Hyfire chosen for one of London’s most celebrated venues

Wireless fire detection and alarm devices supplied by global leader Hyfire have helped to deliver a new fire system for the grade I-listed Union Chapel, one of London’s most architecturally significant religious buildings, just in time for a major event.

More than 250 wireless devices were installed at Union Chapel, which was built between 1874 and 1890 to designs by renowned church architect James Cubitt. The Gothic Revival church is situated on Upper Street, Islington, and while the building may be historic, the Congregational church that occupies it is thoroughly modern. The venue hosts around 200 live music events annually and was named London’s Best Live Music Venue in 2002, 2012 and 2014, with income from these shows going towards the maintenance and repair of the buildings, the support of innovative art and Union Chapel Margins, a charity based in the building, which provides a range of support services to homeless people.

Virginia Tolosa, Managing Director at Firetecnics Systems Ltd, the installers and designers on the project, said: “Being a listed building, the need for minimum disruption at Union Chapel was imperative. Add to this the very limited timescale to complete the installation before a BBC Songs of Praise broadcast, and the Hyfire wireless devices provided the ideal solution. Our team worked with Hyfire to design and specify a system that meets the exact requirements of the building and its users. With different parts of the chapel being used 24/7, being able to slot into the daily workings was a must and our engineers were able to install, programme and commission the system on that basis.”

Hyfire offers the widest range of commercial standard wireless fire devices on the market, ranging from optical, multi-criteria and heat detectors to notification, alarm, interface and control units, all fully certified to EN54. All products offer the highest performance and quality in the industry, and are also fully compliant with BS5839 Part 1. Fire panels are wired via a loop to translators, from which wireless devices can be used on their own to build fully wireless systems of virtually any size, or mixed with Hyfire wired products to provide seamless hybrid solutions, offering total flexibility to specifiers and installers.

Peter Catton, Regional Sales Manager at Hyfire, said: “Wireless products are common in every other industry, but are a relatively recent innovation in fire systems. Rapid improvements in quality, reliability and battery life, combined with installation and lifetime advantages, mean that wireless is now a viable solution for all fire systems, offering higher performance than wired alternatives.

“Firetecnics is a company with over 30 years’ experience in the fire sector, and we worked with them to specify a system that would meet the long-term needs of Union Chapel, while also minimising the disruption caused. To allow for the extreme thickness of the walls, additional panels were installed, which alleviated the need to run multiple loops from one location in order to cope with the numerous translators required. The completed system was inspected by the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) and passed first time, with no advisories or updates required.”

All Hyfire products are developed by fire industry pioneers in Trieste, Italy, the global centre for wireless fire device design. The wireless range includes all devices required to build a fully wireless commercial fire system, including manual call points, remote indicators, visual indicators, sounders, sounder bases and output/input modules. A range of addressable translators and expanders are available, processing up to 32 devices each, with the scale of the system limited only by the number of devices that the fire panel can handle. Devices can be quickly and easily pre-programmed offsite to increase the speed of installation and reduce time on site.

Barbara Basini, Head of Conservation and Building Projects at Union Chapel, said: “This isn’t only a historic building, it’s a busy and active church in daily use for worship, live events and charity work. After discussions with Firetecnics and our M&E consultant, we concluded that Hyfire wireless devices would help to minimise the disruption of the new fire system install, reduce the installation time and cost while also providing the long-term protection this architectural gem requires, together with the ability to upgrade or expand the system in the future.”

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