Regulation of the Fire Detection and Alarm Industry. Be prepared.

February 3, 2021

No doubt most people are aware that the Security Industry is regulated by the Private Security Authority (PSA) and many other disciplines such as CCTV, Security guarding, Locksmiths etc. have been included under the auspices of this regulating body.

It generally comes a surprise (bordering on shock) when people realise that the Fire Detection & Alarm industry, which is a Life Protection industry, is not similarly regulated.

The fire industry itself would support appropriate regulation/ legislation however it is difficult to find support at an authority level.

There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon with the introduction in Europe of a European Norm EN 16763 “Services for Fire Safety systems and Security systems” which was released for implementation by July 2017 in the member states.

The important term in the title is “Services” which is deemed to include the provision of any or all of the following works: Planning, Design, Installation, Commissioning, Verification, Handover and Maintenance.

While we are familiar with most of the terminology above used to describe the declared services there are some differences between the European interpretation and the Irish interpretation. These differences should not present any insurmountable hurdles and it is anticipated that Ireland will adopt these and other European terminologies on a broader scale.

The objectives of I.S. EN 16763

The objective if I.S. EN 16763 is to establish a standard which ensures a quality delivery of the declared services for the consumer. It is part of the overall European Services Directive 2006/123/ EC.

Central to compliance with the standard and delivery of the declared services are requirements for :

Competence (Knowledge, Training and experience)

Staff Training – including specific product training

Documented Processes for Services delivery

Processes for measurement of services delivered

Adequate Records (Systems and Training) – 5 year retention

Appropriate Insurance

Guidelines for subcontracting


This standard is effectively voluntary in member states unless a member state includes it in their National legislation, or references it in their National standards. Consideration is being given to include the I.S. EN16763 in full or in part in the next issue of I.S. 3218 Fire Detection and Alarm systems for buildings – system Design, Installation, Commissioning, Servicing and Maintenance.


It is relatively straight forward to put in place most of the requirements set out in the objectives above but one area can be particularly problematic namely “Specific Product training”.

The standard requires that before any work can be carried out by a provider they must have documented evidence of training directly related to that product or service

As a matter of urgency Services providers will need to commence the process of providing and recording this type of training for their employees.

We will keep you informed of developments in the implementation of the standard and the potential impact of implementation.

In the interim Northwood are preparing appropriate training courses (with accompanying attendance certification) and we encourage all our customers to take advantage of these opportunities. Watch this space!!

This article was written by Frank Pierce Tech IRI, GRAD IFE (Fire Consultant Northwood Technology)

To register your interest in attending one of our courses please get in contact with us today. These courses are regularly fully booked with waiting lists so make sure you do not miss out. Call us in Dublin on 01 8601880 Or in Cork at 021 2066853 for more information.