Dartmoor National Park Authority, Parke, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9JQ
Higher Uppacott is a rare example of a medieval longhouse in Dartmoor, therefore this building is Grade 1 listed and of national importance.
People and cattle once shared this single storey building, a simple cross passage divided the two areas of the building. The lower of the two areas would have been used to shelter cattle (a shippon). Higher Uppacott still has its original shippon, unaltered since medieval times.
Dartmoor National Park Authority, who have owned the building since 1979 needed a wireless fire alarm to protect both the historic wing and the adjoining outbuildings which had been converted into living quarters.
Image courtesy of Dartmoor National Park Authority
“We needed a fire alarm system that was unobtrusive and would not detract from the architecture and heritage of the building”
Andrew Watson, Head of Recreation, Access and Estates with DNPA.
A wireless fire alarm solution was the most obvious choice for this historic property. One of the buildings key features was the original smoke blackened thatch which visitors needed to be able to see unobscured by fire alarm cables. Wireless smoke and heat detectors were used in addition to coloured housings which could be installed discretely.
English Heritage fire specialist, DNPA and GD Systems’ designers worked together to construct a solution that was both sympathetic to the building and compliant with BS5839-1:2013.
GD Systems’ Operations Director Nigel Fisher said “Being a Grade 1 listed building, there was little scope for installing equipment around the building this limited the use of signal boosters. The Electro Detectors Zerio Plus system works on 869MHz which we know from experience has sometimes had difficulty propagating through thick stone walls – exactly what we had at Higher Uppacott.
By spending a lot of time conducting an RF survey and pinpointing detector positions, we were able to get all of the detectors and alarm devices to communicate with the panel from a single antenna which we managed to discretely hide in the WC!”
“We spoke to a number local fire alarm suppliers and it quickly became apparent that the wireless system that GD Systems were proposing was going to fully meet our needs in terms of reducing fire risk to the property whilst visual impact was kept to a minimum. We found GD Systems were very easy to work with – flexible and sensitive to the needs of the building”.
“By not having to spend days on site, the GD Systems team had the system installed in a single day, with not a cable to be seen anywhere”.
Bill Allen, Dartmoor National Park Ranger