Retirement village - Birmingham

Upgrading Bournville Gardens for remote fire alarm management

Account manager - Andy Barker

System installed - Remote monitoring and management of fire alarm systems.

Details - We added additional functionality to our previously installed 'Smart Building Converged Infrastructure', enabling ExtraCare to remotely monitor and manage its fire alarm systems.


Bournville Gardens retirement village is a unique housing scheme providing purpose-built facilities for the over 55s, helping residents to stay living in their own homes for longer. Bournville Gardens is a partnership between The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, Bournville Village Trust and Birmingham City Council.

The 212-apartment village was constructed with 18 health and leisure facilities, with care, well-being and dementia services available to approximately a third of the community. The village cost £39m to develop with £1.23m grant funding made available from the Department of Health through the Homes and Communities Agency.

The challenge

As a new-build retirement village that opened in 2015, TIS had previously been appointed to design, install and maintain building-wide communications, security and life safety systems, along with our ‘Smart Building Converged Infrastructure’.

During the original development build, we installed the TIS Cerberus application which could inform building managers and fire wardens of a fire location. However, ExtraCare recognised that it also needed a way to monitor that all fire safety devices were being tested in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

How we did it

Listening carefully to ExtraCare’s needs, we proposed the most suitable system available for monitoring and managing remote fire alarm systems electronically, which would render hard-copy, paper log books obsolete.

Due to the flexibility of the IP infrastructure we installed during the site’s original development, we could easily add an additional network point for the gateway to connect to a cloud-based database. The additional monitoring solution, which receives real-time data from the fire alarm system and remotely monitors all fire and fault events, was fully compatible with the original fire alarm system installed by TIS.


The primary application of the fire alarm monitoring solution is to log, manage and administer the commissioning, servicing, maintenance, testing, performance and day-to-day use of the connected fire alarm systems. Data is stored in a secure database and accessed via a standard web browser on any internet enabled device.

We worked closely with the onsite maintenance staff to ensure they fully understood the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and how to check the logs.

What we delivered

Due to the bespoke, converged IP infrastructure we had previously installed, the building was future-proofed, making it simple and straightforward to add additional functionality that could better protect the site’s people and spaces.

Our fire alarm monitoring solution allows the centralisation of all fire alarm system activity through a single cross-platform management tool, providing a detailed electronic history of the system throughout its use and life. The database can provide an infinite log of all data, thereby overcoming the memory limits of fire alarm control panels.

The site’s facilities manager can download reports to ensure that weekly testing and annual maintenance is being carried out to fulfil all legal and regulatory obligations.

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