The London Borough of Ealing is currently undergoing a significant regeneration programme to transform many of its homes, estates and neighbourhoods to improve the social prosperity and quality of life for its residents.
Led by Ealing Council, significant investments are being made that challenge the way in which it delivers housing services to tenants living in 17,000 of its properties across West London.
As part of its ambitious plans, the council is implementing one of the biggest IoT roll outs of its kind for a UK social housing provider, through the installation of FireAngel’s ground-breaking system, FireAngel Connected, across its entire housing portfolio.
The new agreement will revolutionise the way in which Ealing Council monitors and manages its housing stock, eliminating the requirement for gaining physical access to a property, as all of the required device data is transmitted wirelessly in real time via a secure cloud network.
Built on 15 years of IoT expertise, FireAngel’s unique connected home offering has been developed to allow Social Housing Providers to remotely monitor safety devices in real-time and ensure 24/7 compliance.
After an initial review of Ealing Council’s Fire Safety Policy, it was clear a fire safety system that provided transparent and continuous monitoring of each alarm in every property would enable the council to increase the level of protection provided, while simultaneously streamlining maintenance processes to quickly identify any potential risks.
With a portfolio of over 17,000 properties, the chosen solution also needed to accommodate all housing types provided by Ealing Council. Following the review and an initial trial period, FireAngel Connected was chosen due to its significant purchase savings and reduction of running costs through the provision of connected solutions that can be adapted and upgraded at a later date to meet future regulations.
Paul Cook, Interim Health and Safety Manager at Ealing Council, said: “IoT is an area that will continue to evolve and improve and I was really impressed with the investment FireAngel had and continues to make with regard to its connected technology. By partnering with FireAngel we are confident we will not only provide our tenants with the highest standards in fire protection, but cost-effectively streamline our asset management in the process. We are proud to be one of the first social housing providers of our size in the UK making this significant shift to connected technologies.”
Ealing Council’s entire housing stock will benefit from the brand new connected system, which will deliver maximum protection through real time remote monitoring of each property via a secure wireless network. FireAngel’s unique patented technology, FireAngel Predict™, will also be installed to highlight trends and high risk patterns of behaviour to prompt earlier intervention before an actual fire event.
The installation of over 122,000 of FireAngel’s battery-powered Specification Range smoke, heat and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms is already underway, with the devices being fitted by Ealing Council’s team of installers.
The alarms are exclusively supplied by CEF through the Procurement for Housing framework and because they are battery-powered, no hardwiring is required, providing significant cost and resource savings, whilst simultaneously reducing the period of time in which the installers are in each of the tenant’s homes.
Every property in Ealing Council’s housing stock historically specified an LD3 Category mains-powered system from another supplier. The new partnership will see the level of protection throughout each property upgraded to an LD1 Category Specification, in accordance with BS 5839-6.
The suite of alarms will also be enhanced by a FireAngel Connected Gateway, which will be fitted outside of each property to provide Ealing Council with additional real time updates regarding the status and performance of each alarm.
Paul continued: “This is a significant project for Ealing Council, but one that is necessary to transform the way in which we effectively manage and monitor not only our entire housing stock, but the safety of every tenant living in each of our properties.”
As the alarms are wirelessly interlinked across a secure private network, the innovative and adaptable technology will allow Ealing Council to easily monitor and manage the status of the alarms in real time, FireAngel’s Predict™ technology will also enable Paul and his team to remotely understand the trends and levels of risk each property presents and as tenant needs change.
The FireAngel Connected Gateway uses a unique algorithm and features patented Predict™ technology to identify and highlight high risk patterns of behaviour with regard to fire safety, bridging the gap in communication by instantly notifying necessary individuals in the event of an alarm notification.
For example, high risk or vulnerable individuals, such as those living alone and are hard of hearing or living with dementia, can be remotely overseen in real time as the Connected Gateway sends live updates to designated individuals regarding the status of the smoke, heat and CO alarms installed throughout the property.
James King, Director of Connected Homes for FireAngel, said: “There has been a real shift in behaviour and circumstance due to COVID-19 and social housing providers are under increasing pressure, specifically with regard to fire safety.
“From challenges gaining access to properties, to overcoming issues regarding the adequate measurement and management of property risk, there are a number of complications and costs associated with missed tenant appointments and the difficulty engineers experience when trying to gain access to properties to conduct necessary maintenance and repairs. This is resulting not only in a reduction of the level of protection potentially provided, but ultimately costly consequences, particularly with regard to the expense of repair following a fire.
“This is why connected technologies that support remote monitoring capabilities are so important, as they enable providers, such as Ealing Council, to continuously monitor each of the fire and CO safety devices across their stock via a central, secure cloud based system.
“The partnership between ourselves and Ealing Council will ensure the council exceeds compliance with current legal requirements across each of its 17,000 properties as part of its commitment to provide the very highest standards for each of its tenants.”
Featuring Smart RF technology, the range of mains and battery-powered alarms supports the interlink of up to 50 devices together on a wireless network, simply by fitting a Smart RF module. As the alarms are on a private network, when one alarm sounds, they all sound. This also immediately notifies tenants of a potential fire or CO event, providing a faster response time that allows individuals to safely and quickly exit the property.
By taking a proactive and revolutionary approach to the installation of preventative fire safety measures that utilise connected technologies, Paul and the rest of the team at Ealing Council can successfully remove the physical barriers many providers traditionally face, ensuring full compliance across their entire housing stock, whilst understanding and meeting fire safety requirements of the future.
For more information on FireAngel’s connected fire and CO safety solution for social housing providers, please visit www.fireangel.co.uk/connect or contact your local specification manager.