Positive Lessons on Wireless Fire Alarms for Schools

  • 4th Mar 2024

There are numerous benefits for schools to choose wireless fire alarm systems over hardwired or hybrid solutions. Stephen Marsh, Head of Sales at Cygnus, explains why wireless systems are highly suitable for the operational needs and tight budgets of schools.

The poor state of repair of many schools is often in the media spotlight. A lack of investment and poor maintenance is partly to blame, as is the historical use of materials such as asbestos and RAAC (Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete). So, when it comes to installing or upgrading a fire alarm system, school managers need a cost-effective, fast and easy to deploy solution.

Look – no wires!

This is where the world’s first EN 54 certified, 100% wireless, SmartNet fire detection and alarm system from Cygnus leads the way. Because they do not require time-consuming cabling and associated work – which can necessitate having to repair the fabric of a building – wireless fire alarm systems can be installed in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months. As there is no power or signalling cabling involved, there is no need to drill holes and chase plasterwork, so it can be installed with minimal disruption and remedial works required. This is specifically relevant to some schools, where asbestos and RAAC will not need to be disturbed. It’s also significant for schools with historic interiors containing ornate ceilings and plasterwork, wooden panelling and balustrades.

With school budgets often under pressure, it is worth remembering that the speed of installation – together with no requirement for expensive fire-rated cabling – can mean considerable cost savings. In addition, as there are no penetrations of fire compartments, remedial fire-stopping work is not needed.

Minimal disruption

Wireless fire alarm systems are particularly suitable for educational establishments because they minimise disruption to buildings and classrooms during installation. With no need to run cables through walls, ceilings, and floors, there is less disturbance to the learning environment, allowing schools to maintain near-normal teaching with minimal disruption. The SmartNet range in particular is also resilient to false alarms, which will avoid disruption to the school days for unnecessary cause.

The school holidays are a great time to carry out such work. Installing wireless fire alarm systems means minimal disruption for schools during site surveys, installation, commissioning and maintenance. The speed of wireless installation means that work can be done during school holidays – even relatively short ones such as at half term.



School’s out

At this time of year, schools are often finalising their budgets for building and maintenance work to take place during the summer holidays. So now is a good time for installation firms to pitch for work during the summer.

Another big advantage for schools is the flexibility of system design that comes with wireless. Devices such as smoke detectors, heat detectors, manual call points and alarm sounders can be easily installed and relocated as needed – without the constraints of wiring locations. This flexibility allows schools to adapt a fire alarm system to changes in building layouts and occupancy requirements, or the addition of new buildings or temporary classrooms. This scalability means that the fire alarm system can grow with the school and adapt to future expansion or renovation projects.

Quality and reliability

Although there is a dramatic reduction in the time taken to install a wireless system, this is not done at the expense of quality or advanced technology. With Cygnus SmartNet, there is the added peace of mind that as well as being fully certified to EN 54-25 – the European standard for wireless systems – all components such as smoke and heat detectors are certified to the same EN 54 standards as hardwired components. This means that Cygnus wireless components meet the same demanding performance and technical standards as their hard-wired counterparts.

Why choose SmartNet?

The world’s first EN 54 certified and 100% wireless SmartNet range is the ideal solution for schools. It is reliable, robust and up to twenty times faster to install than other systems and is a fully wireless, scalable, intelligent fire detection and alarm system. The Made in Britain registered solution rapidly detects and alerts users to signs of smoke or fire, whilst also being resilient to false alarms. The powerful self-forming and self-healing mesh network and sensitive radio receiver reduce the need for radio surveys, speed-up installation and provide a perfect permanent solution.

In summary, wireless fire alarm systems offer numerous benefits for schools and educational establishments, including quick and easy installation, minimal disruption to buildings, flexibility in system design, scalability, reduced maintenance costs, and improved aesthetics. By investing in a wireless fire alarm system, schools can provide effective fire detection and alarm capabilities to protect pupils, staff, visitors and school buildings from the threat of fire.



Cygnus is revolutionising the industry with its EN 54 certified SmartNet system, the world’s first 100% wireless fire detection and alarm system for permanent installation. The ‘Made in Britain’ registered SmartNet is a game changer for the sector. Featuring patented Cygnus technology, it is quick and easy to install and can be scaled effectively from small to large installations.


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