In the UK, there were 272 fire-related fatalities between April 2021 and March 2022. The importance of fire alarm systems alerting people of an emergency could not be clearer.
In an attempt to combat these tragedies, wireless fire alarm systems are increasingly becoming the industry standard. Disasters like the Grenfell Tower fire have emphasised the need for effective fire alarm systems to save lives, and the BS-8629 mandate for the UK has further developed the requirements for contemporary systems.
How Wireless Alarm Systems Work
When looking at how wireless alarm systems have changed the world of fire safety, it’s crucial to understand how they work. Wireless alarm systems use radio signals to transmit messages between units within your system. The system operates from a fire alarm control panel which automates the transmissions to increase emergency responses. They do not require connections to mains power or any wiring system as they are powered by long-lasting lithium batteries.
A wireless system needs to contain the following parts:
A call point is a box mounted to the wall in a visible spot for people to alert others during an emergency. It allows an individual to trigger the alarm when they see a fire.
Smoke detectors pick up the presence of smoke. Installed in the ceiling, they are designed for indoor use. After a smoke detector identifies the presence of smoke, it signals the control panel to activate the alarm and tell people to evacuate. In addition to smoke detectors, you can also find carbon monoxide detectors.
Heat detectors monitor temperature changes. When they observe that the temperature is higher than a set value, they trigger the control panel to sound the alarm. These detectors are often placed in areas where smoke and steam are common occurrences, such as kitchens or bathrooms, as a traditional smoke detector would trigger false alarms.
These devices are the alarms that alert people of a fire. It is important to have both options installed for hearing or visually impaired individuals. They also need to cover the entire building to ensure everyone is aware of the emergency.
A first aid alarm works as a partial alarm. When it sounds, the entire building is not required to evacuate.
Working with sounders and strobes to alert people, a text master sends a fire warning via text. They are not used in every system but are worth thinking about if you have large numbers of people to alert.
The Benefits Of Wireless Alarm Systems
There are many benefits to choosing a wireless alarm system over a traditional hardwired alternative. Wireless alarms:
- Can be installed anywhere as they have wireless connections
- Are easy to install, without construction
- Can be maintained with less disturbance
- Are adaptable to reconfigure to different environments
- Aren’t reliant on mains power so they are power cut proof
- Can extend existing hardwired alarm systems
- Are reusable
These benefits make wireless alarm systems the ideal choice for any fire safety situation. It is this versatility that has made them the industry standard for alarm systems.
Wireless Alarm Systems Are The Future Of Fire Safety
Before wireless options were available, fire alarm systems were hardwired into the electrical infrastructure of a building. They required time-consuming construction to install and maintain, disturbing the building’s occupants.
On the other hand, wireless systems are easily installed and reconfigured, especially in areas with no access to wiring. This ease means a wireless system saves time and money on installation. Furthermore, they fit almost every environment and can be easily adapted if fire safety systems change.
Advancements in technology have proven the reliability of a wireless alarm system, and the 868Mhz frequency band is now reserved exclusively for fire safety, reducing interference from other radio transmitters.
If your building or site already has an existing hardwired system, it is still possible to expand your coverage with a wireless alarm system. Their flexibility and wire-free set up allows them to be easily integrated without replacing your current setup.
Why Are Wireless Fire Alarm Systems Are Important
When it comes to keeping your staff safe, wireless fire alarm systems come into their own. Providing a thorough and reliable system to alert your workers during an emergency is crucial to saving lives, and UK legislation requires businesses to have fire detection and alarm systems to protect people. A wireless system, therefore, offers businesses a versatile but highly effective alarm system to stay compliant.
Wireless fire alarm systems are able to identify the location of an emergency and alert everyone to evacuate to safety. This information can be transmitted to fire services to pinpoint their response, reducing the risks to human life and property. Their flexibility and reliability have extended alarm systems’ range and usability, bringing fire safety to more people.
How Wireless Alarm Systems Have Revolutionised Fire Safety on Construction Sites
Recently, the number of construction site fires has increased. The Fire Safety Advice Centre reported that eleven fires break out on sites each day, risking property, progress and, most importantly, people’s safety. So choosing the best system for your project is vital.
Wireless fire alarm systems offer temporary fire protection that suits construction sites’ needs. They provide optionality to adapt your alarm system to layout changes on the site as they are easily installed and dismantled. Additionally, their wireless functionality means they can be installed in locations without the electrical infrastructure required for a hardwired alarm system, which is often the case on construction sites.
As they can be dismantled, wireless systems are also reusable; you can finish construction at one site and use the same devices for your next project. This functionality saves money.
How To Plan And Implement Your Wireless Alarm System
The first step to implementing a wireless alarm system is auditing your requirements and planning accordingly. Conducting a fire safety risk assessment helps you do this. In the UK, businesses and ‘responsible people’ are required by law to complete a risk assessment, but you can also use it to plan your alarm system.
Your fire safety risk assessment identifies potential hazards and individuals at risk. Then you measure the risk level and its likelihood to understand how to combat it. Finally, you implement a system to mitigate these risks. You should consider:
- What areas require each device
- How large the system needs to be
- Testing and maintenance, e.g. changing batteries
- The cost of the system and your budget
These parameters give you an accurate estimate of the system you need so you can install it.
How Evacuator Alarms Can Help Your Fire Safety
If you are unsure about your fire alarm system requirements or how you should implement a wireless alarm system, reach out to Evacuator Alarms specialists for advice.
We can talk you through the wireless fire alarms available and find the best solution for you. If you need alarm installation, we can visit your site and help. We also allow you to trade in your old alarm devices in exchange for new Evacuator Alarms so you save money on your fire safety.