Home » Blog » Comparing Wireless Fire Alarm Systems to Wired Fire Alarm Systems

Comparing Wireless Fire Alarm Systems to Wired Fire Alarm Systems

Wireless fire alarm systems are gaining popularity as a preferred option over traditional wired fire alarm systems. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two types of fire alarm systems and consider their service quality, false alarm likelihood, and emergency reliability to help you make an informed decision for your application.

Wireless Fire Alarm Systems:

A wireless fire alarm system operates without physical wires, using wireless technology and radio frequency waves to transmit data between devices and the control panel. This cable-free approach is especially advantageous for heritage or protected buildings, as it preserves their integrity and aesthetics without unsightly cabling. Wireless installations are suitable for larger commercial buildings such as schools, universities, offices, hospitals, and warehouses, offering flexibility and ease of expansion when the building’s layout changes.


  • Installation: Easy and quick installation with no disruptive wiring, reducing construction maintenance costs.
  • Flexibility: Easily expandable to accommodate changes in the building’s layout.
  • Aesthetics: Maintains a clean and unobtrusive appearance without visible wires.
  • Maintenance: Simplified maintenance with no need to check complex wiring, only batteries and software.
  • Monitoring: Can alert authorities and provide location details of the active alarm.


  • Cost: Generally, the equipment is more expensive than wired systems due to wireless technology.
  • Limitations: Depending on site conditions, signal transmission may face issues in buildings due to interruption of radio signals
  • Maintenance: Equipment batteries will need to be replaced every 3-5 years

Wired Fire Alarm Systems:

Wired fire alarm systems use cables and wires to establish connections between devices and the control panel. While the technology itself is cost-effective, the labour-intensive installation process may increase the initial investment cost. These systems are ideal for new builds, though they can be challenging to expand or modify after installation.


  • Cost: Technology is cost-effective, and equipment is generally cheaper than wireless alternatives.
  • Monitoring: Capable of alerting authorities and specifying the location of the active alarm.


  • Installation: Longer and more time-consuming due to wiring
  • Flexibility: Expanding or modifying the system requires substantial time and effort.
  • Aesthetics: Visible wires can detract from the building aesthetics
  • Limitations: Can disrupt existing businesses during installation, as the building’s fabric may need to be compromised.

False fire alarm activation

Preventing false fire alarm activations begins by ensuring that all systems and equipment is regularly inspected and maintained.

If the fire alarm system is regularly maintained then in theory, the rate of false fire alarm activations will be minimised.


In conclusion, there are no specific regulations dictating whether commercial fire alarms should be wired or wireless. The decision is usually based on practical considerations, budget constraints, and ease of installation access. If you need further advice on selecting the appropriate system for your commercial building, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you would like further advice regarding the right fire alarm system to install in your commercial building please get in touch.

Mick Brooke

Mick has over 30 years experience working within the Fire and Security industry. Starting as an installation engineer and quickly progressing into both operational and sales management roles.

Posted on: 10 August 2023
Last updated: 26 September 2023
Posted in: FAQs, News
Author: Mick Brooke