucial milestone for Ajax Systems as it opens new markets for the Ajax hub technology and proves the company’s ability and commitment to respond to local market requirements and best practices.

The recent OS upgrades developed and introduced by Ajax represent not only innovation and technological development, but also the overall milestone of raising the bar and fostering quality improvements in the market. By ensuring the new software and hardware comply with the most sophisticated standards, the company proves its commitment to reputable and long-lasting relations with customers and distributors.


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