Alertacall - Digital Switchover

Connect smoke alarms more intelligently Many housing providers choose to monitor smoke alarm activations and currently some hard wired alarm and warden call systems in individual dwellings have a smoke alarm connected to them. Following the removal of hard wired alarm and warden call systems, those smoke alarms will need to continue to act as audible warning systems in accordance with fire safety guidelines. Of course, some housing providers may also want them to continue to be monitored. However, smoke alarms do not need to be physically connected with a wire/cable to hard wired alarm and intercom systems. There are smoke alarms available which: • are both mains and battery powered (for several years) • can communicate reliably, wirelessly with external alarm receiving centres • provide self-reporting and testing data This means smoke alarms and activations can be monitored as they are now, with contact being made to residents if necessary over their own telephones or, for example, touchscreen devices with calling capabilities that you may have supplied to them. It is also possible to connect smoke alarms in individual dwellings to the wider landlord system in the building which is already connected to a fire panel and is being monitored. They do not need to be connected to any hardwired alarms unit deployed in the individual dwelling. This route can be particularly attractive to housing providers who are rationalising all their fire safety procedures. How to reduce false smoke alarm activations The housing provider has a responsibility to reduce false alarms before events are escalated to the fire service. Traditionally, a monitoring centre would call a resident over the hard wired alarm and warden call system. It should be noted that this approach is not always very effective at reducing false alarms because residents are often non-responsive, confused by the noise of the smoke alarm or otherwise unable to determine whether there really is a smoke or fire problem. This can be achieved after the removal of hard wired alarm and warden call systems by using one of the following approaches: • Install in each dwelling a modern multi-sensor smoke alarm head with built-in technology that automatically and effectively reduces the number of false alarms. • If there is an activation of a smoke alarm, a monitoring centre can make either a telephone call to the resident to determine whether the activation was real. • Several other innovations can improve fire safety and response procedures where the occupancy of properties is properly tracked and recorded. For example, the OKEachDay service from Alertacall encourages residents to inform the housing provider of their whereabouts on a day by day basis, allowing the housing provider to quickly access reports outlining who is away from their property on a given day, essentially providing a fire-register. 14