Replacing Waking Watch with a Fire Alarm System

A Government-Funded Case Study

In the wake of recent fire safety concerns in multi-storey residential buildings, the implementation of effective fire safety measures has become paramount. This case study focuses on the installation of a fire alarm system as a viable alternative to the costly and temporary solution of a waking watch. The project was made possible through government funding secured by the managing agent, highlighting the successful transition to a safer and more sustainable fire protection solution.


The property in question, a high-rise residential building, previously relied on a waking watch—a system where individuals continuously patrolled the premises to detect and respond to fire incidents. However, due to the inherent limitations and significant costs associated with this approach, the managing agent sought a more efficient and cost-effective solution.

Project Scope and Objectives

The primary objective of the project was to install a state-of-the-art fire alarm system capable of early fire detection, immediate alerting, and swift evacuation of occupants. The scope included a comprehensive evaluation of the property’s fire safety requirements, system design and installation, compliance with regulations, and post-installation maintenance.

Government Funding Application

To finance the project, the managing agent applied for government funding specifically allocated for fire safety improvements in residential buildings. The application highlighted the urgency of upgrading the fire protection system to enhance the safety of the building’s residents. By demonstrating the cost-effectiveness and long-term benefits of a fire alarm system over a waking watch, the application successfully secured the necessary funds.

Installation Process

The installation process began with a thorough assessment of the building’s layout and fire hazards by a team of expert fire safety consultants. Based on their findings, a bespoke fire alarm system was designed, tailored to the building’s specific requirements. The system comprised smoke detectors, heat sensors, alarm sounders, emergency lighting, and a centralized control panel. Experienced fire safety engineers then undertook the installation, adhering to rigorous standards and regulations. The process involved minimal disruption to the residents, with careful coordination and clear communication channels maintained throughout.

Benefits and Outcomes

The installation of the fire alarm system brought several significant benefits to the property and its residents. Firstly, it provided early detection of fires, allowing for prompt evacuation and minimizing the risk of casualties. Additionally, the system’s integration with the local fire service enhanced emergency response times, further reducing potential damage.

Financially, the project proved advantageous. The one-time investment in the fire alarm system eliminated the need for ongoing waking watch costs, resulting in substantial long-term savings for the managing agent. Moreover, the increased fire safety measures positively impacted property value, enhancing marketability and attracting potential buyers and tenants.


By proactively applying for government funding and replacing the waking watch with a fire alarm system, the managing agent successfully prioritized the safety of the building’s residents while mitigating financial burdens. This case study serves as an example of an effective transition from outdated fire safety measures to more reliable, cost-efficient, and compliant solutions. The project’s success underscores the importance of embracing modern fire protection technologies to ensure the safety and well-being of all occupants in multi-storey residential buildings.