Burning issues at IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010

April 2010 Conferences & Events

Following a successful event in 2009, South Africa’s premier security exhibition, incorporating the broadest range of security companies, products and services in Africa under one roof, IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010 will once again be shaping the industry from 31 August 2010 to 2 September 2010 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

The inaugural IFSEC South Africa Securex 2009 proved to be a huge success. The event enticed more than 200 companies and in excess of 5500 security professionals from 48 countries, cementing the show's place as the definitive security, safety, fire and protection, and safety and health event for the African market.

This year’s show promises to be even better with the event attracting attention from South Africa, our northern neighbours and even the Far East. Among other firsts the event will host, the 2010 event will highlight the launch of a new Honeywell division in South Africa.

Sureen Nel from Honeywell Life Safety is launching and will be heading up the new Honeywell division in South Africa. Honeywell Life Safety provides solutions in intelligent sensing, gas, fire and smoke detection, health tele-monitoring and personal protective equipment. Watch this space for more information on this new division.

Reflecting a more serious focus on the fire market, IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010 will have a section devoted to the prevention, detection and suppression of fire and gas-related incidents. But that is definitely not all. Another international trend that will be very evident this year is the convergence between traditional security products and new IP-based systems. Convergence will form a large part of the show as vendors and service providers tout the benefits of IP in products from network video to intrusion detection.

Burning questions

While everyone hates fire drills and the precautions taken in the event of a fire, nobody wants to be caught in a fire or a situation where dangerous gases are leaking into their work area. Colin Kahn, Bosch Security SA's fire product expert says Bosch will be at the IFSEC South Africa this year.

Kahn notes that while Bosch has a full range of fire products in its arsenal, unfortunately, fire is still seen essentially as a grudge purchase and not as a moral obligation to protect the lives of guests, workers or the general public making use of the building facilities. “It is mostly driven by insurance company requirements, who also really only have a selfish motivation of reducing their own risk, and thereby increasing potential profits. Fire detection is unfortunately, to a large degree, still kept to minimum compliance levels. Systems are infrequently maintained and often not working at all. I fear that it will take a fire disaster of great magnitude, with many fatalities before the issue of fire detection is really taken seriously.”

Kahn would like to see SANS 10139:2007 legislated and enforced. This will ensure that adequate fire detection is installed in a functional manner. “A non-compliant fire detection system is the equivalent of no fire system at all. If the smoke cannot reach the detector, or if the cables burn through, or if unsupported cable collapses into a tangled heap, hindering any evacuation, the benefit of any installed fire detection becomes null and void,” he says.

Lauren Sher from Xtralis also wants to see SANS 10139 implemented. Sher says she was out of the fire industry for almost a year, but when she returned she was pleasantly surprised to see there has been a definite upturn in the importance of fire detection in the market – although we still have a long way to go to match European standards.

Kahn adds that it is of utmost importance that installation technicians skills be regulated. “Installation companies and their staff should be registered with a regulatory body and comply with minimum training and installation standards. There is currently no guideline or enforceable minimum standard to which they are measured and controlled.”

On the exhibition's floor this year, Kahn expects the fire-EVAC relationship to feature prominently and he also expects to see an increased focus on holistic security system integration.

Convergence steals the show

Once again the unstoppable move to IP-based systems will be a driving force at IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010.

Sasha Davidson, marketing manager for Axis Communications SA, a long-term exhibitor, says convergence “is the most important trend in the security market at the moment. Following this trend we are fast seeing an increase in sales of IP-based products into segments where historically analogue products have been dominant.”

She adds that converged solutions offer standardised technology platforms. “The versatility this technology affords its users far exceeds use in purely security applications and can now be utilised for process and business management as well as health and safety procedures.”

On the show floor, Axis will be demonstrating its IP solutions, including high-definition (HD) video surveillance technology. “Products you can expect to see are our increased HD range, multistream day/night cameras and the world’s first true digital IP thermal camera,” Davidson adds.

Zane Greeff, technical director at Elvey, another regular exhibitor, adds, “Convergence is becoming more and more important, mainly because of the cost savings, speed and accuracy of transitions on an IP platform. Everybody, including the traditionally conservative banks and mining groups are moving to IP and we are seeing an increase of more than 20% growth year on year.”

When asked what the benefits converged solutions deliver to businesses today are, Greeff lists cost savings, speed, total connectivity, flexibility (not limited by distance and place) and full redundancy as starting points. These features will be clearly visible on the Elvey stand, as will solutions based on Ethernet and/or 3G/GPRS.

Be there or miss out

IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010 promises visitors the most comprehensive overview of the African security industry under one roof. From protective clothing to the latest technology, it is all there.

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