As recently as six years ago there were simply no comprehensive technical and/or organizational solutions regarding safety in public buildings. The need and demand grew for school safety in particular, especially after the tragic shooting in Winnenden. The German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) set up the first working groups in 2010 on this issue; these culminated eventually in a DKE working group. Representing the first milestones, parts 1 and 2 of the "Emergency and Hazard-Response Systems (EHRS)" pre-standard were published as drafts in the first quarter of 2015.
The purpose of an Emergency and Hazard-Response System is to record events (emergency and hazard alarms), to forward them to a (technical) receiver and to display them in an appropriate manner to the relevant rescue service. By acknowledging receipt of the alarm, the rescue service assumes responsibility for verifying and initiating the measures defined in the risk management file. The party issuing the alarm receives suitable acknowledgment. An automatic or manual response is then set in motion to prevent any harm to persons and to terminate the triggering event and the alarm condition.
The first part - "Basic requirements, tasks, responsibilities and activities" - describes technical processes and responsibilities for supporting all processes from the detection of an emergency or a hazard through to its resolution. It covers technical risk management including protection target definition, process organization, roles and the necessary requirements for a risk management file. The pre-standard lists the basic requirements for EHRSs in public buildings, such as educational institutions (e.g. schools, universities), government agencies, kindergartens and similar facilities, but can also be applied to non-public buildings with a similar risk profile and protection requirement. Part 2 contains supplementary requirements for emergency and hazard intercom systems (EHIs) and should be used together with Part 1 for the design, construction, commissioning, handover, operation and maintenance of such systems. These serve to transmit emergency and hazard signals to a rescue organization for the remote evaluation of a situation by means of voice communication, and therefore to initiate appropriate intervention, protection and rescue action.
An EHI system can also transmit standard operating procedures and additional information and can be used for everyday communication. Depending on their security level, they offer high-level availability, end-device and permanent system monitoring. It is not the purpose of the pre-standard to prescribe large-scale investment. Its final product, rather, is the so-called risk management file, which describes how tasks, responsibilities, processes and possible technology should be documented, described and implemented. The pre-standard remains open-ended and serves as a guide to documenting and describing the demand and the objectives, and their execution. It defines a specific demand only in connection with a given degree of risk.