Apollo Protects Elizabethan Library

Chester House, a Grade II Listed Elizabethan townhouse that is now home to Knowle Library in the West Midlands, has been equipped with XPander – Apollo’s new range of wireless detectors.

Knowle Library

Chester House was originally built in the 16th century as two adjacent dwellings, which it is thought were used by local craftsmen as combined workshops and homes. In the 17th century, these dwellings were converted to form a larger building, possibly a farmhouse or an inn. Then, during the 19th century, the building appears to have been divided again into three separate dwellings before being converted back into one building in the 20th century

After being used as an antique shop for many years, Chester House became the property of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in 1972. Following a complete restoration programme, the building opened as Knowle Library in 1975.

When looking to upgrade the library’s fire system in 2008, the Council’s specification called for an analogue addressable automatic fire detection system designed to BS5839-1:2002 L4 while also being sympathetic to the heritage areas of the building. Monument Fire Detection Systems Ltd, who designed, supplied and installed the new fire detection system, recommended Apollo’s XPander range to protect the building’s 16th century vaulted ceiling and exposed beams, which could have been damaged by hard-wired devices.

Easy to install and connect to the fire system via an interface which is wired to the loop, XPander also helped Monument Fire Detection Systems to overcome installation difficulties presented by the extensive vaulted ceiling.

Jim Eccles, Director of Monument Fire Detection Systems Ltd, comments: “XPander’s easy wireless installation made the Knowle Library project achievable within the time scale and ensured that the strict English Heritage requirements – including no obtrusive wiring and no drilling or damage to the structure – were overcome without difficulty.”

The new fire detection system is configured around a single loop Ampac SP1M control panel and programmed to enable a one-out, all-out evacuation.

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