Onward are a leading provider of quality, affordable homes for rent and sale in the North West. From Accrington to Stockport, they own and manage over 35,000 homes across the region. The housing provider offers help and support to vulnerable people facing a range of challenges and create strong and vibrant communities that their customers are proud to be a part of.
Always putting resident safety at the forefront of their agenda, Onward have upgraded their Fire and CO alarm detection systems to an LD2 in alignment with recommendations outlined in British Standard BS 5839-6:2019+A1:2020. To achieve this, Onward are currently rolling out Aico’s 3000 Series across their entire housing stock. This has presented the housing provider with a range of benefits, firstly the ability to easily interlink the systems wirelessly with the use of the Ei3000MRF module. The installation also took advantage of multi-sensor technology, utilising Aico’s Ei3028 Multi-Sensor Heat and CO alarm, to give full protection in the kitchen with one unit. A further benefit is dust compensation technology – a standard feature across all optical sensors in the 3000 Series. This feature adjusts the sensitivity of the sensor itself as dust accumulates, reducing false alarms and leading to less call outs while still maintaining the same level of protection.
Onward found Aico’s innovative onsite data extraction technology, AudioLINK, a valuable tool for alarm maintenance and resident safety. This feature allows visiting engineers or installers to easily extract the data from an alarm head to assess accordingly. Recently, an engineer call out which was initially actioned by a resident concerned about a “broken alarm” ended with potentially lifesaving measures being carried out. Upon visiting the property, the engineer was able to quickly assess the Ei3028 multi-sensor using Aico’s AudioLINK data extraction technology and learned that the CO levels in the room were dangerously high. This quick response technology allowed the engineer to evacuate the property and notify the housing association, who in turn were able to send an emergency gas engineer who condemned a gas cooking hob.
Katie Pemberton, Compliance Technical Officer for Onward Homes highlighted the benefit to resident safety with an upgrade to a LD2 Fire and CO alarm system, adding “This case study shows the importance of having adequate coverage of detection in our properties for the safety of our tenants. Software such as the AudioLINK App is always evolving and improving, and this is a great example of how valuable this software can be to detect problems. The safety of our tenants is our biggest priority and this example shows that investing in this equipment will save lives.”
Electrical Manager, Alan Duncan commented “Our electrician on the contract was sent to a job identified as ‘smoke detectors going off’. When he arrived, the alarms were silent, but the tenant informed him that it appeared to be the kitchen detector activating the system whenever cooking on the hob. The alarm in the kitchen was an Aico Heat & Co multi-sensor (Ei3028). He asked the tenant to use the hob and the detector activated soon after. He used the Aico AudioLINK app which showed high levels of CO>150ppm. He also changed the head to see if it was too sensitive but the new one showed the same readings. The housing association were informed and sent their emergency gas engineer who capped off and condemned the hob. Most housing associations only want open flued appliances covered but they should think again.”
Pictured: The AudioLINK report from the CO event
Carl Traynor, Aico’s Regional Specification Manager who is working with Onward on the upgrade project commented “Having installed alarms personally as an electrician, I recognise the massive value of the AudioLINK app. It is the ease of use and versatility to help triage issues on site, in this case proving that there was in fact a serious issue cannot be understated. It is a section of our training courses that I always heavily stress and demonstrate.”
AudioLINK+ is now faster, quieter, and more reliable. The second iteration of the award-winning AudioLINK technology makes it simple to get real-time data from Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms via the AudioLINK+ app. AudioLINK+ extracts the same data as AudioLINK but does this quicker and quieter than before to reduce disturbance and does not affect any other functionality of alarms. With the average time to take a report taking between 4-7 seconds, AudioLINK+ technology makes getting real-time data from Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms more efficient – saving time, money and lives.