An article written for Windows Active, September 2016.
In this article, Carl F Groupco highlights the importance of considering demographics, such as an ageing population, when developing a hardware range. The importance of this topic has been reinforced with conferences such as ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’ which was attended by Windows Active and Carl F Groupco and addressed issues including smart homes, new financing models and urban retrofitting.
The evidence of an ageing population is confirmed by statistics that show an increase in life expectancy in the EU. In 1990, the average length of life was 74.1 years. By 2012, our life expectancy had increased significantly to 79.2 years. By 2025 it is estimated that more than 20% of the European population will be 65 years old, or above.
Cities need to adjust, architects need to plan and they need to be supported by a fenestration industry that provides products that support this developing demographic.
Responding to this trend, established distributor Carl F Groupco has looked at what the hardware industry can do to enable people to live independently in their homes for longer. Heavy investment in R&D has ensured that the company has its finger on the pulse of developing trends and Smart technology has been identified as a key element in the hardware supplier’s armoury to support developing demographics.
Launched at this year’s FIT Show, SmartSecure from Carl F Groupco is a state-of-the-art solution for electronic door locking and Smart access control. And, while it was breaking news, the solution can be used with confidence - it has established FUHR technology at its heart, it is fully tested and it is proven in operation.
Home security and access issues have been identified by the company as extremely important for older people. As a result, SmartSecure is designed to make life easier for all age groups including the elderly, and to give peace of mind to carers.
Smart access technologies within the range include ‘SmartConnect easy’, an app based access control and ‘SmartTouch comfort’, pioneering access control technology which means that, with an active transponder about your person e.g. in your pocket, the door can be opened simply by moving towards it and gently touching a sensor.
Importantly, the FUHR multitronic 881 automatically locks all security points by a patented twin drive motor, securely and reliably in just seconds after closing giving absolute assurance that the door has been locked – this is particularly helpful for people who struggle to find their keys, or those who find it difficult to lift a lever to engage locking points. It also means increased protection is provided.
Peace of mind is also afforded as door locking status can be checked at any time. An illuminated light on the inside of the door indicates that the lock is engaged and locking status can be checked using building management systems. Sensor monitoring of door leaf and locking status is also available with the ‘SmartConnect easy’ app which means that carers or relatives can check to see if the door is secure.
As well as radio key fobs supplied as standard, additional SmartSecure radio-based access control systems are also available. With a strong security benefit, a radio fingerprint scanner provides keyless biometric access control. A radio keypad allows users to open doors with an individually-selectable 4 to 8 digit code and it is compatible with most access controls.
Housing association feedback has included comments that elderly people can be overly trusting, or may forget to lift a traditional lever handle compromising their security and the lifespan of the door. Both issues are addressed with SmartSecure technology.
Simplicity and Sophistication
Any concern that high levels of sophistication bring complications in use are countered by Carl F Groupco who recognise that simplicity is key to success. Commenting, Carl F Groupco’s SmartSecure Business Development Manager Phil Rice said:
“To be truly effective, particularly for older users, Smart access control and locking technology has to be easy-to-use, totally reliable and secure. These requirements have been addressed by SmartSecure – the fob is as intuitive to use as car technology and the FUHR 881 multitronic fully motorised multipoint mechanism has received continued investment over the last decade to ensure that it is a highly advanced, robust solution that can be adopted with total confidence.”
An ageing population is a very real fact of our future and Carl F Groupco is one company that believes in investing in solutions that support this rising trend.
Carl F Groupco advises that, in the constant evolution of the hardware catalogue, the distributor should provide both staple lines and support emerging trends. As such, it is essential that our ageing population is not overlooked and its needs are comprehensively addressed by the hardware sector.