Wired vs Wireless Fire Alarm

If you already have a hard wired fire alarm system installed, you may be thinking about upgrading it if it has become old or outdated. Or you may have a perfectly good wired alarm system, but need it extended to cover a new annex or extension that you have had added.

Faced with a choice of completely replacing your existing fire alarm system or adding to it, you may consider using a wireless fire alarm option. Obviously, you may have some questions about a wireless system, especially if you have never used one before. Lets take a look at some common questions about wireless fire alarm systems and their benefits.

Can wireless fire alarms transmit over a long distance?

There are two types of wireless fire alarms currently on the market. The older style version uses wireless LAN star topology, which is one of the most common network setups. Because star topology relies on point-to-point connections, when interrupted you can lose connection and the alarm will not work.

This can be solved by using newer technology through a mesh network. Mesh networking provides at least two independent pathways to communicate over, so if one pathway connection is interrupted, your detector will automatically switch to another available pathway.

Using a mesh wireless system means you can build much larger and more wide-reaching alarm installations. This makes it a great option for factories, warehouses and large buildings adding extensions or extra storage space that needs fire safety protection.

One single gateway can cover a diameter of up to 180 meters. Depending on your local installation rules, you could build a system that may cover up to five stories within a building.

By using modern wireless fire alarm technology, you will be making best use of the most up-to-date radio technology available. This can provide you with a quick, yet affordable solution to cover all your fire safety needs while at the same time causing the least amount of disruption or disturbance to either the building structure, or those currently using the space.

Can you use both wired and wireless systems together?

It is possible to build a hybrid system that combines both an existing wired fire alarm set up with extra coverage coming via a wireless fire alarm system add-on. This makes an ideal choice for commercial properties such as hotels and restaurants where you may have a wired system that is in use hidden away from public view, with an additional wireless system covering highly decorated dining areas or hotel suites.

You could have a wireless fire alarm system protecting a valuable period property such as a castle or stately home, but have a wired system in place behind the scenes in administrative blocks and catering facilities.

There are also uses for wireless fire alarm systems as a temporary solution to offer fire-safety protection to cover construction sites, or to provide cover during a building refurbishment where a wired alarm system may need to be removed or dismantled while refurbishment work is taking place. Anywhere that poses a challenge for a traditional wired system to operate could find an ideal solution with a wireless system instead.