Fire Safety, Social Housing
More than 7,000 fires were reported in purpose-built properties in the past 12 months. However, these numbers are estimated to be a lot higher due to the fire either dying out or residents extinguishing it themselves without calling the Fire and Rescue Services.
Smart technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be introduced by housing providers to gather data on all fire events, including those unreported, to help reduce the number of fires through proactive intervention.
When only 1 in 4 fires are known to UK Fire and Rescue Services, pinpointing those at risk can be difficult. However, connected technology can be used to expose these unrecorded fires in communities, and is already being used to do so in many property portfolios across the UK.
By using connected technology in properties, social landlords can receive instant alarm activation alerts to support rapid containment of a fire and contact the Fire and Rescue Service or if needed prioritise evacuation of residents.
These rapid alerts would also provide vital cost-effective support and potentially reduce the need for the 400 ‘waking watch’ crews deployed across the country which cost on average nearly £18,000 per building, per month. This would enable housing providers to establish a more holistic approach to the safety of residents.
With many families unable to visit loved ones due to the pandemic, changing behaviours may have been missed. For example, an individual showing the early signs of an illness such as dementia, which can lead to an increased fire risk, could have easily slipped through the gaps.
However, by using the IoT to monitor property data over time, property owners can stay informed of trends and alerted to when they need to check in with residents.
By integrating with other telecare systems, this intelligent technology can help provide care and support for tenants who need it most. It also helps to highlight unidentified vulnerable tenants, including those suffering from other conditions which affect their safety.
This could include hoarding, related to 30% of fire deaths in the UK, with 16,000 homes deemed a fire risk by the Fire and Rescue Service. Remote monitoring capabilities of connected technology ensures residents are still protected without requiring access to their property.
Many housing providers don’t have the time or resources to allocate busy staff with the task of manually sifting through spreadsheets to decipher pages of data.
Connected technology can support social housing teams by integrating with other asset management systems, enabling information to be accessed in one centralised dashboard.
Pairing this connected technology with predictive analytics can also support active intervention to reduce probability of future fire incidents. By processing, sorting and structuring data in real-time, housing providers can instantly identify residents most at risk in individual properties.
This clear, tiered risk assessment for each property means there can be an instant, targeted response.
By combining intelligent, connected technology such as the IoT and AI with remote monitoring and predictive analytics, social housing providers can provide a higher level of fire protection and prevention within current resources.
Developed with support from the UK Fire and Rescue Service, FireAngel Predict™ runs a unique algorithm patented in application that spots trends of behaviours logged by smoke and heat alarms, creating a map of fire safety triggers and categorising properties as high, medium or low risk.
Speaking on the impact Predict™ will have in the industry, Steve Topman, Director of Service Support at Humberside Fire & Rescue Services, said: “FireAngel Predict™ will provide a step-change in fire safety. This unique cloud-based technology evaluates numerous criteria in real-time, allowing us to pinpoint high risk scenarios and intervene to prevent fires before they start.”
Tried, tested and trusted after 10 years of development, FireAngel Predict™ gives visibility of previously hidden trends within social housing properties, such as alarms activating through the night or devices being removed. Automatically highlighting these potentially dangerous behaviours to social housing providers enables active intervention to mitigate risk with a personalised Safe and Well check by the Resident Safety Team or Fire and Rescue Services to help prevent a life-threatening event.
To find out how FireAngel’s extensive range of connected fire safety solutions can suit your housing portfolio or to discover more about FireAngel Predict™, get in touch with our team of specialists.