Author Bio ▼

IFSEC Insider, formerly IFSEC Global, is the leading online community and news platform for security and fire safety professionals.
November 17, 2022


Lithium-Ion batteries. A guide to the fire risk that isn’t going away but can be managed


Stirling Council to further invest in connected home technology across its housing portfolio

Following Stirling Council’s IoT working trial with Aico, a wider rollout which includes environmental sensors to collect information around tenants’ homes will be implemented.

Collected data will include temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide (CO2) gas levels, along with smoke detection sensors and will dramatically improve the health, safety and wellbeing of residents, says the council.

Tenants will be able to take actionable measures from insights via a mobile app. This is the ‘first full rollout’ of a multi technology and sensors connected home solution across an entire housing portfolio and currently the ‘largest UK social housing sector rollout’, with 50,000 IoT devices being installed over the next 8-10 years in homes managed by Stirling Council Housing Service.

Environmental sensors around the properties will alert the council in real-time and provide early warning of damp, mould, ventilation and any other potential issues, while helping the tenant to understand energy consumption levels with heating their home. In a time of ‘fuel poverty’, Aico believes connected devices more often seen in private dwellings are emerging as a tool ensuring social homes are ‘healthy to live in’ and used in an energy efficient manner.

Homes will also benefit from a significant fire safety upgrade and be equipped with connected smoke, heat and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Having the ability to identify the least thermally efficient homes means that Stirling Council as a landlord can make intelligence led decisions to ‘target capital investment programmes’ at those properties. The Fuel Poverty Act (Scotland), also seeks to protect residents of all households but particularly those in rural, highland and island communities from facing fuel poverty. Stirling Council are said to have around 20% of its housing portfolio in rural areas.

Wider rollout expected across the UK

Stirling Council is just one local authority that is working to implement environmental sensors into social housing properties across the UK. Residents gain access to information on their home’s condition and advice on the measures they can take to improve the quality of their home via an App for Residents. The long term and methodical rollout intended follows a successful pilot project and sees Stirling Council at the forefront to providing tenants with a comprehensive view of the internal air quality environment in their homes. The initial pilot was part of a Scottish Government funded programme called CivTech, which aimed to drive innovation in collaborative and cost-effective technology across the public sector.

Aico and HomeLINK state that across the UK ‘more than 150,000 IoT devices are connected’ in tenants homes’ and ‘in use’ by social landlords. Based on current demand this number is expected to ‘hit 1 million devices by the end of 2024’, bringing about a ‘paradigm shift’ in landlords’ efforts to comply both with regulations but also in offering tenants a better understanding of their home’s environment.

Several private sector landlords are already reported to be using connected IoT devices to pre-empt issues. By connecting all of its housing stock, intelligence led and data based decisions can be made, helping maintenance teams to conduct regular safety checks and planning staff can identify trends and improvements, plan budgets and make property investment decisions. It will also ‘trigger preventative maintenance measures’ by alerting staff to early causes of deterioration in a property’s environment. Residents using the app gain a view of the safety and health of their indoor environment. The app also provides advice and guidance on how to improve living conditions, and live a healthier and safer life whilst reducing carbon footprint and saving money on energy bills.

Tenant Robert Cairney said: “I was initially sceptical about what the sensors and technology being put into my home would bring in terms of financial or health benefits. However, by recording moisture in the air, I can be alerted to the risk of damp and mould. Rather than having to keep an eye out for these things myself, my landlord also better knows when it is time to come and do repairs or maintenance work on the property.

“This new IoT technology for homes like mine is fantastic because it helps me to feel safer, live in a healthier environment, and reduce costs. I’m more aware of how my home is behaving, and alerted to ways I can save money by using this free cutting edge connected home kit. For example, wasting money trying to heat a home that has gaps in the doors and windows letting heat out, or an inefficient boiler and room heaters that need bleeding. Everyone is concerned about the rising costs of energy but, thanks to these improvements, it’s not a question of eat or heat for me now.”

A spokesperson for Stirling Council mentioned that staff who were involved with trials stated; “This technology helps us manage our housing stock through reliable data driven intelligence, take prioritised investment decisions and improve customer satisfaction.

“When considering our sustainability goals, the data generated will help us identify the least energy-efficient homes and take action. It will also provide insight into the performance of properties that have been recently retrofitted to ensure they remain healthy environments to live in.”

“Living conditions can have a dramatic impact on our health. By providing insight via the app, there is potential to dramatically improve the health and wellbeing to everyday living conditions.”


Subscribe to the IFSEC Insider weekly newsletters

Enjoy the latest fire and security news, updates and expert opinions sent straight to your inbox with IFSEC Insider's essential weekly newsletters. Subscribe today to make sure you're never left behind by the fast-evolving industry landscape.

Sign up now!

man reading a tablet, probably the IFSEC Global newsletter

Related Topics

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments