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July 24, 2023


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Historic Harold Pinter Theatre gets wireless fire protection upgrade

A London Victoria theatre, the Harold Pinter Theatre, has been upgraded with a wireless fire system made up of over 100 devices from Apollo’s REACH range.

Known as the Comedy Theatre until 2011, the Pinter was built in 1881, designed by Thomas Verity and includes a 796-seater three-level horseshoe auditorium.

Apollo-Harold Pinter Theatre-23“Balancing the preservation of a listed building with the challenges of installing a modern fire system has always been a balancing act, although wireless fire devices have been a major gamechanger,” said Sam Robinson, Project Manager at Barlows (UK) Ltd. “Working with the theatre management and Apollo, we specified and installed a system with 110 wireless devices connected to four hubs.

“The REACH range comes with a bespoke survey kit, so it is simple to design a system that covers all key areas within the building, and the 100-metre range makes it possible to cover the entire space with a small number of hubs. We had previously used the old Xpander range, which was excellent, but REACH takes wireless fire tech to the next level.”

REACH Wireless is designed to solve challenging installation scenarios for structures with restricted or complex access and installation conditions – such as listed buildings, outbuildings and temporary structures – where wired installation or long site downtime is not possible.

Battery life is reportedly up to five years, and the system is also said to have enhanced RF communications capability and compact casings aimed to work as a standalone wireless system or as part of a hybrid network, with wires and wireless devices.

“Minimal impact on the fabric of the building”

Craig Mole, Product Manager – Wireless at Apollo, commented: “The Harold Pinter Theatre is exactly the sort of building where wireless fire technology comes into its own. Not only is it simpler and quicker to install, the amount of cabling required is reduced by up to 90 percent, which means less impact on the fabric of the building, reduced necessity to seek permission for the works, and less need to ‘make good’ once the installation is complete. It also has advantages in a working building like a theatre, where any closure is going to result in lost income.”

“We’re very proud of a theatre, which is a living and working piece of genuine Victoriana in the heart of London, so we naturally want a fire system that protects our visitors and actors, while having minimal impact on the fabric of the building, said Barnaby Hallam, Technical and Building Managerat the Harold Pinter Theatre. “Working with the Apollo team, we were able to tick all the boxes and the finished system is doubly impressive, being both fit for purpose and also much less intrusive than the old wired network.”


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