Home safety technology specialist FireAngel, have been protecting our nation’s homes for nearly a quarter of a century. Since being founded in 1998, FireAngel’s range of home safety solutions have continued to support evolving social housing, trade and retail markets, resulting in making UK homes safer.
Here, we talk with FireAngel’s Co-Founder and Chief-Product Officer Nick Rutter to hear more of his career experience, passion for safety and the drive behind the business vision.
I co-founded FireAngel in 1998 and was Technology Director for 10 years, before becoming Managing Director for a further 10 years. In 2018, I became Chief Product Officer, which is my current role. As Chief Product Officer, I am responsible for setting the technological vision of the business and ensuring our extensive portfolio of innovative safety solutions constantly evolves towards that vision.
Before FireAngel, I worked in Hong Kong as a product designer for Philips, designing audio products. As a product designer, I’ve always been interested in the creation and manufacture of products, which led me to the technology start-up that ultimately became FireAngel.
Prior to the conception of FireAngel, the UK market for smoke alarms was flooded with products that ultimately provided a bad user experience. This prompted customers to have no brand loyalty, which is where we identified the opportunity to create an innovative safety product brand that combined the best of UK design and engineering skills with cost-effective high-volume manufacturing.
My passion has always been, and continues to be, ensuring we protect, save and improve our customers’ lives by making innovative, cutting-edge technology that is simple and accessible for everyone.
Over the last decade, there have been significant advancements in the development and adoption of IoT / Connected devices. Whilst detection is the first part of protection, information is the second. There continues to be some really exciting developments in remote monitoring, which is providing direct access to essential data.
Having continuous access to this information enables resources to be applied in the most appropriate way, as the data can be effectively analysed to understand the potential level of risk throughout the property and apply the necessary preventative measures accordingly.
There continues to be disparities between the levels of smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) protection required throughout socially and privately rented properties across the UK.
Whilst the amendments to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 have delivered much needed changes with regard to the regulation of smoke and CO alarms in private and rented properties, I believe that if the recommendations of the updated Scottish Tolerable Standard were applied to England, Wales and Northern Ireland a significant number of lives would be saved.
By recommending and installing interlinked devices, in line with the updated Scottish Tolerable Standard. I believe that if the recommendations were applied to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a significant number of lives would be saved.
This is because the wireless interlinking of smoke, heat and CO alarms throughout key locations of a domestic property, including lounges, bedrooms and circulation areas, achieves the earliest possible warning of a fire, as by meshing multiple devices together onto a private network, when one alarm sounds, they all sound.
By installing devices that feature connected technologies, a hybrid system is created, which can be continuously expanded and adapted to include additional safety products, as and when required, to provide the highest possible levels of protection, particularly for vulnerable individuals who present the highest potential risk or when a change in legislation requires enhanced protection.
Legislation will continue to drive changes throughout this year and beyond, in line with the amendments to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. BSI has also officially withdrawn the EN 50291-1:2010 standard as of 26th September 2021, which has been superseded by the EN 50291-1:2018 standard.
The development of technologies that feature AI to potentially avert fires before they even start will also continue to be a main driver for the sector, enabling professionals to adopt a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to fire and CO safety that can also be tailored to each individual’s specific needs.