Smart Home Technology And Safety
With the recent terrible tragedy in London where a fire ripped through a block of flats. It got us thinking about how the smart home technology we install can help with home safety.
A traditional fire alarm call point
Sound Designs Ltd has installed smart home technology and audio visual systems in residential homes since 2005. And while early systems tended to focus mainly on the entertainment aspect of home life. More modern systems are much more capable and are able to carryout a much wider range of functions.
In fact even what we would class as low level smart home technology can have some really nice safety features.
For example the Nest range of products, if you combine their intelligent heating control with their smoke detectors they are able to interact and prevent the boiler from firing in the event of a smoke alarm activation.
This is a really simple form of interaction but if a boiler developed a fault. This simple interaction could have an incredibly effective influence on the course of events and possibly save lives.
Home Automation In Current Times
As mentioned, historically a smart home system has mainly focused on AV (Audio visual) equipment as a way of creating a convenient and high performing entertainment system for the home.
However the custom install industry has increasingly expanded into other elements of technology and home life. We have been a part of this over the last 12 years, installing ever more capable and intelligent systems.
We would be the first to admit that there have been painful periods where systems try to be too intelligent and don’t end up doing as good a job as perhaps the manufacturers portrayed. At times emerging technology has caught out the whole industry (The introduction of HDMI signals springs to mind!).
But now we are in a time where smart home technology has never been better, it’s more reliable, more powerful and manufacturers are much more open to collaboration of products making interactivity much easier to achieve.
So how does this help with home safety?
When it’s easier to make different systems interact with each other, it opens up the possibility to do some very clever things.
Give Me An Example?
An example of this is a residential smart home system recently completed by us in Notting Hill, London. Due to the size of the property it required a full fire alarm system.
We installed a system that handled all of the home AV, lighting, heating and air conditioning. We were able to quite easily create a link between the fire alarm and our smart home system.
Upon fire alarm activation, the home cinema system automatically muted itself. In addition to this escape route lighting lit up all stairways and corridors which provided the safest exit possible. The last aspect of the interaction was to prevent boilers from firing.
Can It Do More?
The interaction on this project could have gone much further but the client decided to restrict it to the above. However we could have had the gates open up to give clear access for the fire brigade. Shut down air handling equipment to limit the amount of fresh oxygen entering the property. Light up further parts of the property and even contact key holders etc etc.
The possibilities are simply huge when you have a solid host system that is capable of linking together all of the systems of the home.
While disaster will never be stopped, it’s refreshing to know that it’s possible to make a real difference to peoples safety by implementing technology to take practical steps in the event of an emergency.
Sound Designs Ltd have been installing smart home systems and audio visual technology for residential and commercial clients since 2005. We are based in Northamptonshire but work all over the UK providing practical and high performing installations all designed specifically for each application.
For any enquiries please don’t hesitate to contact us either through the contact page or call us on 01604 211200