Museum of Garden History

In 2007 Fire Systems Ltd were invited to design and install a fire alarm system for this Historic Grade Listed Church building, the Garden Museum.

This building formerly known at the Museum of Garden History is situated in the parish church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, adjacent to Lambeth Palace, close to the houses of Parliment.

The Objective of this project was to design a fire detection system to comply with the requirements of the Fire Risk Assessment and the insurance company.

With this being a Grade Listed Building the foremost concern of the Museum management team was the display of any wiring and containment, especially within the public areas and damage to the historic architectural structure.

Our design team had no problem suggesting a wireless fire alarm system. However, the three church arches within the museum (18-28m) were well over the maximum high permitted for a smoke detector (10m).

Our system designer specified the following:

  • Wireless fire alarm as the principal form of detection Wireless smoke detectors in areas below the 10m height limit.
  • Wireless manual call points to be installed at all the exits and change of floor level.
  • Wireless sounders situated throughout the building to achieve the required minimum sound level of 65 decibels.
  • Kidde Airsense air sampling detectors in the three arches, with these units being interfaced to the wireless fire alarm.

The pipe work for the Air Sampling systems was sprayed the same colour as the interior brickwork and hidden in the eaves. Getting access to the eaves was a challenge, as the access equipment used could only enter the building through a standard size door.

On completion of the installation, smoke simulation was used to test the air sampling systems which were successful. The wireless detectors were tested using the standard form of the no-climb test spray.

The offices, working areas and public display rooms now had wireless smoke detection, and there was no wiring visible.

The new fire alarm system was also connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre to call the Fire Brigade in the event of a fire alarm activation. Delivery The installation of the fire alarm went according to plan.

The installation took about two weeks to complete, with all the works being conducted outside opening hours.


Since the successful installation in 2007, we have carried out the fire alarm maintenance and enhance the wireless fire alarm in accordance with the museum’s requirements.

The fire alarm servicing is conducted every six months to ensure minimise faults and keep the system fully operational at all times.