CCCU upgrades alarm systems with IoT

08 December 2023

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) has upgraded its student accommodation alarm systems via the implementation of IoT connected smart home sensors from Aico.

Following the most recent British Standard revision for the planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in UK domestic premises, CCCU sought to upgrade all its fire and smoke alarms to a Category LD1. This is the highest level of protection and incudes alarm coverage in all areas where a fire could start.

Alongside fire detection, Aico’s HomeLINK Connected Home Solution has been designed to gather data on indoor environmental conditions. Monitoring indoor air quality, Aico HomeLINK connected devices check temperature, humidity, ventilation, and carbon dioxide levels, enabling proactive maintenance and improved indoor conditions across CCCU’s student homes. The sensors give occupants actionable insights into the indoor environment in their student accommodation to help them prevent condensation, and damp and mould and provide a better experience within their accommodation.

The Aico HomeLINK solution also minimises nuisance and false alarms, by offering the university’s security and fire teams real-time data and trends in alarm activations to help them reduce call-outs that were not genuine fire or smoke alerts. Aico’s HomeLINK solution gives CCCU remote monitoring for property management, so the right departments and people receive custom notifications and tags at the right times. This in itself has saved the university the cost of not-needed call-outs as the Aico Gateway only sends personalised notifications to whoever needs the alert and data.

“The Gateway system with instant notifications has helped us already to identify which students are triggering the alarms and then addressing the issue,” said a CCCU Estates Team spokesperson. “The added benefit of the environmental sensors has led us to prioritise some remedial works to improve thermal efficiency of certain properties. Overall, so far it has shown how technology can benefit us as landlords, and plans are already in place to roll out across more of our properties.”

The installation of the Aico Gateway sensors has tackled more problems than initially intended thanks to insights highlighting the key areas that need addressing in properties’ ventilation and insulation, and assuring the university that all their alarm systems are working as they should.

“Canterbury Christ Church University is just one of the educational institutions we are working with to help keep their students safe and well,” said Chris Jones, chief executive officer for Aico|HomeLINK. “By leveraging IoT technology and integrating their teams with constant monitoring via sensors in real-time, the notifications allow the university to determine if there is a fire in progress or if the alarm is just a low battery or false activation in error by one of the students.”

“I was thrilled to see CCCU implement Aico’s HomeLINK technology. Student accommodation providers play a key role in supporting these students as many leave home for the first time. Providing these properties with not only LD1 multi-sensor protection, but environmental sensors to monitor air quality, showcases the utmost care and consideration for the students staying in these properties,” said Brad Wain, regional specification manager, Aico.