Surefire has recently completed a major radio fire alarm installation at London’s famous Garrick Club. Founded in 1831, the Garrick Club is renowned for its theatrical connections and for its unique collection of fine art and artefacts, which is of huge importance to the world heritage of theatre and acting.

This fire protection project formed part of an extensive interior restructuring and refurbishment at the Garrick Club, with 8build as main contractors. Surefire with the assistance of Electro-Detectors Ltd (EDA), a leading manufacturer of wireless fire detection systems, carried out an initial signal survey.

Radio Protection For Historic Garrick 

The signal survey is a vital part of any wireless fire alarm installation. The results of the survey will determine the locations and type of control equipment required. The subsequent installation of EDA’s Zerio Plus leading-edge radio fire alarm system was implemented in a carefully planned multi-phase operation carried out while the Garrick Club remained fully functioning.

Wayne Ramson, Project Manager of 8build explained: “Ensuring we had the best possible protection against fire hazards was a key priority in the extension and refurbishment of the Garrick Club. The radio fire alarm selected and installed by Surefire was ideal for this project, effectively guarding the safety of people and assets while maintaining a discreet presence that doesn’t conflict with historic interior features. As part of our feedback process, Surefire were awarded an Outstanding for their performance on this project after assessment of quality, management on site and general safety.

The interior restructuring at the Garrick Club covered the basement and three floors, transforming former offices into improved resources for the Club’s social areas, including the library, billiard room and dining facilities. The radio alarm system installed in the newly refurbished area was linked by Surefire through to an existing wired system serving the other parts of the building, demonstrating the flexibility of the Zerio Plus system. This flexibility also allowed for detection to be added in phases by Surefire as the project progressed.

Nick Trantom, Surefire’s Designer and Project Manager for the Garrick Club installation, said that due to the configuration of the building and the thickness of its interior walls, a number of tests for radio signal strengths were required to ensure that the signalling equipment was installed in the correct locations.

The project lasted for about 18 months and was delivered in a number of stages to minimise disruption to Club members during opening hours. This meant, for instance, that testing the system had to be carried out at weekends. Close collaboration between Surefire and 8Build ensured that work could go forward with maximum efficiency and tight scheduling."

“In all, Surefire installed over 100 smoke and heat detectors, together with eight booster units to amplify the system’s radio signals throughout this historic property. Surefire’s engineers also made modifications to the Club’s existing wired system so that the two systems would operate seamlessly. It was an exciting project, not least because of the valuable heritage that this high performance radio fire alarm system is protecting.”

Electro-Detectors have been manufacturing wireless fire detection systems for over 30 years and the Zerio Plus system replaces the Millennium range of products. Fully EN54 Pt25 certified, it is currently the only radio fire alarm system able to offer a standalone wireless control panel. The system offers a reliable alternative to hard wired installations and requires minimal cabling. This was a key factor for the installation at the Garrick Club, as the ornate decor of the building made cabling of any sort a real challenge.

Steve Page, UK Sales & Marketing Manager of Electro Detectors Ltd, commented: “Surefire have been working with Electro Detectors products for many years and always demonstrate a highly professional approach to design and installation. Their skill and reliability consistently ensures peace of mind for their clients.”

The Garrick is a private members’ club named after the renowned 18th century actor David Garrick. Close to London’s West End theatres, the Club has excellent dining facilities, accommodation for members and an extensive theatrical library.

Additionally, displayed throughout the Garrick, there are over 1,000 notable theatrical paintings, sculptures and drawings, as well as thousands of fascinating prints and memorabilia; the world’s most comprehensive collection of its kind. Members of the Garrick Club past and present include many famous actors and literary figures.