Protecting People, Assets and your Business
Under UK fire alarm regulations, all commercial buildings must have an appropriate fire detection system. At Chris Lewis, we can support you in meeting these regulations to the highest standards, protecting you, your staff and your assets should the worst occur.
Martin Gibson General Manager, JETS
“The service that we have received has been first rate. Chris Lewis Fire & Security has really taken the time to understand our requirements and limitations, and has delivered in every aspect of the work. I now see them as trusted advisors who I won’t hesitate to contact when the time comes to extend or enhance the systems we now have in place.”
Neil Carden Manufacturing Director, Naim Audio
“We’re delighted with the speed and smoothness with which our fire alarm upgrade has been completed. The team at Chris Lewis Fire & Security has taken the time to fully understand how our business uses our premises, and it has recommended the best equipment to meet our needs. I have complete confidence that we’ve now got one of the best fire alarm systems available.”
Paul Mulford Clerk of Works, Balliol College, Oxford
“The College is delighted with its new fire system and very appreciative of the service we received from Chris Lewis Fire & Security. Their engineers provided sound advice and recommendations and made what could have been a very difficult and disruptive process, very smooth and painless”
Jonty Camsey ICAP
“Simply the best. Don't bother with any other alarm companies, there is no need to as you have the best there is with Chris Lewis. Can fault no aspect of their service.”
Types of Fire Alarm System
As specialists in the commercial fire alarm sector, we can advise on the most appropriate system for your requirements. Our services ensure you remain compliant while adequately protecting people, property and yourself from the risk of fire.
A conventional fire alarm system breaks premises down into zones, with each zone having its own warning light inside the control panel. If an alarm or call point is triggered, the alarm panel will display which zone the fire is happening in, allowing you to act accordingly.
Pros: These systems are seen as one of the most reliable fire alarm systems and, inside buildings that have less than 20 detectors, can be 30 to 50 times cheaper than other alternatives.
Cons: It can be very difficult to identify the source of a fire because the panel is broken down into zones, with each zone potentially having multiple rooms and multiple detectors inside it.
Analogue addressable fire alarm systems are designed for use in larger, more complex settings. Unlike conventional systems, each detector has its own unique address meaning that if a detector is activated, the control panel can relay information on the location of the fire or other problem and what the status of the problem is (fault, smoke, heat or contamination).
Pros: These systems can be customised via in-panel software to perform unique actions upon triggering. This can include opening all access-controlled doors, automatically calling the fire brigade, and more.
Cons: Unlike wireless alarms, the setup process will require wiring and other equipment to be hidden inside walls. Naturally, this will not be suitable in some heritage or listed buildings.
Wireless alarms are commonplace in settings where the design of the building is a priority. These systems work over a radio bandwidth to provide you with the precise location of where a detector has been activated.
Pros: With no need for cabling installation is cheaper, cleaner and more efficient. The system is incredibly flexible as smoke detectors can easily be moved without any mess and the system can scale simply with the addition of extra detectors.
Cons: While no less reliable than a standard analogue system, wireless fire alarms are yet to build a strong reputation in the market as many businesses still choose to rely on legacy technology. It’s also essential to regularly change the batteries in the detectors to ensure full operation.
Often found in the largest and most demanding premises, a networked fire alarm system has multiple control panels that can be viewed from one central location. This system can monitor multiple buildings within your site and simplify control over large and complicated environments.
Pros: The system can be fully integrated with your notification system to deliver critical messages to designated people or groups, in addition to logging false alarms, maintenance visits, and upgrades. Networked systems are also incredibly durable.
Cons: Networked systems are incredibly complex. If not installed by a fully accredited provider with a good reputation, you will find it very challenging to make the most of the system.
Open vs. Closed Protocol Fire Systems
Open protocols are systems that have their full technical details disclosed, including information about fire detectors and control panels. This enables other manufacturers to produce compatible components, offering the end-user freedom of choice in product and installer.
Closed systems do not have their technical details disclosed. There is no compatibility between the fire equipment and components produced by other manufacturers.
At Chris Lewis, we work with a variety of both open and closed protocol systems, depending on the requirements of the client. Click the button below to learn more about the differences between these solutions.