Churches and cathedrals are buildings are typically used for religious activities. However, they can also provide valuable support for communities and host charitable activities. Many churches and cathedrals are well known architectural masterpieces, with some dating back as early as 230AD.
Churches and cathedrals often contain valuable artefacts, significant tombs and incredible designs, such as the St. Peter’s Basilica dome in Rome, Italy which was designed by Michelangelo in 1547. Other significant churches include the Notre Dame de Paris in France and Westminster Abbey in London, England.
While the architecture and contents of these buildings are an important part of world history and must be protected from fire, churches and cathedrals are also open to the public. Therefore, a reliable fire detection system is essential.
What are the risks?
- Old wiring and heating systems
Churches and cathedrals can be old buildings with equally old electrical wiring, apparatus and heating systems that are at risk of becoming faulty.
- Arson attacks
These buildings can be vulnerable to arson attacks due to racial hatred, as a means of anonymously registering dissent or mindless vandalism.
- Lightning strikes
Like all tall buildings, churches and cathedrals can be vulnerable to lightning strikes. While most have lightning conductors to direct the lightning harmlessly away from the building, some do not.
- Candles and open flames
Many churches and cathedrals use and allow patrons to light ceremonial candles. If not treated properly naked flames can catch light to surrounding flammable materials such as curtains and drapes.
What are the challenges?
There are usually a variety of different areas in a church that each have their own unique challenges when it comes to fire and smoke detection. Most notably, due to the structure and aesthetics of these types of building, fire alarm wiring is not only impractical but can be unsightly and damaging to the property.
What is the solution?
Using a hybrid fire detection system that combines hardwired and wireless technology can overcome some of the challenges that are presented by churches and cathedrals. Hybrid fire detection allows wireless devices to be used where aesthetics must remain unharmed and where cabling is impractical, and wired devices can be used where it is practical to do so. This means that the system can be both feasible and cost-effective.
Wi-Fyre, by Eurofyre, allows hardwired and wireless fire detection technology to seamlessly coexist. Wireless devices can be installed into most new or existing hardwired fire alarm systems via a Wi-Fyre Transponder, installed into the fire alarm wiring via a compatible interface module. Each transponder can communicate with up to thirty mixed field devices such as manual call points, detectors, sounders and I/O modules.
Wi-Fyre has six user-selectable modes of operation to provide increased compatibility with a range of systems:
- Addressable (Collective)
- ProFyre 2-Wire Addressable
- ProFyre Addressable
When installing Wi-Fyre, a wireless survey must be conducted using Wi-Fyre’s wireless survey head to ensure the signal between the transponder and installed device is strong enough to operate effectively.