What do you do when you realise your residential building is not adequately fireproofed?

There’s a simple, short-term solution and a sustainable long-term solution for fire safety in residential tower blocks.

Step 1 – Get the Wire-Free experts in.

WFP were recently approached by an electrical contractor working alongside a UK property developer, faced with a fire-proofing dilemma for a London residential tower block.

AND the project has been awarded a finalist position in the London Construction Awards for ‘Fire Safety Solution of the Year’ 2019!


The problem?


The building’s passive fire protection (products/systems which sit dormant but are purpose-built for withstanding a fire, such as fire doors) needed vast improvement.

The walls surrounding apartment doors were fireproofed. The doors themselves were fireproofed (fire doors can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on its design).

But the wall space above the door had no fireproofing.

With fires, where there’s a will there’s a way. There is always the will. And the wall space above is the way – a direct route for it to follow, completely negating the thought and work put into fireproofing the surrounding areas.


The solution?


Light bulb in thought bubble indicating a bright idea


To do it right would take a lot of time and acquiring the right people to research and implement the necessary measures.

The key word there being time.

Because once done, you won’t be looking to do it again any time soon. It’ll be the bedrock and foundation that’ll keep your building safe in years to come (so long as it’s well maintained).

You know the problem’s there, it needs to be addressed, but you need a reliable solution in the interim.

That’s what we were there to do.

At the time when we arrived on site to survey the apartment building, the property management company were paying £50k a week for firewatchers – essentially a human fire alarm who would keep a look-out for fire-related emergencies, ready to create an alert to evacuate the building if needed.

Our job was to get a physical fire alarm system in there to protect the building and the people inside of it.

The fastest way to do this is to install a wireless fire alarm. The alarm system doesn’t require the infrastructure of wiring, except from the signal booster, and the connection between the mains and the control panel. This process doesn’t only grant speed, but also flexibility as devices can be easily repositioned or removed.

We installed 14 brand new radio/wireless fire alarm systems across 400+ apartments within blocks up to 19 storeys high. All within a timeframe of 5 weeks.

Wired systems, by comparison, can take months depending on the complexity of the building.

Residents experienced minimal disruption and invasiveness. Each one of the apartments had a heat detector installed above their inside front doors, which were all linked to the external fire alarm system within the communal areas.


The result?


The property developer, the property management company and the residents can all rest assured that they’ve got a reliable solution which will pay for itself in peace of mind (and in saving £50k a week).


What next?


They can either choose to keep the wireless fire alarm systems for the duration of time it takes to solve the core issue of passive fire protection/fireproofing (which could take months or years!) and remove it afterwards (which would be quite easily done as they are wireless rather than wired devices).

Or…they can keep the system running in there and continue to maintain it as part of the residential tower blocks’ fire safety infrastructure.


Fireproofing is at the forefront of architectural considerations in today’s construction industry.


Fire safety is far better in new-builds than it was 10, or even 5, years ago.

But with each new residential tower that’s built, there’s are dozens that are still standing which do not have adequate fireproofing and need both temporary and long-term solutions put in place.

But the good news is, a solution is available. And with a fast turn-around at that!


Need a wireless fire alarm installed in your residential tower block?

We’re the Wire-Free experts and we’re here to help you. Call us today on 01277 724 653 or email help@w-fp.co.uk.


Post by Verity Stone

Verity Stone

Hi, I’m Verity! WFP’s Marketer and Customer Liaison. As well as ensuring our customers are happy with their service, I’m a huge fan of spreading the word about fire safety and security to help keep businesses safe and legal.

More posts by Verity Stone