BRE’s latest research investigating fire deaths in home dwellings in Scotland concludes that installing interconnected smoke alarms, backed by additional recommendations, is expected to reduce fire deaths. Here James King, Director of Connected Homes at FireAngel, explores how a hybrid network can achieve the highest standards of protection and compliance across residential properties, not just across Scotland, but the entire UK. The latest phase of BRE’s collaborative research, ‘Fire Deaths in Scotland and Recommendations to Help Reduce It – Final Phase: Review of Fire Investigation Reports’, presents a comprehensive review of 126 local dwelling fires across Scotland over a four-year period, provided by the Fire Service The Scottish Rescue (SFRS). The findings conclude that while the ongoing development of new technologies may provide additional protection in the future, professionals have an opportunity here and now to apply existing technologies throughout local properties to help save lives and pave the way for new approaches to fire and carbon monoxide (CO) safety. These recommendations provide key lessons on how to achieve the highest standards of safety, while at the same time designing technology to meet each individual’s level of risk, particularly the most vulnerable groups in society. The results document that the installation of interconnected smoke alarms in bedrooms and living spaces, supported by greater communication between neighbors, relatives and agencies with SFRS when a person at risk is identified, is expected to save lives and can be implemented immediately. Here, the interconnection of smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide alarms throughout key local property locations, including lounges, bedrooms and circulation areas, plays a key role in achieving the closest possible fire warning, such as connecting multiple devices together in a private network, when one rings Alarm clocks, they all make sounds. This achieves the fastest possible alert for a potential fire or carbon dioxide event, as each device on the network will simulate a smoke chirp or carbon monoxide alarm, depending on the identified hazard. This level of protection can be achieved cost-effectively by installing Smart RF compatible mains and battery powered devices throughout the property, such as installing a Smart RF Radio Module in each device, either at the initial installation or at a later time, each alarm can They link together wirelessly in an instant. A hybrid system can also be created where battery-powered electric and smoke appliances, heat and CO2 appliances can be combined together into a single network, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming ducts or cables. This reflects the key findings of the BRE report, which shows that more needs to be done to make use of existing technologies in the most effective way to provide early warning of a potential CO event fire. By installing devices that feature connected technologies, the system can be continually expanded and adapted to include additional security products, where required, to provide the highest levels of protection possible, especially for vulnerable individuals who present the highest potential risks. While achieving the closest possible warning of a potential fire or CO event is integral to these findings, successful communication has also been identified as another critical factor in reducing fire mortality in home dwellings. The report showed that giving warnings to a locally linked mobile phone to a neighbor or other ‘guardian’ is expected to result in faster intervention and likely to result in a more positive outcome for 82% of cases. The two recommendations of interconnected alarms and increased communication can be achieved through the establishment of hybrid networks, as the interconnected nature of the system facilitates continuous communication through remote monitoring of each alarm across the network. Because the alarms feature Smart RF technology, a connected gateway can be added to an existing network to provide remote real-time monitoring of each alarm on the network. Device data can be accessed via a free app, which can send optional notifications regarding system status to a specific person. This provides transparent and consistent clarity regarding the level of protection installed throughout the local property in relation to the level of risk of the individual residing within it. While the BRE Report is specific to Scotland, it presents professionals across the UK with an opportunity to raise the bar for the fire safety and CO2 they install across local properties by utilizing smart connected technologies to create hybrid networks that achieve cost-effective interconnection for all Devices and effective communication to deliver a warning as soon as possible. For more information on FireAngel’s advanced specification range, click here or contact your local specification manager.