New video surveillance standards

March 2009 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation, Cenelec has formulated ‘System requirements’ part 1 of the EN 50132 ‘CCTV surveillance systems for use in security applications’ (EN 50132-1). This completes the framework of standards in video systems.

Frank Rottmann, Bosch Security Systems and chairman of the Cenelec video workgroup, says, “The standards are of considerable benefit to both users and manufacturers of security systems. They have the effect of stimulating the international markets for healthy growth. But it is essential that tests of security systems are done by the manufacturers and installers.”

Companies claiming that their products can be used in EN 50132-1 compliant systems give a first message about quality and key features, says Rottmann. Independant European laboratories, such as Certalarm, already offer certifications in accordance with EN standards.

The new standard will bring over 100 basic requirements into effect, all of which must be met by each video surveillance system to be compliant to EN 50132-1. Standardised, core technical security specifications governing video recording, transmission and display, as well as associated access rights and logging will be defined. Over 60 additional requirements will apply to systems deployed for high-risk environments. For broad acceptance of the standards users should carefully define their needed specific security grade applicable to their system.

Manufacturers as well as installers should design, test and document security systems in accordance to EN 50132. The security grade applicable to the system as a whole or individual components thereof can be determined by the end-user on the basis of a risk assessment or given by the insurer.

With a broad acceptance of the European standard EN 50132 Bosch anticipates a high and common level of performance in security systems across Europe due to only a single certificate. With EN-compliant systems, customers and security personnel will be sure that not only all events are monitored, recorded and indicated but also the system’s reliability, proper functionality and tamper protection are taken care of.

The European standards EN 50132 will gradually replace existing national standards. The standards will also be applied in European countries without current specifications of their own. Then, different systems may objectively be compared in terms of quality and performance, enabling the user to focus attention on his operational requirements as early as the tendering phase.

New revisions for the video transmission standard (Part 5) and the application guidelines (Part 7) are the next important milestones in the standardisation of video products and European harmonisation. Rottmann estimates a good chance that EN standards will be established at international level rather than just within Europe, “The entire series of standards is currently being reviewed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).”

For more information contact Natashya Naidu, Bosch Security Systems, +27 (0)11 651 9818,


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