Northwards Housing in Manchester is undertaking a major smoke alarm upgrade programme across its entire housing stock of 13,500 properties, using Aico’s Multi-Sensor Fire Alarms.
Northwards Housing is a not-for-profit ALMO (arms length management organisation) that manages City Council homes across north Manchester. It has been a long standing Aico customer of more than 15 years, fitting Aico’s Ei150 series mains powered optical smoke alarms for most of that time.
An innovator in the industry, Aico continuously develops its alarm technology, including the 150 Series which was originally launched 22 years ago. It has also introduced a number of new alarms and ranges during that time which, with their easier installation, improved aesthetics and increased performance, have superseded the 150, resulting in its discontinuation earlier this year.
Keen to benefit from the latest alarm technologies, Northwards Housing has been replacing its 150 alarms with Aico’s Multi-Sensor over the past few years. With the launch of Aico’s new Multi-Sensor Fire Alarm, Ei2110e in 2015, Northwards Housing changed the specification immediately to this latest model.
Alan White, Mechanical & Electrical Manager for Responsive Repairs & Servicing at Northwards Housing, explains the move: “We changed to the Multi-Sensor to give better fire detection and also reduce false alarms such as those caused by burning toast, which can be a nuisance to residents”.
The new Multi-Sensor Fire Alarm, Ei2110e will be fitted across 13,500 properties over the next ten years as part of a rolling replacement programme to replace existing 150 Series alarms reaching the end of their lives. Transition from the rectangular 150 series alarms to the circular Ei2110e has been made simple through the use of Ei1516 masking plates which cover any marks left by the previous unit and maintain the aesthetics of a room, as Alan explains: “the installation is uncomplicated and we use the masking plates to cover the difference in design shape”.
Aico’s mains powered Multi-Sensor Fire Alarm, Ei2110e, contains two sensor types, optical and heat, to constantly monitor smoke and heat levels, sending and receiving information via its intelligent detection software. This sensor information alters the alarm’s sensitivity and trigger points, automatically providing the best response to all fire types and reduces potential false alarms.
This alarm comes with a host of sophisticated features, including data extraction technology AudioLINK. AudioLINK is an award winning technology that enables real time data to be extracted from each alarm using its sounder directly to a smartphone or tablet via an App to create an Alarm Status Report. The Report displays useful information about the alarm, such as battery life, alarm sensors status, number of times tested and removed; and any alarm activation, with details of when it occurred – all in a simple format.
Northwards Housing specified the new Multi-Sensor Fire Alarm, Ei2110e after attending the launch event in 2015. “The ease of fit, the ease of connectivity with other sensors or devices and the data extraction technology are all added benefits of the new Multi-Sensor” explains Alan. “Going forward the data extraction function will allow us to monitor the status of the detector and regularity of testing”.
Northwards Housing will be installing two Ei2110e Multi-Sensors into houses and one into flats, but each property will be risk assessed according to Building Regulations and BS 5839-6:2013 (the standard for domestic smoke alarm installations). Alarms will be hardwired together in each property, but where this is not practical or would result in unsightly mini trunking runs, RadioLINK+ wireless alarm interconnection will be used. RadioLINK+ allows alarms and accessories on the system to communicate with each other using Radio Frequency (RF) signals rather than hard wiring. It comes as a plug in module, which has the added benefit of negating the need for a separate RadioLINK base.
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. With more mains powered domestic smoke alarms installed in the UK’s social housing than any other manufacturer, Aico is tried, tested and trusted.