Wireless vs. wired fire alarms
If you’re choosing a fire alarm system
for your building, you need to make the choice between having a wired or wireless fire alarm system
What’s the difference?
As the names imply, wired fire alarm systems use cabling to transmit signals between devices and the system control panel. Wireless systems also transmit signals, but through a radio frequency.
It used to be the case that wireless alarm systems just weren’t as good. Now, however, the situation is completely different. Wireless fire alarms are now advanced enough to offer many of the capabilities wired ones do. So how do you know which system to opt for? Here are the benefits of each one.
Benefit of a Wired Fire Alarm System
Devices are cheaper
Wired devices tend to be cheaper to buy than their wireless equivalents
Reliable power source
Wired fire alarm systems are mains-powered, most with battery back-up in case of failure, making the whole system more reliable.
There’s no maximum space between devices
Devices on a wireless system need to be within a certain distance of other devices and the control panel in order for signals to be sent and received. This is not a problem for wired systems.
No signal interference
There’s no worry of signal interference using a wired system, which is a concern for wireless alarms.
Parts are easier to source
Wired fire alarm systems are more commonplace, and are the more traditional ones, meaning that it’ll be easier to find parts for repairs and replacement.
Benefits of a Wireless Fire Alarm System
They look better
If you choose a wireless system, you don’t have to worry about unsightly cabling and wires affecting the appearance of your building. Nor will you need worry about holes in your walls and ceilings caused by the installation of wires.
Health and safety
Another important advantage of a wireless system is that you won’t have to worry about loose cables becoming a hazard.
They’re easier and cheaper to install
There’s no wiring, meaning that you don’t have to pay for cabling, or the man hours needed to install it. This makes up for the pricier cost of individual devices.
There’s no risk of cabling being damaged
If the cabling of a wired system is damaged, this’ll affect the system, which is not a problem for wireless systems where there is no cabling in place.
Wireless systems take less time to install and update, meaning there is less of a disruption to your business.
They’re more flexible
Wireless devices can be easily disconnected and removed for maintenance work, or to accommodate permanent changes to your building. If a device is in need of updating, it’s easy to replace an old model with a new one, making it simpler to maintain the integrity of your system.
Of course, both systems have their uses. Something important to bear in mind is that wired fire alarm systems have a long history of fire detection. If you’re considering which system to use in a new build, you have the perfect chance to install a wired system as the building is being constructed.
Wireless systems tend to be more favourable in buildings where appearance matters, such as listed and historical buildings.
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