Upgrading Fire Detection Systems in Commercial Buildings


There are many reasons for which the fire alarm in a commercial building may need to be upgraded or extended. It could be to comply with new regulations, to bring the system up to speed to meet existing regulations, to cater for new requirements, to add additional devices for a new extension or outbuilding or simply just to replace outdated or faulty equipment. Whatever the reason, upgrading or extending a fire alarm system takes careful planning, preparation and budgeting.

What are the Challenges?

When it comes to upgrading or extending a fire alarm system, there is plenty to consider:


Installing new devices often requires new cabling. Depending on the layout of the property, this typically means that the cables will need to be channelled into walls, installed in ceiling voids or mounted externally using unsightly conduit or trunking. If the aesthetics of the property are important, then ensuring cables are installed neatly and with as little damage as possible can be difficult.

Building Downtime

Installing cables in areas that are in constant use may require that area to be closed off while the installation is carried out. Not only does this inconvenience anyone who relies on access to that area, but if that area is required for work, it can also lead to a loss in revenue or affect important deadlines.


Access can also be an issue. In areas that are time sensitive, or where appointments need to be made in order to gain access, such as apartments or flats, time is an important factor. While most people will do their best to accommodate such important work, it may result in multiple visits to a property before all the necessary areas can be accessed.


Most challenges with upgrading or extending a fire alarm system come down to cost. Not just the cost of the system itself, but the time it takes to install new cables (especially if it requires multiple visits), the cost of the cable, the downtime that installation works can cause to a business and the resulting loss of revenue can all contribute to the potentially high costs of upgrading or extending a fire alarm system.

What is the Most Cost-Effective Solution?

By using a hybrid fire detection solution such as Wi-Fyre, wireless detectors can be used as part of an existing hardwired fire alarm system. This eliminates the need for expensive cable installation and thus reduces operational downtime, restricted access issues, disruption to the aesthetics of the property and, ultimately, overall cost.

At the heart of a Wi-Fyre system is the Wi-Fyre Transponder. This is installed into the existing fire alarms wiring via a compatible interface module. Each transponder can communicate with up to thirty mixed wireless field devices such as sounders, detectors, manual call points and input/output devices. This means that additional or new devices can be added to almost any existing hardwired fire detection system without the need for new cabling.

User-Selectable Compatibility Modes

Wi-Fyre has six modes of user-selectable operation for increased compatibility:

  • Conventional
  • ProFyre 2-Wire addressable
  • ProFyre addressable
  • Addressable (collective)
  • Reflective
  • Standalone

A Wi-Fyre Wireless Survey Head is also available and must be used to ensure that the signal between the transponder and connected devices is strong enough for the system to work effectively.

Wi-Fyre can provide the perfect, hassle-free and cost-effective solution for upgrading or extending most hardwired fire alarm systems. Discover how Wi-Fyre can be used for other applications on our blog.

For more information about Wi-Fyre, please feel free to give us a call on +44 (0)1329 835024 or email [email protected] where we would be happy to answer any questions.

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