Fife Council has engaged in a rolling programme to upgrade all of its 32,000 properties with Aico 3000 Series Alarms.
Fife Council has been installing alarms to the LD2 category of protection for many years, so changes in Scottish legislation, introduced early in 2019, which raises the minimum level of fire safety, did not affect the Council.
Jim Macdonald, Fife Council Compliance Manager, explains: “We have been installing alarms to LD2 for a number of years as the safety of our tenants is paramount. We take into account social and health issues when conducting risk assessments. We still have a number of smokers who continue to smoke in their bedrooms despite the health and safety warnings we are all familiar with. In these instances we go beyond LD2 by putting alarms in bedrooms; LD2 Plus, if you like!
“You can’t put a cost on someone’s life, but you can put a cost on the potential damage and the resulting costs and that cost can be over £1 million. That’s a direct cost to the Council. If we can avoid just one fire by fitting the best level of protection possible, we have actually saved money and, more importantly, protected lives. Using the 3000 Series alarms provides us with the best possible protection and helps us future proof our fire alarm systems.”
Fife Council is fitting Aico’s latest 3000 Series throughout its properties, including the Ei3024 Multi-Sensor and the Ei3028 Heat/Carbon Monoxide alarm. The Ei3024 features Optical and Heat Sensors which constantly monitor and analyse smoke and heat levels providing the best response to all fire types and reduced false alarms.
The Ei3028 has been designed for use in kitchens and garages and provides protection from both fire and Carbon Monoxide in one compact unit, whilst being highly resilient to false alarms. All alarms are interconnected using Aico SmartLINK wireless technology which minimises disruption in properties by removing the need for unsightly cabling between alarms and also provides greater system flexibility to match the needs of different tenants.
Fife Council recognised the benefits of this technology and used when it was first introduced under the RadioLINK brand over 15 years ago.
In addition, Fife Council is making full use of Aico’s extensive range of alarm accessories, including the Ei450 Alarm Control Switch which enables remote test, locate and silence facilities across all alarms on a system from one device; relays; and the Ei414 which is an easy to use interface between Aico alarms third party systems such as telecare/warden call devices and sprinkler systems.
Fife Council has installed Aico alarms for 15 years due to the product quality and reliability. But for Jim Macdonald it goes further than that: “The product is excellent and highly reliable but what’s more, Aico is willing to listen to what we want and work with us to develop solutions”.
A prime example of this was the Ei414 – a product developed directly as a result of working with Fife Council to find a reliable, simple method to integrate Aico alarms with a warden call system. The product has proven highly popular throughout the social housing sector and has been further developed to interconnect to panel based fire alarm systems.
Fife Council has also benefitted from Aico’s Expert Installer training, which has been provided free of charge and delivered to a wide range of relevant people, including Direct Labour Organisations (DLO) and external contractors, sheltered housing officers, call centre staff and even tenant association groups. “The training is very good” states Macdonald “and makes us feel like we are in a safe pair of hands.”
Expert Installer provides customers with the information they need to install and manage domestic Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarm systems. The training is modular, allowing customers to choose the appropriate topics. Many of the modules are CPD accredited, allowing up to 5 hours 15 minutes to be earned of CPD time.
The upgrade to the Aico 3000 Series alarms started in Fife Council’s sheltered housing and is now being rolled out to all housing stock, including new build properties.