What is this standard about?
More and more people are moving into grouped living environments where reassurance and assistance can be provided by a social alarm system. These generally comprise a base unit in each individual home with a speaker and microphone. They are wirelessly connected to peripheral devices like a personal pendant, smoke detector and fall detector, and typically linked to a central controller where alarms are either distributed locally to a scheme manager or offsite to an alarm receiving centre (ARC).
In the past the specification for this type of system generally focused on the technology. Not enough attention was paid to system usability or risk management.
This new British Standard redresses that balance by setting out recommendations and guidance for installations that are appropriate to the needs of individual users, have integrity and are installed in a safe and secure manner.
Who is this standard for?
Why should you use this standard?
Social care alarms can deliver potentially lifesaving benefits. It’s therefore imperative that procurers and installers are able to identify the needs of the end user and install the correct system.
To that end, this new British Standard gives recommendations and guidance for the design, installation, configuration, commissioning and maintenance of social alarm systems with shared social alarm infrastructure in specialized grouped living environments, to optimize the integrity and reliability of onsite and offsite communications.
The customer requirements, design, installation, configuration, commissioning, handover (customer acceptance) and maintenance of social alarm systems often involves many stakeholders, each of which has a specific interest in how the works are performed. The standard also guides those stakeholders in the provision of a reliable and robust system that serves the needs of the site(s) and its residents.
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BS 8604-1:2019 Social alarm systems. Design, installation and maintenance of social alarm systems in specialized grouped living environments.
NOTE 1: A social alarm system provides facilities for alarm triggering, identification, signal transmission, alarm reception, logging and, where applicable, two-way speech communication, to provide reassurance and assistance.
NOTE 2: A specialized grouped living environment is accommodation that provides independent living for occupants who are likely to require additional measures to secure their safety and wellbeing. This includes, but is not limited to, accommodation provided for elderly people, children and people with a physical or mental impairment. Such environments are distinct from a nursing or residential care home in that the residents are usually able to look after themselves, are active and are afforded a degree of independence, or require only limited personal support.
NOTE 3: This part of BS 8604 does not apply to individual dispersed alarms with no shared infrastructure.