Using IoT to Solve Housing Problems and Improve Safety

IoT sensors can send emergency signals to the emergency service from the place of the problem.


iliya karin

3 years ago | 4 min read

More than 70% of fires in Russia in 2019-2020 were caused by the ignition of wiring and power outages. Flooding of an apartment is normally detected after 5-7 hours when it is no longer possible to prevent damage. Housing and communal services are a source of constant tension and discontent among Russians.

On the basis of a public-private partnership in Russia, the government can become the largest customer in the field of the Internet of Things to improve control over electricity, water, and heat meters.

Utility services using special IoT sensors can promptly respond to malfunctions of electrical equipment and meters, optimizing the reception of the transmission of instrument readings.

The sensors transmit data to the system, which instantly responds to anomalies, monitors the readings several times a month, and analyzes the situation in order to optimize costs, both for users and for internal services of housing and communal management. 

Water distribution systems and environmental monitoring (sewage, groundwater, flood detection, etc.) are poorly controlled since the human factor is heavily involved - there is almost no process automation in this area of housing and communal services.

IoT sensors can send emergency signals to the emergency service from the place of the problem.

Likewise, IoT can help manage air quality and emissions at industrial sites. For example, an incineration plant can only function when the wind direction is not directed towards the city and the environmental situation is normal. Many sensors take into account dozens of factors, a single system reacts to them and generates a notification.

It is impossible to organize the operational monitoring of sewer hatches throughout the city manually. IoT can help with this task - sensors can record any changes in the position of the hatches: unscheduled opening or stolen, turned over and interfering with traffic on the roads, the integrity of its fastening is damaged, etc. City Services will immediately receive a notification about this and will be able to quickly respond to a freelance situation.

What equipment is needed for this? 

NIDD sensors - they have a compact size, so they can be attached to any equipment (autonomous and mobile devices, things, and objects).

*Non-IP data delivery (NIDD) — it is a method of delivering data over a non-IP protocol that offers efficient communication between IoT devices and enterprise applications.

Coin cell battery — it powers the sensor for about 10 years, so maintenance and operation of the IoT sensors do not require constant financial costs.

Sim card or application with NB-IoT support - communication standard for telemetry devices with low data exchange volumes. The development, rental, or purchase of software pays off quite quickly, thanks to the reduction of costs and optimization of many housing and communal services processes.

Internet of Things at Home: Preventing Utilities Problems

Smart home elements seem like luxury items to most people, but this is a myth. The Internet of Things is quite capable of becoming a remote assistant for owners in preventing gas leaks, flooding, power surges, and wiring fires. 

How can IoT assist homeowners? 

IoT sensors can be combined with a faucet actuator or meter. The main task of the sensors is to continuously monitor the correct supply of water, gas, and light. Any leakage or overvoltage is captured and transmitted as a small data packet to the remote platform. Then, after analyzing the received data, the protective mechanism blocks the power supply or shuts off the water/gas/electricity supply. In more advanced use cases, the notification can be duplicated on a smartphone, home IoT hub, or PC.

In houses or apartments where gas appliances are installed, IoT sensors are able to monitor the concentration and composition of gases in the room, and if the threshold is exceeded, send a signal to limit the gas supply and notify the emergency service. An excellent addition will be the integration of the sensors with the ventilation system, which upon an emergency signal, will turn on and purify the air to a normal state.

Such automatic solutions are especially relevant for elderly people and in regions where home insurance against such problems is not well developed. The only condition is the presence of the Internet in the apartment or 2G-5G networks. The connection can also be deployed over GSM.

To implement the Internet of Things in everyday life, it is enough to contact your internet services provider or cellular connection operator. The connection is made using a sim card and the M2M platform. In Russia, the Big Four companies offer users an energy-efficient NB-IoT communication network for the implementation of elements of the Internet of Things. Service costs as little as two cups of coffee a year.

The platform supports approximately 10,000 hardware models and can accept up to 1 million connections simultaneously. There is a horizontal expansion of the platform capacity, that is, the system will become larger in accordance with the needs of the client.

This development is based on the LWM2M, COAP, and MQTT protocols. If your device does not support these protocols, the operator can develop and add to the platform a module supporting the required protocol, which is created individually for specific devices.

NB-IoT solutions are in great demand. Experts connect the growing demand to the fact that equipment is getting cheaper. The Internet of Things is an adaptive technology and is suitable for many areas. Benefit from all the remote monitoring, security, and responsiveness of mobile networks!


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iliya karin







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