Shaw Primary School

Shaw Primary School Case Study

Thurrock – 2016


Working for a contractor in 2015, WFP supplied, installed and commissioned the fire alarm and CCTV systems in the new reception building at Shaw Primary School (the client).

The site consisted of three buildings each with its own independent fire alarm system.

The specification of the works we had to perform required a new fire alarm system to be installed in a new building that was being constructed. This system had to interlink with the other two existing fire alarm systems so that the whole site responded as if it had one fire alarm system.

The reason for this configuration, as with all schools that have multiple buildings, is that it is essential in the event of a fire all pupils are evacuated. The risk of not doing this would lead to the uncertainty of ensuring the known whereabouts of all pupils and staff.

Once the system was in place and commissioned, the client decided to stay with their incumbent company for their fire alarm maintenance.



In 2016 A lightning strike hit the new building and damaged the fire panel.


The Damage

Shaw Primary School was advised by their incumbent fire alarm company that the fire panel had to be replaced due to the lightning strike.


Product Choice

WFP originally installed a locally produced control panel that supported the Alarmsense range of smoke detection.

For reasons unbeknown, the incumbent maintenance company chose to replace the control panel with a different manufacturer to the one originally installed.

Initially, the product they supplied was not compatible with the Alarmsense detectors, so embarrassingly for them, they had to leave site after several hours of trying to make the system work unsuccessfully.

They returned at a later date with the correct panel but unfortunately the commissioning engineer had problems setting up the new panel to communicate with the other two fire alarm systems that were already installed in other areas of the school.

This left the client with a system that although would work, they would have great difficulty testing and resetting due to incorrect configuration of the systems interlinking, resulting in three members of staff having to be present at each control panel just to reset the system.

This change of manufacturer was not a good decision from the incumbent firm, as changing like-for-like would have been a simple and direct replacement of the internal component parts, without the need to remove the existing panel case. Their choice to use a different manufacturer lead to a total panel replacement and re-programme.



The client was concerned that their system was not working correctly despite being assured by their incumbent fire alarm engineer that it was and that the reset difficulties were just user error.

They then decided that they would like a second opinion.

Barry, the general manager at WFP had offered a free check-up of the system as he had become aware that the client may have not been getting the best engineering solution. Due to the clients concerns as listed above, they decided to take up our offer and WFP attended shortly after their request.

The WFP engineer discovered that the new system had been incorrectly configured as suspected by the client. So a quotation was provided and our engineer carried out the necessary configuration modifications that were required and carried out full testing and training with the client, demonstrating that the system had been now returned to its original state which allowed the client to test the system on a weekly basis with only one member of staff.


Can we help you?

If you suspect your system isn’t working correctly or could be improved to work better, WFP offer a free advisory service.

To take advantage of this, just drop an email to with your concerns or query and you will be promptly contacted by one of our technical support operators to talk through your request and if required make arrangements for a site visit.


Top Tips

Always ensure that the company you are using:

  • have a recognised fire engineering accreditation
  • have a number of credible testimonials that backup what they are saying
  • have the relevant insurance cover
  • listen to your requirements and provide training on any equipment that has been installed


Nearly a year on, WFP continue to maintain Shaw Primary School’s Fire alarms and Lisa had this to say about WFP when asked her views:

“I can’t recommend them highly enough – their expertise, reliability, professionalism, customer service and value for money is fantastic.

We now use them for fire alarms, extinguishers, cctv and emergency lighting under one maintenance umbrella.

My initial contact was Barry Leeds but to be honest the whole team are great.”

Lisa – Shaw Primary School
4th August 2017