Part 2: Protecting the occupants of a Real Smart Home
Family comes first. The safety of a family in a Real Smart Home is no different.
One of the biggest potential dangers in our own homes is fire. In the year ending September 2017, the UK recorded 346 fire-related fatalities (including from the tragic Grenfell Tower fire). A further 3,200 non-fatal casualties requiring hospital treatment was recorded.
The ‘Fire Kills’ campaign quotes research that you are four times more likely to die in a fire if you live in a home without working smoke alarms. It goes without saying then, that smoke alarms should be an important consideration for any smart home installation.
There are regulations around fire safety that new builds and properties going through any major works need to meet. The Building Regulations 2010 Part B section 1.19 to 1.22 states any smoke alarm system should be supported by a permanent electrical supply.
The Smoke Detector Air is battery powered and does not have the facility to be permanently powered. If your project does not require building regulation sign-off (such as a retrofit or minor works) then here are some suggestions on offering a feature-rich smart security solution to your customers.
If you require building regulation sign-off we do integrate with any third-party fire alarm systems through their relay outputs in order to create notifications, warnings, sirens, etc into the Loxone ecosystem.
No Gimmicks, Real Smart Homes
– Loxone 360° Solution
At Loxone we support you as a Loxone Partner with a comprehensive package of products, along with the dedicated software, to help you offer smart security to your customers.
In a Real Smart Home, there are essentially two products that can detect early signs of smoke or potential fire. Installing a combination of these two products for your customers can offer greater peace of mind.
Smoke Detector Air
Smoke Detector Air
The Smoke Detector Air safely and reliably detects smoke, issuing a warning in emergency situations – reporting this potential danger to the Loxone Miniserver. In such an emergency, the Miniserver takes care of opening the blinds to clear potential escape routes, while playing an audible warning through the multiroom audio and flashing the lights to alert occupants.
For enhanced smart security, we recommend using the Caller Service. This feature informs your customer about a potential fire with a phone call – useful when no one is at home and a notification may not be enough.
The Loxone Touch and Loxone Touch Pure both have in-built temperature sensors to ensure a comfortable temperature in each room of your customer’s home. This temperature sensor can also be used for potential fire detection.
The temperature sensor within the Touch can be utilised to detect an unusually high room temperature. The parameters in which an alarm is triggered can be set within Loxone Config
Don’t install a Touch near a heat source so as to reduce the potential for false alarms.
Quantity and position of smoke alarms
If you require building regulation sign-off the installation of smoke alarms need to also adhere to BS 5839-6:2004. This is referenced in the Fire Safety requirements outlined in The Building Regulations 2010; Position of heat and smoke alarms: 1.10-1.18.
As part of a retrofit, there are various considerations for the quantity and placement of smoke detectors. In such a project, although the above-mentioned regulations do not need to be met as part of existing buildings where material alterations are not being made – you may wish to refer to these, as good practice:
When testing smoke alarms on behalf of your customer, check that the use of the room is still the same as when initially installed. A change in how the customer uses a room may warrant a change in the position of products. The great thing about using Loxone Air products is that they can be moved to suit such changes.
Position of smoke alarms
The following recommendations as a manufacturer are best practice for retrofits and make reference to
(This is not an exhaustive list and is to be used as guidance only.)
Smoke alarms/detectors should be sited so that:
There is a smoke alarm in the circulation space within 7.5m of the door to every habitable room
Ceiling mounted and at least 300mm from walls and light fittings (unless, in the case of light fittings, there is test evidence to prove that the proximity of the light fitting will not adversely affect the efficiency of the detector)
It should be possible to reach the smoke alarms to carry out routine maintenance, such as testing and cleaning, easily and safely. For this reason smoke alarms should not be fixed over a stair or any other opening between floors
Avoid false alarms
Smoke alarms should not be fixed next to or directly above heaters or air-conditioning outlets. They should not be fixed in bathrooms, showers, cooking areas or garages, or any other place where steam, condensation or fumes could give false alarms
According to UK Fire Services, as a minimum you should:
“Test your smoke alarm when the clocks are changed and vacuum it gently using a soft brush attachment to remove dust from the sensors.”
View our documentation page to find out more about testing the Smoke Detector Air
Easy installation and commissioning
Thanks to Loxone Air technology, the smoke detector can be easily installed and commissioned as part of a Loxone system. In the event of an alarm, the wireless Air technology sends a signal to the Miniserver, which in turn can trigger other elements of the system. For example, the lights flash to alert occupants, blinds open to clear views for occupants and emergency services, while an alarm tone plays via the music server.
Battery status with notifications
The Smoke Detector Air boasts a long battery life – lasting up to 10 years with normal use. The battery level of the device is displayed in the Loxone Smart Home App to give your customer extra peace of mind.
In addition to being able to see the battery level at a glance, should your customer require; you can also set up a push notification, automated call or email to draw attention to a low battery.
As a Loxone Partner, why not set up an email notification to your company when the battery of a Smoke Detector Air device you’ve installed starts running low. This means you can proactively contact your customer to arrange a maintenance visit.
If a potential fire is detected, a call can be placed to your customer via the Caller Service in addition to a push notification to all connected devices such as a smartphone or tablet. This way, your customer is immediately notified of the possible danger even if no one is home.
A Loxone system can make use of other smart home features when a fire alarm is triggered – including flashing all the lights, open blinds and curtains and playing an alarm sound throughout the house via the music server. This functionality is in the interest of alerting occupants of the building as soon as possible to potential danger.
Fire and Water Alarm Function Block
– developed for Loxone Config
With Auto Configure, this dedicated function block will identify the necessary peripheral devices to implement the above-mentioned functionality. As a Loxone Partner, you can customise or enhance the level of functionality specific to the needs of your customer.
– standard with Auto Configure
All functions mentioned above for the protection of occupants in a Real Smart Home are realised with just a click of the ‘Auto Configure’ button in Loxone Config. Discover even more smart security features that you can offer your customers as a Loxone Partner.