First Choice Housing Association based in Penarth, the Vale of Glamorgan is installing Aico AudioLINK Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms throughout all of its properties in Wales and Shropshire.

First Choice is a small housing association founded in 1988 that provides bespoke homes for vulnerable adults, many of whom have additional physical disabilities. It also provides accommodation for respite and emergency intervention services for children and adults with a learning disability.

A forward thinking housing association, First Choice was one of the first in Wales to install CO alarms in all of its properties. That was ten years ago and, with the alarms coming to the end of their lives, the housing association was keen to investigate the latest quality alarms in the market to replace them.

First Choice was invited to visit Aico’s parent company Ei Electronics’ manufacturing facility in Ireland to see the development and production of Ei’s new AudioLINK CO alarm technology, and was duly impressed. First Choice Housing Association Maintenance Manager, Andrew Mouncher, comments: “Together, with one of our Board members Tim O’Connell and our Installer Gareth Selway from Frie-Rite Ltd., we were extremely impressed with this new product and the readings it could deliver via a phone app and email which would be invaluable should the alarm be called into action. From this visit we were convinced this was the right product for our association.”

First Choice opted for Aico’s Ei208 CO alarm with in-built AudioLINK data extraction technology. AudioLINK allows for invaluable real time data to be extracted via the alarm’s sounder – all you need is an AudioLINK enabled CO alarm, a tablet or smartphone and the free AudioLINK App. This data is converted into an Alarm Status report, which is simple to review and store. The Report displays useful information about the alarm and detection levels of CO, and can be emailed or stored in a key location for future reference.

First Choice will now be installing Aico AudioLINK CO alarms throughout all of its properties as a standard specification, with each property containing up to four alarms, depending on the size of the property and the number of fossil fuel burning appliances within.

For First Choice there were a number of key features of the alarms that made them so appealing, including their ease of installation, the ability to interconnect them with other alarms within a property (where required), their value for money and ten year life span, but the most important factor was the AudioLINK technology. Andrew explains: “I have worked in the RSL sector for many years and within this time I have experienced CO detectors activating on several occasions. If I had then the information that I can download for this new generation of CO detectors I am sure all involved would have been better equipped to provide a more targeted response. Coupled with these safeguards is the ability to accurately monitor testing and any unauthorised tampering.”

First Choice was also impressed with the level of service it has received from Aico: “The service from Aico has been exemplary; they have gone to great lengths to ensure the our Association’s satisfaction during the whole process. The visit to the factory confirmed the product was being manufactured by a company that was passionate about innovation and more importantly quality.”

A wholly owned subsidiary of Ei Electronics, Aico are market leaders in residential fire and CO protection in the UK. All alarms are designed and built in Ireland specifically to meet the UK standards and regulations. 2015 sees Aico’s 25th anniversary. With more mains powered domestic smoke alarms installed in the UK’s social housing than any other manufacturer, Aico are tried, tested and trusted. Aico have a dedicated team of Regional Managers to support specifications and supply of products. Aico also offer technical support over the phone and an internal sales team to help with any enquiries.

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