The largest trial of its type in the country is helping to improve safety in homes belonging to a multi-award-winning County Durham housing association.
Remote monitoring and compliance testing of emergency lighting has been introduced to more than 70 buildings as the first part of a programme that could eventually boost safety in thousands of homes.
The trial by believe housing uses the latest EmeRed sensor equipment from Vericon Systems to carry out its statutory testing for the emergency lighting throughout a number of communal areas. In total 301 sensors have been installed since April 2021 in a programme that will eventually reach 1,800 in the first phase.
The EmeRed system allows staff from believe housing to carry out their monthly and annual testing without having to leave their desks. Using cloud-based technology, faults can often be spotted before they occur, reducing down-time and increasing safety.
The continuous monitoring is being carried out in addition to an annual inspection regime to maximise the safety of customers. The innovation is however expected to save believe housing up to £500,000 over a ten-year period, which can be reinvested into other services for customers by the not-for-profit organisation. The savings will be made by reducing journeys to identify faults or components that require replacing.
Adam Pearce, Electrical Team Lead at believe housing, said: “The safety of our customers is our number one priority. This technology allows us to improve safety by constantly monitoring some of the most important systems in homes and communal areas.
“The trial has already benefitted hundreds of homes in 73 buildings. At the moment they are largely flats and other larger buildings, but it’s clear that the technology could be harnessed almost anywhere that has emergency lighting fitted.
“The trial is great evidence that technology and innovation can have a direct improvement on the safety and comfort of our customers.”
Bernard Cook, Managing Director at Vericon Systems, says Vericon is pleased to be working with a proactive housing provider such as believe housing.
“believe housing have proven their forward-thinking approach to housing maintenance, compliance and customer safety. The adoption of the EmeRed system is starting to show the real benefits of remote monitoring and management in terms of return on investment and also the ability to reassign existing staff to maximise the customer experience”
Other digital innovations by believe housing have included remote monitoring of water quality in the homes of vulnerable customers, and the creation of ‘self-help’ videos for simple tasks to maintain a healthy home.
believe housing’s EmeRed pilot has been shortlisted in the Inside Housing Innovation Award 2021. You can vote for the project on the Inside Housing website here.