Heritage Buildings and Wireless Detection

Wireless systems have been widely used for many years in a diverse range of applications.

Originally designed for use within the heritage sector the flexibility of wireless fire alarms has made its application limitless. The speed of installation not only limits the labour costs for an installed system but ensures that minimum disruption is caused.

Its no longer necessary to close an entire floor of a hotel for example, whilst a new alarm is installed. Ten minutes and a screwdriver is all that is required to install which can be done whilst a maid is cleaning the room as part of the hotels daily routine.

The wireless technology also lends itself to being installed with adhesive products allowing its use within environments with Asbestos that cannot be disturbed without costly risk assessments and specialist removal.

Benefits of Radio Technology : 

  • Speed of Installation – Sensors can be fitted in less than 10 minutes.
  • Minimum disruption of business\staff activities
  • The fabric of the building is protected and undamaged
  • Temporary protection easily & quickly implemented
  • Extra devices are simply added
  • Market and customers favouring “Hybrid” approach
  • Competitive solution

Key in achieving a reliable wireless system is longevity of its batteries. BS5839 call for a primary and secondary supply on all devices which must give at least 3 years service. With the current battery and wireless technology being used by some manufacturers it is likely that this time will be more like 5 years, possibly more!

EN54 states that a single or primary supply is acceptable.All wireless systems need to give at least 30 days notice of an impending battery failure.The CIE is unaffected by the above and must have a mains supply with battery back up to meet the relevant risk as directed by BS5839

Some manufacturers interrupt the primary and secondary power supplies differently and use the second battery to provide the 30 day warning. This battery is usually one of the “button cells”. The problem with this is that once the primary power has been exhausted, and three or more years elapsed, the secondary battery, laying dormant, may have expired or corroded.

It is therefore important to ensure that both primary and secondary power supplies are fully monitored.

So, Why Wireless?

  • More customers demanding faster installation and disruption
  • Buildings are becoming even more complex with a variety of new materials
  • Fire systems are invariably one of the last services.
  • Retrofits can be made much simpler
  • Access problems over come
  • Fire compartment issues avoided
  • No cables and wiring