Case study

Waterloo Station

  • 20th Nov 2018

Project Title

Waterloo Station





Main Contractors

MJ Quinn

Project Value

£400 million

Network Rail needed a temporary fire alarm to be installed during work on three Waterloo Station sites to reduce the number of cable wires during installation, cut costs, and protect workers on site. Network Rail contracted service provider MJ Quinn to renovate the three Waterloo Station suites, that cover a total space of 69,324 sq feet. Waterloo station is carrying out a major refurbishment of this area and required a temporary system that had to be user friendly and easy to work within a building environment – Cygnus provided the ideal solution.

Building and construction sites can spend thousands of pounds on equipment to protect workers. However, when working on site, it’s important that companies invest in the relevant equipment, to ensure work is completed to the highest standard, and workers are protected on site.

According to the HSE, one of the most frequent causes of accidental death or injury is electrical cables due to overhead power lines and buried cables – however this can be avoided with the use of modern equipment.

MJ Quinn worked in partnership with Bull Products, an independently owned manufacturer and importer of life -saving products, to install the Cygnus Wireless Alarm System – a major innovation in wireless technology.

The most adaptable temporary fire alarm system used in the construction industry, the Cygnus range is designed to work over long distances, underground, and in areas of dense concrete or steel frames. Providing ultimate reliability and performance, the Cygnus range can connect up to 480 individual units in 15 different zones using Class 1 Radio, and features an advanced cause and effect set-up between zones which are ideal for complex projects.

In April 2017, eight Cygnus Detector lnterface units were installed across eight floors and will be in place until work finishes on site in December 2017. Taking only one week to install, the interface module can be assigned to a zone and has an individual unit number like all other Cygnus devices, meaning many interfaces could be addressed into a single system.

The system provides heat and smoke detection in and outside of working hours, as well as CO detection in particular circumstances. The system also ensures workers are protected in an emergency, thanks to the interface which will trigger the door release and deactivate the entry/exit turnstile so a quick evacuation can be made to the assembly point.

Ben Smalley, project manager at MJ Quinn, said: “On previous projects, we’ve had to hardwire a lot of cables which resulted in high costs and wasted time during the construction process. For this project, our priority was to cut down on cable installation and provide the best solution to protect our clients workers from hazards and protect them in case of an emergency – the Cygnus system was perfect for what we required.

“We have found that there has been no loss of signal or false alarm, and we particularly like that it is user­-adaptable so it can be easily moved to suit changing circumstances on site. We can also use the system for future projects which, in the long run, will provide a cost-effective solution for the end user.”

Thanks to the Cygnus units, Network Rail has saved £15,000 and will ultimately cut down on labour costs.

Ben adds: “This is the first time we have worked with Bull Products and the team has been very supportive and easy to work with. The ease of installation was great and allowed for a smooth transition during installation. We would definitely recommend Bull Products and wouldn’t hesitate to work with them again.”

See also:

Bond Street Tube Station


For more information, contact Bull on 01432 806 806, visit or email