In 2017, a devastating fire tore through The Grenfell Tower in London, UK. The fire originated from a faulty refrigerator and rapidly consumed the building due to insufficient fire safety measures and communication systems.
The devastating incident claimed 72 lives and evoked widespread shock and grief, igniting urgent calls for improved fire safety protocols. In response, the UK government introduced the Waking Watch system, a temporary measure involving continuous patrols to monitor fire risks. This approach aimed to bridge safety gaps while more robust solutions were developed. “The Waking Watch Relief Fund” was established to aid high-rise buildings burdened with unsafe cladding, facilitating the transition to advanced fire safety mechanisms.
What is Waking Watch?
A walking watch is a safety practice where trained individuals continuously patrol a building, such as Grenfell Tower, to promptly detect fire or safety hazards. Implemented due to inadequate fire safety measures post the 2017 tragedy, it involves ongoing monitoring to supplement existing systems. The personnel on patrol can swiftly respond to emergencies and ensure residents’ safety. This measure is temporary, intended to bridge gaps until more robust safety measures are established.
UK Government Funding
In May 2023, the UK government announced an additional £18.6 million to replace waking watch measures in residential buildings with a common alarm system, regardless of cost responsibility.
This fund complements previous ones like the Waking Watch Relief Fund and Waking Watch Replacement Fund 2022. It aids leaseholders facing high expenses due to interim safety measures by offering financial support and establishing a more effective fire safety system.
Eligible buildings, located in England, with a waking watch in place and requiring simultaneous evacuation, will benefit from the fund covering upfront capital costs for alarm system installation.
Bringing Fire Alarms Up to Speed
Prior to the Grenfell incident, fire safety regulations for high-rise residential buildings in the UK were relatively lenient, mandating fire system coverage only within the individual flats. While the fire system didn’t cause the fire’s rapid spread, vulnerabilities emerged in terms of both internal unit protection and resident communication during evacuations.
Today, there’s substantial pressure, especially on social housing operators and building managers, to swiftly upgrade systems to meet standards.
What is the Solution?
Wireless fire detection systems are perfectly suited to high-rise residential buildings that require retrospective upgrades or installation. These systems reduce cabling needs, making them suitable for efficient and unobtrusive deployment in high rise residential buildings.
Modern wireless fire detection solutions, such as Wi-Fyre Xenos, can also be integrated with existing wired systems, creating a hybrid approach that maximises reliability and cost-effectiveness. With easy upgrades, expansion, and maintenance, wireless or hybrid systems can offer a practical solution for improving fire safety in high-rise residential buildings.
Wi-Fyre Xenos systems can be installed extremely quickly. The wireless infrastructure required for the system to operate efficiently can be predetermined by conducting a Xenos system survey making the process even more efficient.
The entire system can be programmed, configured and tested away from the building to reduce installation time. This means precise planning, equipment requirements and costs are guaranteed and the impact on the day-to-day operation of the building is minimal.
Wi-Fyre Xenos is fully certified to the relevant EN54 standards and offers the highest performing range of fire sensing and notification to provide the ideal solution for protecting high-rise residential buildings from fire.
System Compatibility & Design
Wi-Fyre Xenos offers a versatile wireless architecture with two distinct methods, enhancing flexibility and applicability across various scenarios. This adaptability makes the system well-suited for a wide range of applications.
Wi-Fyre Xenos Wireless Addressable Mesh Architecture
When mesh architecture is used, a translator module and up to 15 expanders work together to establish a wireless network. This configuration prioritises redundancy by identifying optimal communication paths during system setup. Should any expander encounter a failure, the system automatically reroutes the transmission path to maintain seamless communication.
The main control panel powers the translator module, while a 24V PSU powers the expander modules, ensuring efficient operation.
Wi-Fyre Xenos Wireless Addressable Hybrid Architecture
In a hybrid setup, translator modules are integrated into the fire alarm loop through a compatible zone monitor module and sounder circuit controller. Within this configuration, wireless fire alarm devices establish communication with the translator in the form of a zone. The translator gathers information from its connected devices and forwards it to the fire alarm control panel, facilitating seamless data transmission between wireless devices and the central control system.
Scalable System Design
Xenos employs intelligent signal processing alongside 60 communications channels to prevent channel collisions within the network. These channels are divided into infrastructure and field channels, allowing for seamless expansion of the system architecture. This scalability enables the system to grow from a single loop to encompass multiple systems within the same site, all without causing any interference among them.
Xenos boasts a remarkable point-to-point transmission range of over 1 km in open air. This is achieved through finely-tuned antenna technology, optimised for performance across various frequencies and environments. With the added benefit of up to 8 expansion hops, a Wi-Fyre Xenos system can effectively cover distances exceeding 8 km.
Optimised Path Technology
Xenos translators and expanders are finely tuned for balanced range and confidence. With over 1 km point-to-point transmission range in open air, Xenos antennas excel across frequencies and environments. Up to 8 expansion hops extend coverage to over 8 km.
Why Choose Eurofyre?
- Wi-Fyre Xenos Support
- Eurofyre’s team of fire detection specialists are experts in wireless fire detection. We offer a Xenos Survey Kit to buy or hire to make conducting a Wi-Fyre Xenos site survey quick and easy. We also provide Xenos programming support to help with off-site programming.
- Complete System Supplier
- Eurofyre supplies all aspects of fire detection and its associated safety products, including battery rack monitoring systems and linear heat detection, and can provide expert advice and consultation.
- Demonstration and Training
- We offer demonstrations and expert training on a range of systems, including Li-ion Tamer rack monitoring systems and linear heat detection, in our very own sophisticated training facility.
- After-Sales Support
- Eurofyre offers both on-site and telephone support to assist you in ensuring that your system is fully functional and operating at maximum efficiency. Our after-sales care and support are second to none.
Download our Consultant Specification
Our Wi-Fyre Xenos Consultant Specification provides a clear and comprehensive document that provides guidance to contractors, manufacturers, or service providers on how to meet the client’s needs.
This content is free to use and can be copied directly to your clipboard (using the button provided) or downloaded as PDF versions.
Hire Survey Hire Solution
A wireless survey must be conducted prior to installation. The survey is essential to, not only ensure that the alarm system will operate efficiently, but to speed up installation time.
A Wi-Fyre Xenos survey kit is available from Eurofyre to make carrying out a site survey quick and easy. The kit provides all the equipment that is needed to test channels and frequency bands that will be used. The option to hire a complete survey kit (UK only) makes the process even more cost-effective.
Programming Xenos devices off-site reduces installation time, the number of engineers required for installation and, ultimately, the overall cost of installation.
Eurofyre has a unique understanding of the challenges of programming on-site; difficult access, multiple trades working in the same area, insufficient workspace and more. Therefore, we offer programming support to ensure you can make good use of the benefits off-site programming provides.
For more information about Wi-Fyre Xenos, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre have to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to [email protected] or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.