EMS protects Liverpool’s heritage

EMS Group has installed a wire-free analogue addressable fire detection system as part of a major refurbishment to the Cunard Building in Liverpool.
Situated on the waterfront, the Cunard Building together with the Royal Liver Building and the Port of Liverpool Building form ‘The Three Graces’, Liverpool’s most famous landmark. Built during World War 1, the Cunard Building was the centre of Britain’s cruise ship industry for many years. Today the building is owned by the Merseyside Pension Fund and is now a modern office and conference centre housing both Government offices and commercial tenants.
The 5000 FirePoint system consisted of 6 radio-network control panels and over 600 radio devices and was installed by Grainger Fire Systems Ltd in partnership with Managing Agents CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).
EMS Group’s wire-less solution was chosen for the fire system refurbishment because of the unique features a wire-free environment can bring to a project such as this. As a 24/7 working building it was important that there was no disruption to the daily routine of the tenants. This was easily achieved as each EMS radio device, such as a fire sensor or call point, can be installed in less than 10 minutes without the need for cable. Similarly, being able to install a system without using expensive fire rated cable not only eliminated any damage to the interior of this historic building, but was a considerably cheaper solution than an equivalent wired system.
Commenting on the success of the project Ray Wilson of CBRE said: “Based on a like for like basis we believe the final cost of the project to have been 30% cheaper than a fixed wire scheme. The biggest advantage however, was the install speed and minimal disruption to the multi-tenanted building which also included an area of Crown Property designation, aligned to the building listed interiors.”
The system is monitored from the ground floor reception and managed by CBRE Security Staff and provides L4 protection to BS 5839 for the entire building. The addressability of the system allows the exact location of an alarm to be identified and safe evacuation of the building to be initiated in the event of an incident.
The speed of installation is becoming an important factor in fire system refurbishments. The cost of operational disruption is significant for many businesses and organisations such as schools and colleges who can only have their systems installed in the short holiday periods. It is not surprising therefore, that the use of wire-free systems in these types of projects has seen a significant increase.

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