Exclusive: The Value and Growth of Monitored Fire Alarm Signalling Systems


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John Coleman, Head of Sales UK & Ireland at CSL, discusses the latest developments around professionally monitored fire alarm signalling systems.

Historically, Fire Systems have been designed to protect lives when the building is occupied. But increasingly, we have seen examples where fires have occurred in empty premises. 60 fires a day occur in or beside vacant or derelict properties in the UK (Home Office Statistics). When a fire occurs and the premises are empty, it will not be reported unless someone nearby sees it or hears the alarm.

The Benefits of Monitoring

Statistics suggest that only around 6% of fire systems have a monitored alarm, yet 67% of fires occur when premises are empty. A Fire System with Professional Signalling reports any faults or alarms to a Monitoring Centre, providing 24/7 365 peace of mind for premises owners. In addition, arson – just like criminal damage and theft – is much more common in empty buildings as opposed to those which are occupied. Monitored Fire Systems allow for faster reporting of incidents as well as acting as a deterrent.

Recent Examples

In February this year, 130 firefighters were called to tackle a blaze at the Armadillo Self Storage Unit in Cheadle, Greater Manchester. The fire, which started at 1 am, destroyed 40% of the building and many companies using the facility lost everything they had on-site. In these instances, every second counts. A professionally monitored fire alarm would immediately alert the Alarm Receiving Centre and the Fire Brigade, to ensure the fastest possible response to such incidents. In doing so, this would minimise the impact of the fire as best as possible.  

European Standards

EN54 certification is the most important aspect in terms of signalling for fire detection and alarm systems. However, the cost of products has always been an issue, with most fire systems having no monitoring at all despite many fires occurring when the premises are empty.

Over the past few years, we have seen an increased industry demand for EN54 (Fire) certified signalling products that offer the flexibility of installation, increased reliability, and cost-effectiveness. We are confident that all criteria have now been satisfied with the new DualCom Pro Fire products.

The DualCom Pro 2 Fire Range

We recently announced the arrival of the new DualCom Pro 2 Fire variants. These latest innovations, which include DigiAir Pro 2 and GradeShift Pro 2, are now available to order from your chosen ARC. DigiAir Pro 2 Fire offers a wireless single-path solution, whilst GradeShift Pro 2 Fire offers dual-path, dual-radio signalling via 2 separate radio modules. Both solutions come with multiple 4G WorldSIMs, providing the most reliable fire signalling systems ever, whilst the wireless signalling options mean the installation is not limited to the infrastructure of the premises.

Our Fire variants enable devices to signal alerts directly to a professional monitoring station 24/7 when the premises are left unattended. This is one of the reasons CSL’s Fire variants are now trusted in over 7,000 professional fire installations across Europe.

Wireless 4G Connectivity

All variants of the DualCom Pro 2 Fire Range are wireless 4G solutions. This means that the device can be placed in whatever position is best for the installer and radio coverage. The Range is supplied with High Gain Aerials and extension cables are available to ensure that the best signal can be accessed every time.


In the past, fire monitoring has been cost-prohibitive as was not often pushed by insurers, and therefore installers didn’t see the benefits of doing this. Today, the options available via CSL are cost-effective and accessible for all. Many Installers are not include monitoring for fire systems as standard. It offers increased value for Installers in terms of insights on faults and performance. Take control of your professional fire installations and access this instant information using the My Base App.

All IP

The UK and Ireland’s Communications Providers are in the process of upgrading their customers from the existing analogue phone service to an enhanced IP service, with the plan to migrate to a fully digital phone service by the end of 2025. The change will affect anything that currently plugs into the existing analogue telephone wall sockets, including Fire signalling systems. The project is well underway, and the impact is already being seen at premises nationwide. For more information, please visit the CSL website!

Fire & Security Matters Awards 2022

We are delighted to announce that DualCom Pro Fire 2 has been announced as a finalist for the upcoming Fire & Security Matters Awards in the Fire Innovation of the Year category! Another reflection of how well this innovation has been received by the industry.

Case Study – Black Box

Black Box is a fully accredited BAFE (SP203) Fire Alarm System Service Provider with an extensive portfolio of installations. On every one of these systems, Black Box install the highest grade of professional fire monitoring with connections into an ARC. As part of this, they are installing GradeShift Pro 2 Fire as standard for all new and existing customers. GradeShift Pro Fire is a DP2 graded, radio/radio dual-path signalling solution, with a catastrophic failure reporting time of 31 minutes. With analogue telephone (PSTN) lines soon to be redundant, Black Box is using GradeShift Pro Fire to upgrade any legacy systems that rely on this older technology.

EN54 certified monitored signalling forms an essential part of a fully compliant system, that can report any faults or issues in a much shorter period, providing peace of mind for customers. The addition of the My Base App for remote configuration changes, allows Black Box to manage its entire DualCom Pro signalling base.

“GradeShift Pro Fire provides us with an ideal dual-radio, EN54 alarm signalling solution. It enables us to install to the latest and highest standards, whilst overcoming any on-site issues we may face such as no availability of IP or PSTN connections.”

David Barnes, Managing Director of Black Box

Case Study – Moray Fire

Moray Fire Protection provides personal and comprehensive fire detection and protection services to companies, government organisations and individuals throughout Scotland. The company is BAFE registered and operates under industry recognised standards. Located in Elgin, they are ideally situated to service clients throughout the whole of Scotland including Moray, the Highlands, Aberdeen, and Aberdeenshire.

Moray Fire Protection has recently taken over a contract to maintain eight care homes across Moray and the Highlands. Having inherited these sites from a previous contractor, Moray Fire Protection decided to upgrade and replace the installations with new equipment including the latest alarm signalling. With analogue telephone (PSTN) lines soon to be redundant, Moray Fire Protection reached out to CSL as they felt that the DigiAir Pro 2 Fire was the best-suited signalling product for these installations.

DigiAir Pro 2 Fire is an SP3 graded, radio only single-path signalling solution, utilising all mobile networks via our WorldSIM to signal an alarm. As a tailor-made fire signalling solution, DigiAir Pro 2 Fire also offers a faster catastrophic failure reporting time of 31 minutes.

With EN54 certified monitored signalling, Moray Fire Protection now have a fully compliant system, that can report any faults or issues in a much shorter period, providing peace of mind for their customers. The addition of the My Base App for remote configuration changes, allows Moray Fire Protection to manage their devices for their customers and ensure the service is always working correctly.

“DigiAir Pro Fire provides us with the perfect radio solution for upgrading all our legacy, monitored single-path sites. It is enabling us to future-proof our estate as part of the ongoing All IP transition and ahead of the ‘Big Switch Off’ in 2025.”

Neil Hughes, Alarm Engineer, Moray Fire Protection

In summary

Why wouldn’t you add professional alarm signalling to your fire systems? For more information, please visit our website:


This article was originally published in the May edition of IFSJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here

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