It's Time to Wake Up to Wireless Technology

  • 5th Jun 2024

Wireless fire detection and alarm systems are the ideal replacement to the temporary measure of Waking Watches as Stephen Marsh, Head of Sales at Cygnus, explains.

Firstly, what is a Waking Watch? A Waking Watch is put in place to ensure that occupants have sufficient warning in the event of a fire and is required if dangerous cladding has been found on the building or if any fire safety issues mean the ‘stay put’ evacuation policy needs to change to simultaneous evacuation.

The National Fire Chiefs Council explains Waking Watches as a temporary measure as they can be implemented with an immediate effect and allow buildings to remain occupied. The key takeaway of this is the term temporary. In Edition 4 of its Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance the NFCC outlined to building owners that they need to move to install a common fire alarm system as quickly as possible to reduce or remove the need for Waking Watches.  

Some Waking Watches have been in place for years and leaseholders are facing rising costs, with one leaseholder telling the BBC that their service charge has gone up over 130% in six years. Leaseholders at Royal Quay apartment complex near Royal Docks in London were told by estate manager, Gallions Approach Management Limited (GAML), that the cost of replacing the cladding could be around £22m and a Waking Watch was put in place with an annual cost of £157,000. This then resulted in a service charge increase of 25%.

As shown above, the requirement for Waking Watches is extremely costly for leaseholders, building owners and management companies as well as tenants who may feel the effect of higher rents. Although a programme of remediation is in place, for some homeowners and tenants, there is no end in sight. It could be two, three or five years until the cladding on some buildings can be replaced leaving occupants, building owners and property management companies with on-going costs and inevitable worry.

So, how can we reduce the need for Waking Watches?

The solution is simple: a wireless fire detection and alarm system. As well as being a safe alternative to Waking Watches, it is also far more cost effective.

The Government provided additional funding which was aimed at incentivising the installation of fire alarms and protecting more residents in more buildings pending their full remediation or the provision of long-term mitigation measures. This funding has recently closed for applications, but a number of building owners and management companies will now have funding in place and ready to take action.

Now is an ideal time to speak to your customers and explain the benefits of installing Cygnus’ world first 100% wireless and EN 54 certified fire detection and alarm system, SmartNet.

Why choose SmartNet?

The 100% wireless SmartNet system can make the process of installing and commissioning simple and efficient, with minimal disruption to the building or occupants.

Utilising the renowned and patented Cygnus wireless mesh protocol, SmartNet offers a reliable, robust and adaptable solution that is up to twenty times faster to install than other systems. It is the world’s first EN 54 certified and 100% wireless fire detection and alarm system that rapidly detects and alerts users to signs of smoke or heat, whilst also being resilient to false alarms.

As SmartNet is 100% wireless it eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming cabling, which is extremely important in an occupied building. It ensures minimal disruption for tenants and means a system can be installed in a matter of days. The SmartNet system is built on a combination of battery powered radio devices, operating on a self-forming, self-healing mesh network making it a robust and reliable solution, allowing building managers to stand down the Waking Watch.

A Waking Watch should not be a long-term solution for leaseholders but while they are in place a 100% wireless SmartNet fire alarm and detection system from Cygnus is the ideal alternative. If you would like to learn more, get in touch with us today.



To learn more about SmartNet, click here.