Brooks solutions provide protection for Supported Housing

Supported Housing is a term used to describe residential solutions for vulnerable people to maintain their dignity, be part of a community and maintain their independence in a safe environment.

This means that their homes may require adaptation to accommodate these needs - that includes the need of being safe from Fire or Carbon Monoxide (CO).

Brooks, a market leader in smoke and CO alarms, provides a range of solutions designed specifically for people who need extra safety measures to keep them safe in their own home.

Reducing false alarms

For people less able to evacuate their property, false alarms can be traumatic, dangerous and, in Supported Housing schemes, are likely to mean time consuming intervention from on and off site staff to assist.

There are a number of ways to reduce false alarms, but top of the list is investing in a quality alarm. All Brooks alarms are third party tested and are all tested three times during the manufacturing process, before they are allowed to leave the factory in Ireland.

The Brooks EIB650iC Photoelectric smoke alarm is a quality alarm and is ideal for Supported Housing applications. Not only is it supplied with a sealed in 10-year lithium battery designed to power the alarm for 10 years (including testing it weekly), but it also comprises other significant features such as a bonded protective mesh around the detection chamber to help keep out potential contaminates and Dust Compensation, both of these features reduce false alarms, cost of ownership and increase product confidence. For occupants with different and changing needs, the EIB650iC can be enabled to wirelessly interconnect with other alarms and accessories by simply inserting a RadioLINK™ RF module in the alarm.

The EIB650iC also includes the latest award winning AudioLINK™ data extraction technology. AudioLINK™ allows for real time data to be extracted via the alarm’s sounder to a free app on a tablet or smartphone. The data is then converted into an Alarm Status report ready for analysis and is colour coded to identify the urgency of any issue. The report which can be emailed, stored and printed also provides proof the alarm is working properly and has been tested on a regular basis.

Early warning for rapid response

The earlier the warning of a fire or CO leak, the better the chance of escape. For people who are less mobile or less likely to hear an alarm, interconnecting those alarms is essential. If one alarm goes off, it will activate all the other alarms within the system, so they can be heard throughout the property.

Of the two methods in which alarms can be interconnected, wireless interconnection using Brooks RadioLINK™ reduces the significant disruption and expense that hard-wiring alarms can bring to a property. Carpets and floorboards may need to be pulled up, channels may have to be made in walls to hide cabling or ugly trunking used instead, and redecoration required after an installation of hard-wiring. RadioLINK™ eliminates these issues.

RadioLINK™ was introduced in 2003, the wireless technology is Tried, Tested & Trusted.

Adapting a system to different occupants’ needs

Brooks understand occupant needs are different and changing. RadioLINK™ makes it far simpler to modify an existing alarm system to help meet the changing needs of different occupants, such as adding an alarm for the hearing impaired or an alarm controller for those with physical restrictions. You just add an alarm or accessory where needed and wirelessly interconnect it in with the rest of the system.

14% of the New Zealand population is aged 65 or over and 50% of over 65s have some form of mobility disability.

“Lifemark™ are proud to have Brooks as Product Partners. The Lifemark rating system applies to homes that have been well designed for an ageing and changing population and that contain the very best technology to suit a wider range of people. Lifemark™ are aligned with Brooks because of our shared values of usability, adaptability, accessibility and safety and we endorse the RadioLINK™ Alarm for this reason.”

Achieving low cost wider alarm coverage

In smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and Supported Housing schemes, RadioLINK™ can be used to provide a complete building-wide system where there is one-way communication between the alarms in the communal areas and individual apartments.

The system can be set up so if an alarm is activated in a communal area it triggers the alarms in the individual apartments for increased audibility, but if an alarm is activated in an individual apartment the communal areas won’t be triggered, which minimises false alarms that may cause a building-wide evacuation.

Easy alarm system controls

Brooks recommends alarms be silenced from floor level; this is particularly important for people with mobility issues. To achieve this Brooks has a range of easy to use wall mounted alarm control devices to enable occupants to test, locate or silence alarms from a safe location. These are available for smoke and mixed smoke and CO systems, with the latter providing visual differentiation between fire and CO alarm activation. The EIB450 Alarm Controller is completely wireless, so can be easily positioned into the most accessible place for the user.

Alarms for the Deaf and Hearing impaired

The EIB170RF RadioLINK™ Alarm for the Hearing Impaired comes with a strobe light that can be wall or surface mounted, and a vibrating pad designed to be placed under a pillow to wake people. It can be interconnected with other smoke and CO alarms wirelessly, making it simple to add or remove from a system.

Providing that vital connection for occupants who are most at risk

Security or Fire Alarm Systems are commonplace in dwellings for vulnerable people but in most cases are not connected with the existing Smoke and CO alarm system in that property. If a fire was to start or there was a CO leak, the alarms would activate but external assistance would not be sought; this could be fatal.

The Brooks EIB413 Fire/CO Alarm Panel Module has been designed to simply and economically overcome this. It provides a dedicated connection between Brooks Smoke, Heat and CO alarms with most new and existing Fire or Security Systems, enabling the appropriate signal to be transmitted directly to that monitoring system should fire or CO be detected.

As the EIB413 is a RadioLINK™ device and links to Brooks Range of RadioLINK™ Smoke, Heat and CO alarms wirelessly, it brings all the advantages of a wireless interconnect alarm system.

Published in Fire NZ September 2017 Edition

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Brooks is a family owned and operated Australian company who commenced operations in 1973. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry and are committed to providing quality, reliable products to safeguard you and your family.