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Are fully wired systems still the best option?

There are a lot of fire safety products out there and knowing what is best for your building can sometimes be unclear. One topic that has been coming up recently is whether to go with a wireless system or a fully wired system. 

Wireless products are normally activated by sound or radio signal. There may be an element with a direct wired connection to the fire panel, though the units themselves avoid the need for cables as they are typically battery powered.

Fully wired systems involve running cables between the units and the fire panel. They are ideal for new build environments, where the cost of cabling is less prohibitive.

Wiring products through a building may not always be the best solution as it can bring with it a range of different problems.

Hidden costs

As well as buying the products to fit, you will also need to pay for a professional installer to run cables through the building. After cables are fitted, there will need to be restorative work carried out on floors, walls and ceilings affected.

Asbestos survey and control

Installing wires through buildings that are particularly old may not be possible due to safety reasons, for example, drilling through areas that contain asbestos. This involves major health risks and will need to be done by a specialist.

Dangers to staff and visitors when work is being carried out

Risk assessments should be filled out to ensure that occupants won’t be harmed during building work.

Business disruption

Running cables through a building can be a big job. Parts of the building may need to be blocked off for work to be carried out or the whole building may even need to be closed for business. This could even mean that no one is allowed to enter the building until work is complete.

Maintaining compartmentation

A fire can spread through a hole the size of a pen nib so it’s vital that compartmentation is maintained. If holes have been made and not filled correctly it will compromise the fire safety of the building. Once the work has been done, all holes will need to be filled so that the area remains fireproof.

Some people believe that fully wired systems are the only option when it comes to having the highest standard of protection. However, there are wire-free alternatives that are also suitable for high-risk areas and are often more cost-effective and easier to install.

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