Fire Safety, Social Housing

Discover the smarter way to cut fire risks in social housing

With waking watches costing on average £18,000 per building, per month, could a digital approach be the way forward in fire safety?

Following rising maintenance costs, the government’s whitepaper on social housing and the updated Fire Safety Act 2021, there has never been a greater need for solutions that can unlock cost savings, improve operational efficiencies and protect tenant safety.

The benefits of introducing intelligent technology

Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, more than 400 waking watches were established to monitor buildings across the country however the measure is not only expensive but also relies on humans for fire prevention which is unsustainable in the long term. Research has also shown that waking watches can exceed the cost of installing wired and wireless alarm systems within a matter of months.

Nick Rutter, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of FireAngel, says: “Since the Grenfell tragedy, there is huge interest in how IoT can provide real-time information, assess risk and engage with tenants to ensure they are and feel safe. With the right technologies, fire prevention and response can become easier, more effective and more proactive.”

Connected technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can provide 24/7 monitoring of buildings and send rapid, detailed safety alerts to transform fire safety and prevention management.

These technologies can be employed within the parameters of an existing budget and allow social landlords to take advantage of centralised, off-site monitoring so that multiple sites can be managed from a single place.

Data monitored in real-time can alert social landlords to the status of alarms in a property, for example, if triggered or in need of maintenance, in turn, eliminating wasteful visits, staff time and administration fees.

Through implementing smart technology, landlords will be able to monitor essential features such as the building’s age and condition and the wear and tear of electrical appliances. This insight provides an overview of buildings and their changing fire risks, allowing landlords to carry out maintenance checks or repairs at the point of need, ensuring costly problems are prevented and tenant safety is protected.

Looking to the future, a combination of IoT, robust fire detection and alert systems and evacuation plans unique to each resident’s needs could replace the need for on-site waking watches completely.

An agile approach to compliance with changing legislation

cut fire risks in social housing

As further updates to fire safety regulations are confirmed, connected technology can also help social housing owners remain agile whilst the IoT can help identify fire safety risks and which specific properties are affected, allowing for a prompt, targeted response from building managers and landlords.

Connected technology can not only monitor the risk level of a building, but also its residents, providing critical data on their physical or mental status. Cognitive and physical impairments are factors that can influence the probability of a fire, fire detection and the ability to extinguish it or evacuate the property, placing disabled, aged and vulnerable residents most at risk.

These residents may be more likely to leave a pan on the stove, for example, or use an electric heater for long periods of time, increasing their risk further. Understanding why particular tenants are at greater risk can help housing providers prevent fire-related emergencies. Digital methods can make this process simpler and less obtrusive for tenants.

Building a tailored network to protect vulnerable residents

cut fire risks in social housing

Technologies that are already familiar to many tenants, such as panic buttons or fall detectors, can be combined with new sensors that build on traditional fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to provide holistic support. For example, in the event of a cooker fire, a traditional heat alarm would trigger once the fire has ignited and the temperature has already reached a hazardous level.

However, installing a Stove Guard would effectively prevent cooker fires by intelligently switching electric cookers off before a fire can start.

With the right solution to combine these sensors and smart devices, social landlords can build a tailored IoT network to detect fire, carbon monoxide, and dangerous temperatures.

For aged tenants and the estimated 43% of social housing residents who live with a long-term disability, the use of cutting-edge technology that remotely monitors the home environment has the potential to prevent life-threatening events and enable independent living for longer.

Discover FireAngel Connected technology

cut fire risks in social housing

FireAngel Connected is a purpose-built cloud and IoT-based solution to help housing providers and their tenants monitor and mitigate fire risks throughout their properties. With the automated capabilities of FireAngel Predict™ built in, it helps to create the reliable, accurate insight housing providers need to protect their tenants, while maintaining a manageable and secure audit trail of data for each dwelling.

We’re leading the way in IoT and AI innovations through the development of advanced safety solutions tailored to the needs of housing providers. Our adaptable and future-proofed solutions are powered by unique, patented technology – transforming the future of fire safety and offering the most reliable and efficient solution that protects all. Why not find out more about our connected technology today?