WESCase Studies

WES+Great Scotland Yard, London

Client: Gaillard Homes

Project Value: £110 million

Project Type: Redevelopment

Location: London

WES+ temporary alarm system is protecting the original Scotland Yard police station in London whilst it is turned into a five-star luxury hotel by Galliard Homes.

The historic building served as the headquarters for the Metropolitan police from 1829 to 1890 and the development involves retaining the original Edwardian façade.

Galliard Homes makes fire safety a priority on all its developments, which is why the project team at Great Scotland Yard set about identifying what they considered to be the ‘most effective fire alarm system’ currently available.

The company had used a hard-wired fire alarm system on other construction sites but found it to be cumbersome. The trailing wires created a trip hazard and the process of repositioning the call points as work progressed was both time consuming and required a qualified electrician.

David Ridge, Sites Services Manager at Galliard Homes, said: “We felt that there must be a better way of protecting the Great Scotland Yard development from the dangers of fire. Following extensive research, we identified WES+ as a system that would provide us with a step-change in usability by the fact it is wireless.”

He added: “That overcame the challenges we had with hard-wired systems and being compliant with the relevant sections of EN 54 meant that we were also confident that it gave us the best fire protection. When we complete Great Scotland Yard later this year, we will be able to transfer the WES+ system to our next project, making it is the best and most cost-effective system on the market today without a doubt.”

The WES+ system installed at Great Scotland Yard will trigger a site-wide alarm even if just one of the manual call points or automatic heat/smoke detectors are activated. This will allow all personnel to evacuate the site and rescue services to be alerted at the earliest opportunity.

Incorporating heat/smoke detectors into the WES+ fire alarm system means that the iconic Great Scotland Yard is protected 24/7, even when personnel are not present on site. Nominated personnel at Galliard Homes will instantly receive a text alert if any call point is activated.

The WES+ fire alarm system, which can be installed with a few simple button-presses to pair the interconnecting call points, creates a completely secure mesh network. The scalable nature of the system means that up to several thousand units can be paired, making it suitable for large and small construction sites. A silent test facility eliminates downtime on site.

Additional complexity was added to this project because it is in the heart of one of London’s most popular tourist areas and surrounded by other significant buildings that house large numbers of people. A fire during construction could soon spread to adjoining buildings. As the dangers of fires on construction sites become better understood an increasing number of developers are specifying a WES+ fire alarm system.

Insurance companies and clients are also encouraging developers to use an EN 54 compliant fire alarm system that incorporates automatic heat/smoke detectors. Zurich Insurance has stated that there is an ‘expectation that customers comply with the Joint Code of Practice Fire Code guidelines as far as is practicable and reasonable’.

The Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construction Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovation (JCOP) now contains the advice; Components of automatic fire detection and alarm systems should be marked as complying with EN 54 (paragraph 13.8).

Along with Galliard Homes, WES+ is currently used by over 75 percent of the top 100 UK constructions companies to protect personnel and assets from fire on site. It is designed specifically for construction sites and has a three-year battery life.