Feeling insecure in their own homes is a thing of the past for some. Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA) tenants. They are one of the first UK housing associations to take advantage of an innovative door entry system. Twenty flats at a converted warehouse, Sharpes Warehouse, have been fitted with the ability to lock and unlock front and entry doors remotely by the use of telephones.
Supplied by specialists in wireless intercom systems, Intratone, the pilot project aimed to improve access to each flat and increase security for tenants. The system uses GSM technology, enabling tenants to control access to their homes via their landline or mobile phone without the need for additional cabling. The whole system is monitored over a web platform, making lost keys, access for carers, contractors or visitors, or conversely restricting access, a thing of the past.
The previous system was a spent hard wired door entry system and the access control on the panel (a coded keypad) was no longer working. Tenants had to gain access with keys and had to physically come down to the main door to let people in.
The NCHA maintenance team look after nearly 300 properties across the Sleaford area, making granting access to properties a difficult physical task. This is becomes time consuming and expensive as traffic increases when factoring in maintenance contractors, carers or tenants losing keys. Now visitors can call the caretaker on his mobile, who can let them in remotely.
Sharon Singleton, Regional Housing Manager said: “We were looking for a system that would put our staff and residents in control of access to Sharpes Warehouse apartments. We are very pleased with the outcome of the project which is already making a big difference, giving our tenants peace of mind and saving time and resources for our maintenance team.”
Putting the system to the test
Part of the challenge of this installation was the rural location. NCHA is a vast Housing Association with housing stock disseminated across the Midlands. So it was crucial that the system worked even with a weak signal, plus the ability to have control of the system remotely from a central location was vital.
The system offers value for money and low on-going maintenance cost, with no need to replace broken handsets or incur call out fees for fault finding on the cables.
Derby based specialist IT installers, Salt Network Consulting, have been NCHA’s preferred contractor for a decade.
Tasked with installing the new system, the team quickly realised the benefits of the new technology over similar industry standard products.
Managing Director, Tim Salt said: “Intratone is a unique and cost effective system that enabled us to install a reliable intercom system with minimal manpower and remote maintenance, making the job more cost effective for everyone involved. Initially, we were assisted on-site by the Intratone team, in order to grasp the new system’s setup process. Although unconventional, we now regard this product as a welcome addition to our portfolio of products and would consider this system as a great advantage to our other clients who have to fit a new system to an existing building, especially if they haven’t any cabling or it is spent.”
A resident’s satisfaction survey carried out on completion of the works show positive feedback on the ease of the system and reports an extra sense of security.
Pleased with the outcome, NCHA maintenance staff are reported to be over the moon with the system.