WebWayOne held its inaugural Alarm transmission system (ATS) seminar at Bletchley Park on 1st March.
WebWayOne hosted the event, with guest speakers from the Building Research Establishment (BRE), ISS Finland and O2 Telefonica, and with a good level of attendance by insurance companies, consultancies, installers and ARCs.
Since the inception of the euro grading system for intruder alarms, insurance companies have typically continued to recommend high performance signalling, what is now referred at as ‘Grade’ 4 (ATS5), regardless the grade of alarm system; but over the last two years low grade, low cost signalling has tended to proliferate within the market. These systems reduce costs of analogue signalling, but increase the risk for end users and insurance companies as such systems may not report a path failure, or total ATS failure/catastrophic failure, for many hours.
WebWay technology focuses on confirmation scenarios as described in BS8243. BS8243 states that identifying dual path signalling failure can be treated as a high confidence that an intrusion is taking place. Grade 2 and 3 signalling systems may not report dual path failure for 1 to 24 hours. Key holders attend site as it is unclear whether the secondary remains operational.
WebWay recommends that insurers and installers add warnings to the specification of Grade 2 and 3 signalling systems with long path failure reporting times. With clearer guidance provided, end users can make more readily informed choices based on risk and ATS functionality rather than just price.
The advice from WebWay is that those involved in the specification of remote signalling solutions need to ask themselves and/or end users only three simple questions to help determine the best system for them.
Q1. How quickly does an alarm need to be transmitted?
Answer: "Within a few seconds."
Q2. Do you want to ensure that the alarm message that arrives at the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) has not been tampered with during transmission?
Answer: "Yes, I care about encryption over any PSTN, IP or GSM/GPRS network."
Q3. How quickly do you want to determine that the signalling system/hardware or associated networks have failed?
Answer: "Within a few minutes."
WebWay provided the audience with a guide to communications technology from the security industry perspective, explaining that copper lines and radio technology provide the "access" path to the shared national infrastructure. Technologies such as PSTN, ADSL, GSM, GPRS and 3G are all methods of accessing that infrastructure and are not in themselves separate networks.
All communications equipment, networks and receiving platforms can be considered highly reliable whether using PSTN, IP or GSM/GPRS connections. WebWay pointed out that only frequent polling of networks enables the ATS service provider to identify sites with possible performance issues, and in this regard WebWay provides a proactive monitoring service which notifies ARCs and installers of sites which require remedial action.
"WebWay products continuously monitor the networks to performance levels described in LPS1277 Issue 3 as an enhanced ATS5 and enhanced ATS4 plus. Using digital technology a much higher degree of accuracy and decision making can automatically take place. Installer’s jobs are made easier as they’re provided with remote diagnostics instead of simple "fault" alerts.
Martin Aris representing BRE, explained how LPCB approval to LPS 1277 Issue 3 provides specifiers with assurance that the installed product (supervised premises transceiver) will operate to specification, and how the process of on-going product audits and regular factory production control inspections ensure continued compliance.
LPS 1277 covers all types of alarm signalling including PSTN and Ethernet based IP solutions, taking WebwayOne as an example; both the WebWay GPRS/PSTN and Webway IP/GPRS solutions are LPCB approved.
LPS 1277 Issue 3.0 links the requirements of the European alarm signalling standards with specific UK requirements bringing system specification in line with the confirmation scenarios of BS8243.
With s o many misleading terms used to promote the us e of alarm signalling products , such as "designed to comply with", "m eets ...", "operates in accordance with" none of which actually mean the product has been independently tested and assessed for compliance. Specifiers need a clear and unambiguous method to identify products that genuinely comply with the requirements. To avoid doubt Martin advised specifiers to make use of the LPCB approval scheme. Legitimate claims of compliance can be quickly verified simply by looking for the LPCB horseshoe mark on the products or associated literature and entering in the LPCB certificate number into www.Redbooklive.com.
In his conclusion Martin s tated "it had been a pleas ure to work with WebWayOne throughout the approval process. WebwayOne always responded quickly to our requests. LPCB felt reassured that WebWayOne were able to offer their clients an excellent level of support". – Martin Aris, BRE Associate.
Sampo Jokinen, R&D Manager at ISS (and a CENELEC participant) explained how WebWayOne products and s ervices were being us ed to migrate thous ands of ISS’s cus tomers from analogue to IP s ignalling. ISS have implemented four mirrored WebWay servers in their ARCs which route events to the fifteen regional fire stations in country. He explained that the role of the service provider is to ensure that an event can be transmitted at any moment. The only way to do so was to proactively monitor all connections and automatically identify those that have low availability. WebWay technology provided the communications and management solution to enable ISS to make the switch.
"ISS has worked with WebWayOne to provide a s ecure service in Finland for fire alarm transmiss ion. Our companies work in partnership to deliver a professional and quality service whatever the challenge. We continue to work together to provide s ervice and technological innovation." Sampo Jokinen, R&D Manager, ISS Finland.
Graham Doe of O2 M2M (Machine to Machine) solutions explained how the relationship between the two businesses had resulted in the most secure and reliable signalling solution for GPRS communications. O2 provide WebWayOne with a management platform for all SIMs with roaming enabled for both GPRS/PSTN and IP/GPRS solutions. The system goes further by providing real time SIM and network diagnostics, bandwidth management (essential when providing BS8418 CCTV solutions) and the ability to limit access to an underperforming mobile network. Graham explained how the O2 network completes over 6 billion telephone calls a month and transmits over 1.5 billion mega bytes of data delivering a massively scalable, robust and secure system for all stakeholders.
"It was an interesting seminar with a good range of speakers. At Aviva we recognise the benefits of using products and services that have been independently assessed, by an appropriate certification body, as meeting a suitable level of performance. Companies that achieve LPCB approval for Alarm Transmission Products under the LPS1277 3.0 approval s cheme, especially those that perform at the ‘Enhanced’ ATS4+ and ATS5 levels , demonstrate a commitment to providing quality products in a manner that assists specifiers and end users in making informed choices." Richard Underwood. Risk Adviser and Security Specialist – Property. Aviva Risk Management Solutions
"RSA consider IP dual signalling systems that have been certified by the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) as LPS1277 Issue 3 compliant products operating at performance level ATS5 and installed in accordance with ANNEX C of the standard to be acceptable for the vast majority of UK Theft Risks." Donna Hamer. Portfolio Technical Manager. UK Underwriting. Royal and Sun Alliance.
"O2 Telefonica continues to support WebWayOne in providing secure and reliable GPRS solutions for the electronic security market in the UK and across Europe. Working together is delivering new innovation to this segment of the M2M market. These factors continue to have a positive impact on growth and the wide adoption of WebWay technology." Graham Doe, Head of M2 M Sales , O2 Telefonica.
"An excellent seminar which focused on education over marketing. Of particular interest was the clear understanding of confirmation scenarios, approval using Loss Prevention Standards and WebWay’s partnership with O2. Most of all it highlighted that WebWay provides a clear alternative to current market solutions. The broad range of attendees and location made this a very worthwhile seminar to attend. We will be considering using WebWay technology in future projects." Marc Lucking, Senior Technical Consultant, Cornerstone GRG.
"I’ve worked with WebWay and their solutions for many years. The solution delivers excellent return on investment for stake holders in the supply chain in terms of savings, security and management." Mark Barnett, Sales and Marketing Director. Swift Fire and Security plc.
"A most informative day. WebWay and Honeywell products are used in thousands of monitored connections for retail clients in the UK and abroad. The solution delivers network monitoring, SIA protocol alarms and use of the Honeywell Remote Service Suite over WebWay’s encrypted protocol which benefits the end user and installer." Douglas Gray, Honeywell.
"A very informative day. Providing end users with clear specification guidance can add value to professional installers proposals. Fast confirmation of events is critical and end users must be allowed to make an informed choice when selecting any security product. WebWay’s seminar has given new clarity to that process using LPS1277 Issue 3 as the basis." James Wilson, Secure It All.