Predicting fires before they happen with cutting-edge technology

An industry report has predicted the number of connected devices being used worldwide will grow to 20.8billion by 2020*. What opportunities could this present for social housing providers and landlords?
Nick Rutter, Chief Product Officer for FireAngel, explores the latest connected safety solutions and how they are transforming the capabilities of fire safety technologies…

Over the last decade the development of internet of things (IoT) and the notion of a ‘connected home’ has undergone significant developments. Initially starting as a rather fantastical concept, today’s IoT technology is relevant to everyday life, primarily designed to ‘make life easier for the user’.


Predicting fires before they happen with cutting-edge technology

Penetration of smart home devices has reached almost a quarter throughout the UK according to a latest statistic by YouGov, with speakers and thermostats currently the two most popular forms of technology. However, security and safety is an emerging area for IoT and connected technology, with 3% of UK households currently using this type of technology – a figure that is set to rise.
Security sensors can record a plethora of data, from audio and video to temperature and location, enabling the landlord, to have real-time insight into the daily operations of the home and the safety of its inhabitants.
It’s this ability to transmit information wirelessly via a cloud-based network that provides landlords and housing associations with the opportunity to bridge the gap between themselves and their tenants – by creating a constant dialogue via cloud-based software.
When it comes to fire safety, tenants are now able to access their network of alarms via a mobile app if an alarm has activated. In turn, landlords are able to also access the network and can instantly view if a tenant is in potential danger or if an alarm has been removed, for example.
For vulnerable tenants who may potentially present a greater risk, such as the elderly or those living with dementia or hearing loss, the technology provides real-time notifications.
However, it’s the ability to record the diagnostic information these interlinked alarms communicate, including any alarm activation, that is taking connected technology one step further. These sector advancements are prompting a shift towards prevention, in addition to reaction. FireAngel Predict – unique, patent-pending, predictive algorithm technology – has been designed to  identify patterns of potentially dangerous behaviour, sending an alert to intervene.
So how does this work? Wi-Safe 2 interlinked alarms continuously send data back to the gateway which then reports the events to the cloud platform – including any false alarms. If recurring alarm events are recorded on the device, the algorithm is able to identify potential patterns of high-risk behaviour and notify the relevant individual. For example, if an elderly resident living with dementia has forgotten that they are cooking a meal, and a record of false alarms are recorded on the gateway due to food burning on the hob, the algorithm will identify a dangerous pattern of behaviour and send out a notification to prompt preventative measures to be implemented.
Connected technology is here to stay and removes potential boundaries between housing providers and tenants, allowing them to remotely manage estates and ensure they are providing overarching protection for all individuals – including their most vulnerable tenants.

Home safety brand FireAngel and home management provider Mears Group have teamed up to provide a bespoke connected home management system which has the potential to predict life-threatening situations.
The new relationship will see FireAngel supply Mears and its clients with a system which connects smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms to a cloud-based system. This allows Mears to monitor and manage alarms remotely and also lets tenants review important fire and safety information relating to their property.
David Miles, chief executive of Mears, said, “There are real safety, commercial and financial benefits to optimising our interaction with tenants and reducing the number of unanswered visits from our maintenance teams.
“We are witnessing a transition to integrated technologies and the FireAngel system will enable us to centralise those technologies into one central hub.”

*Gartner report.

FireAngel Connect
• Links Wi-Safe 2 alarms to the cloud
• Monitors smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms
• Monitored remotely by housing maintenance group
• Provides tenants with safety information
• Alerts family of vulnerable tenants