Roedean School

In August 2006, following a competitive tender process, Pyrotec Fire Detection Ltd was awarded a three-year contract for routine inspection and maintenance of the fire alarm systems, emergency lighting and portable fire-fighting equipment at Roedean School in Brighton.
Roedean School


We were soon made aware that there was low confidence in the fire alarm systems at the site and the school had been experiencing unwanted or false alarm activations several times a week. As Roedean has a ‘one-out, all-out’ alarm policy, this was extremely disruptive to school life.

It also emerged that there was no existing record of the equipment fitted throughout the school and no procedure in place for recording the cause or location of false and unwanted alarms.

Pyrotec Solution

Our first task was to complete a 100% inspection of all systems and create a full electronic inventory of the equipment on site, locating all fuse-ways, test points and devices. This has been adopted by the school as part of its records and has also enabled us to introduce a structured programme of maintenance throughout the contract period.

To address the urgent issue of false and unwanted alarms, we first provided training to school personnel on how to record the relevant details of these events. By analysing this information, we were soon able to identify the underlying causes of the majority of false and unwanted alarms, and to implement a targeted program of device replacement in areas of the boarding houses where the unwanted alarms were being generated.


The reduction in false and unwanted alarms was immediate and, with close monitoring and further programmed upgrading, their incidence has been maintained at ‘almost zero’. The client’s confidence in the system and the equipment manufacturer has been restored and there is now an ongoing programme to extend and improve the same networked system throughout the whole site.

We have also helped the client rationalise the provision and maintenance of fire-fighting equipment across the site, and extend and improve the emergency lighting cover in line with a building refurbishment programme. Works often need to be scheduled outside term times to minimise disruption to school life and we have worked closely with the client to achieve this. Our original contract was renewed in 2009.