Smart Home Technology Trial to Improve Health & Safety of Disabled Residents

Gloucester City Homes (GCH) is pleased to trial the benefits of smart home technology through the installation of smart smoke alarms at a property in Tredworth, to assist visually impaired tenants in the event of a fire. 

The idea was suggested by customers during a home visit by GCH’s Occupational Therapist, Laura Carroll, who was undertaking an assessment of the bathroom in the home of a couple who are both visually impaired and have physical disabilities.

Laura said “Mr and Mrs P made me aware that when their home smoke alarm sounds they cannot easily identify which device was set off first and would struggle to see small amounts of smoke. The customers had done their research about smart smoke alarms which produce a voice notification to clearly state the location in which smoke was first detected. Following the visit, I researched different systems and identified the most suitable option. We are pleased that work has been booked for our in-house electrical team to fit 3 hard wired Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that work via a Google Home system.” 

Tenant, Mrs P said “Being registered blind myself and my husband being visually impaired, the system provides us with reassurance not only if an emergency happens but when the smoke alarms sound. Now we will be able to hear where abouts in the house is affected unlike normal loud alarms that set off throughout, which can be so loud and disorientating and can lead to other possible dangers. We can run the system and be alerted when to test the alarms from our phones through the app or via the Google hub. Our youngest daughter also has sensory issues and hates the sound of the alarms so this system allows us to cancel the alarm quicker when we know what the hazard is.” 

Robert Panou, Head of Assets and Development at GCH added “We are really excited to trail using smart home technology and to see its benefits to our customers. This trial will enable us to identify the benefits technology can deliver to those living with disabilities and how everyday barriers can be overcome. This is our first trial and we will review the installation over the next 6 months to review how different smart home technology could benefit more of our customers and provide independence within their homes.” 

Following the trial, opportunities for smart home technology will be identified through GCH’s in house occupational therapist. If GCH tenants need adaptations to their homes to make them easier to live in, referrals can be made by calling 01452 424344 or emailing