SSAIB Enhance Scope of Certification by Adding BAFE SP203-4 Emergency Lighting Systems

SSAIB Enhance Scope of Certification by Adding BAFE SP203-4 Emergency Lighting Systems

SSAIB are delighted to officially announce that we have further added to our wide array of certification schemes with BAFE SP203-4 Emergency Lighting Systems.

This scheme – created by the British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE) – provides competency for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of emergency lighting systems. The scheme has been split into these four modules to ensure that companies only gain registration for the modules for which they are competent to work.

As the show’s official installer partner, the leading certification body for the fire and security industries had initially planned to unveil our latest addition to our scope of certification at IFSEC/FIREX in June 2020 – having first been able to offer the scheme in May 2020. However, this unveiling was then pushed back until September 2020 once the shows were rearranged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the rearranged dates now having been pushed back until next year, SSAIB have taken the decision to officially launch the scheme with an online presentation with Future Fire Systems Limited virtually, through the use of Microsoft Teams later this month – after the Essex-based organisation were the first to successfully navigate the application process for SSAIB’s latest scheme.

SSAIB utilised technology ahead of the national lockdown back in March to ensure that the certification needs of both existing and prospective SSAIB firms could be met throughout deeply uncertain times. Online forum events for registered firms and auditors’ meetings have also been a huge success for the organisation, so the decision has been taken to use the Microsoft Teams platform to recognise the achievements of the first SSAIB-registered firm to achieve certification for BAFE SP203-4.

Future Fire Systems Limited are a new SSAIB-registered firm, having achieved maintenance-only certification for both SP203-1 and SP203-4 following their audit in July 2020 – after SSAIB’s decision to carry on working throughout lockdown allowed new companies to achieve certification during the on-going COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael commented: “It gives me great pleasure to say that SSAIB are now officially able to certificate companies looking for SP203-4 certification for emergency lighting systems.

“A lot of work went in behind the scenes to get this latest component of our fire certification schemes up and running in May of this year, which we had looked forward to celebrating properly at the premier security and fire events in the industry at IFSEC and FIREX a month later.

“However, with two failed attempts at being able to officially launch the scheme in this way due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we looked at how we could successfully incorporate technology once again – in keeping with the rest of 2020 for SSAIB – and we decided that would celebrate the achievements of Future Fire Systems Limited as being the inaugural firm to achieve SP203-4 certification through SSAIB.

“I would like to congratulate the team at Future Fire Systems Limited for achieving SP203-4 certification and I hope they are the first of many SSAIB firms to successfully navigate themselves through this process.”

BAFE chief executive Stephen Adams added: “BAFE are delighted that SSAIB have added the SP203-4 Emergency Lighting Systems Scheme to their scope of assessment. SSAIB has seen considerable growth in the fire safety market and this addition will provide further access for the industry to become third-party certificated to offer safe and competent work for emergency lighting systems.

“It is especially crucial that these systems are not overlooked during this unprecedented time, with COVID-19, and are maintained appropriately to keep people safe in the event of any emergency. Only by specifying third-party certificated providers can you be sure of their evidential competency to deliver a compliant and well maintained system.”

For more information on BAFE SP203-4 Emergency Lighting Systems and how to apply for certification through SSAIB, please visit

Posted: 02/12/2020 more >

ECHO Announces Successful End to End Testing of New Automated Alarm Signalling Service

ECHO Announces Successful End to End Testing of New Automated Alarm Signalling Service

ECHO (Electronic Call Handling Operations Ltd), the not-for-profit industry backed alarms handling operator, has completed the first ‘end-to-end’ testing of its new automated alarm signalling transmissions between an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) and the pioneering Essex Police Control Room.

Over recent months ECHO, with support from network providers BT Redcare and CSL, has set up resilient connectivity to handle alarm signals from approved ARCs recognised by the police, enabling onward transmission to police control rooms via secure networks, as they become ECHO-connected.

Working with the Banham Security ARC, its software provider Monitor, and Essex Police, live alarm signalling traffic is now being handled seamlessly between the ARC and Essex Police control room despatch desk via ECHO. For a pilot period Banham will now transmit confirmed alarm signals directly to Essex Police to check system resilience.

The NPCC estimate that ECHO-connected police forces will save on average 1-4 minutes in responding to intruder and hold up alarm activations. In their experience ‘every second counts’ in protecting people and property, and time saved by ECHO could be crucial in arriving at alarmed premises. Their aim is to provide a faster response to confirmed alarms installed by approved companies.

ECHO is currently gearing up to provide this service on a commercial basis in any ECHO-connected Police area with a full service offer from early 2021.

The ECHO service delivers on the NPCC’s “Police Operational Advice and Security Industry Requirements for Response to Security Systems” 2020 (3.1.4). This states, “Electronic Transfer of IAS and HUA activations will be mandatory with effect from 1st April 2020 where forces are able to accept such activations. Forces that are able to accept activations after this date will provide a 6 month period of notice to ARCs to enable connectivity between both parties [to be established]”.

Essex Police are shortly expected to give notice to all ARCs serving their area to become ECHO-connected and lead the expected roll-out of the new ECHO service across the UK.

Chief Superintendent Ewen Wilson, Head of the Contact Management Command, Essex Police explained “Essex Police is delighted to have been involved from the outset with the ECHO project as the pioneering police force to test the automated transmission of alarm signals to control rooms.  We have seen there is real potential as part of this collaboration to reduce call-handling demands and police response times to an alarm activation. We’re encouraged by the recent successful testing, and the completion of the pilot phase will set the blueprint other forces around the UK can adopt.”

Martin Herbert, Managing Director, Banham Security said “The new technology offered by ECHO will transform the way our industry responds to alarm activations.  Through our testing we have seen first-hand the benefits that ECHO can bring in reducing response times, supporting the Police, and giving additional peace of mind to our customers. Banham has been at the forefront of security innovation for over 90 years and is delighted that our Alarm Receiving Centre has been an integral part of the successful end to end testing of ECHO.”

Martin Harvey, Director, ECHO declared “Reaching this important milestone has taken ECHO a little longer than we had first envisaged when the project started a number of years ago. Since those early days a number of people have given their time and expertise to ECHO that has enabled this successful end to end beta test to go ahead. I would like to thank everyone involved to date and look forward to rolling the system out nationwide over the coming months.”


Posted: 19/11/2020 more >

Former Security Services Scheme Manager Retires from SSAIB

Former Security Services Scheme Manager Retires from SSAIB

Former SSAIB Security Services scheme manager David Taylor has left SSAIB – after deciding to retire from his current role.

Having been with the leading certification body for the fire and security industries since 2014, David began life with SSAIB as a security services assessor before being promoted to scheme manager two years later.

David – who has built up nearly four decades worth of experience in the security industry – continued as scheme manager until the summer of 2018, when he took the decision to step down and return to his previous assessor role in a part-time capacity.

SSAIB would like to thank David for his many years of service and we wish him well in all of his future endeavours.

Posted: 09/11/2020 more >

SSAIB to Host Online Open Forum Alongside BT on October 16

SSAIB to Host Online Open Forum Alongside BT on October 16

With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing SSAIB from travelling the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland this year, the leading UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries are embracing technology once again to bring an SSAIB Open Forum to the homes and offices of our 1850+ registered firms.

With our flagship Installer Forum at the BT Tower also missing from this year’s schedule, we have teamed up with the team at BT to present a virtual event on Microsoft Teams - on the morning of Friday October 16 - to ensure that firms are still able to keep up-to-date with the latest SSAIB and wider industry developments, despite the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

SSAIB’s field operations manager David Roscoe will provide a standards update, addressing some of the recent changes and those on the horizon, while presentations from BT Consumer and BT Openreach are also on the agenda – as the all IP programme continues to pick up pace, ahead of the planned 2025 switch over.

Starting at 9:30am with an introduction from SSAIB, the morning’s agenda will come to a close with a Q&A session. Attendees are encouraged to submit any questions in advance to, so that we can ensure that none are missed and we can answer as many as possible within the given time.

The full agenda is as follows:

9.30am: SSAIB Opening Address
9.40am: Standards update - Dave Roscoe
10.10am: BT Openreach update - Phil Laws
10.20am: BT Consumer update - Phil Cain
10.30am: Open Forum Q&A
11.00am: Close

SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael commented: “Given the current climate, it has not been possible to make the usual journeys we make to catch up with our registered firms face-to-face. We’ve essentially had our full meeting schedule for 2020 come to nought, but this online forum at least allows us to update all of our firms on everything at SSAIB and the wider industry.

“As many of you know, we had great success with remote audits throughout lockdown and over the summer and we’ve also used Microsoft Teams for management meetings and our recent Auditors’ Meeting. Therefore, bringing an SSAIB regional meeting of sorts into an online forum was a logical step for us and I’m delighted that it’s allowed us to continue our working relationship with BT – after we were unable to host our usual annual event at the BT Tower.”

Phil Cain of BT Consumer added: “BT have been working with SSAIB for nearly two years on the all IP transformation and we are delighted to be invited to join this online event to update on the progress. Although COVID-19 has meant the way we do things has changed - in many aspects - the all IP programme hasn’t been affected and the 2025 date for all BT customers to be using IP for communications remains, so we need to make sure everyone has a plan in place.”

Should you wish to register your place, please log-in to your Registered Firms’ Portal on the SSAIB website and input your details on the Events page. An invite with a link to the meeting will then be sent to you prior to the day of the Open Forum.

Alternatively, please email or phone 0191 296 3242 and include your SSAIB registration number and the email address that you wish to access the Microsoft Teams meeting on.

Posted: 09/10/2020 more >

ECHO Appoints General Manager

ECHO Appoints General Manager

ECHO is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Taylor as general manager, effective October 1, 2020.

With an initial focus on engaging alarm receiving centres (ARCs) and UK Police forces to facilitate their on-boarding, Mark will steer ECHO as it readies itself for the start of the national roll out that is now expected in early 2021.

On behalf of the ECHO board, Dave Wilkinson explained: “The ECHO journey - from drawing board of NPCC requirements to full service delivery - is soon to be realised, and Mark’s business management expertise will be a key catalyst for this leg of the journey and onwards.”

ECHO now approaches beta-testing of its automated alarms transmission service from ARCs to the Police.  Vanguard Police forces will be ECHO-connected from early 2021, when automated alarm signalling will be progressively rolled out.

More information about ECHO can be found at

Posted: 01/10/2020 more >