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One of our sheltered housing schemes joins Internet of Things revolution

Residents at our 65-home Fernhill sheltered housing scheme in Chandler’s Ford are now benefiting from some innovative “Internet of Things” (IoT) safety enhancements that we’ve installed in their homes.

IoT is a technology concept that allows one object to share information with another via and internet connection.

We’re hoping that the installation of internet-enabled water sensors and safety lighting at Fernhill, near Eastleigh in Hampshire, will bring significant advantages to customers and help us meet our regulatory requirements, improve safety and security, and deliver us cost efficiencies.

Our Eastleigh-based partner Barter For Things worked with us to develop IoT remote monitoring of water quality for Legionella without the need for manned testing. And, in a UK housing sector first, these sensors will also provide a valuable “scald alert” service to give us direct warning of any boiler issues. This means our repairs teams can respond more quickly to problems.

Our residents are also benefiting from IoT-enabled Safecility emergency lighting units that manage testing automatically and send reports remotely to our management platform. The sensors automate a vital piece of fire safety testing and help to ensure the state of fire safety readiness required by law. IoT helps to eliminate the need for manned inspection and replaces paper test reports with digital records. Safecility’s management system alerts us to any failures or defects in real-time allowing them to send technicians to carry out repairs quickly. It also stores and monitors records for our entire stock, streamlining data management and reporting.

Costly manned inspections of both services can traditionally inconvenience to customers. All 3 innovations are currently unique in the social housing sector and help us provide faster response while reducing dependency on customers to report problems.

Our Head of Innovation and Repairs Justin Crittall said: “Our Fernhill IoT project marks the most significant initiative so far in VIVID’s technology-driven service innovations strategy. Our Fernhill customers will get an improved customer experience and safety reassurances while we’ll see greater cost effectiveness. We want our customers to benefit from our ability to disrupt traditional housing services models and improve their wellbeing while reducing disruption to their lives.”

Barter For Things Chief Executive Alex Barter said: “As an Eastleigh-based business we’re delighted Hampshire-based VIVID has chosen to partner with us to create solutions that benefit the wellbeing of local residents. By working in partnership on these services VIVID is recognising the numerous ways public service organisations can benefit from IoT.”

Safelicity Chief Executive Cian O Flaherty said: “Clearly VIVID is a thought leader among housing associations in seeing the practical benefits of IoT based services. Safelicity is a reliable, effective solution to provide residents and their home environment with bright and safe futures while improving the way VIVID manages maintenance and compliance in a timelier way.”

Our Fernhill customers will get an improved customer experience and safety reassurances while we’ll see greater cost effectiveness