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10/10/2016 / Graham Lowe

How will Smart Cities affect the Fire Industry?


First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by the term ‘smart city’. In short, a smart city is an urban environment which is harnessing cutting edge technology in order to streamline services, reduce waste, reduce energy consumption and generally improve efficiency.

We all know that continual improvement is by no-means a new concept, but it is certainly being accelerated by the Internet of things (IOT).


The internet of things has already developed to include; wearable technology, smart heating systems, smart home lighting and we are now even beginning to see smart developments in the fire industry. For example, leading panels can now be accessed remotely and status reports can be downloaded.

Hochiki recently ran a survey asking installers which sectors they think will be most impacted by smart technology; it is not surprising that 24% thought facilities management would be most affected, but a further 18% thought that it would significantly impact the life safety industry.


Another accelerating factor for smart cities is the introduction of government initiatives. For example, this year saw the compulsory introduction of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the UK construction sector. BIM is designed to improve consistency across the construction sector, and to improve efficiency, reduce wastage and cut costs across the whole lifetime of the building.

In Hochiki’s smart city report, Jonathan Gilbert of Kentec Electronics commented,

“As the survey findings suggest, government will be a key driver for smart technology in the life safety industry”.

However, he continued,

“In the UK for example, smoke detectors must be wired separately, so unless legislation changes to allow them to become part of a full system, complete integration will be impossible. It’s not to say that legislation won’t evolve to make smart cities a reality, but it’s certainly going to be one of the greatest challenges for everyone developing technology in the industry.”

This is certainly an exciting time for the life safety industry; with the amount of new technology at our finger tips the possibilities are (potentially) endless!

To read the full report, please click here to download it from our website.

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