Unique protection for a historic landmark

7th April 2020


The National Trust was founded in 1895 with the aim of preserving the UK's national heritageand open spaces. The trust owns many heritage properties, including historic houses and gardens, industrial monuments and social history sites. It is one of the largest landowners in the United Kingdom, owning many beauty spots. It is the largest membership organisation in the United Kingdom, and one of the largest UK charities by both income and assets.

A La Ronde is a unique sixteen-sided National Trust property. The house was described by well known British writer, photographer and broadcaster Lucinda Lambton as having ‘a magical strangeness that one might dream of only as a child.’

It was built for two spinster cousins, Jane and Mary Parminter, on their return froma grand tour of Europe in the late 18th century. It contains many objects and mementoes of their travels.

The extraordinary interior decoration includes a feather frieze, gathered from native game birds and chickens, laboriously stuck down with isinglass, an adhesive obtained from the swim bladders of fish.

The only practical form of fire detection for the structure is beam smoke detection due to the fragile and delicate nature of the building. The property had long suffered spurious false alarms from the system installed in the central atrium. The cause had been identified as an inability of the system to operate reliably in an environment that exhibits medium levels of dust contamination, spiders and insects, and sunlight coming through the atrium windows.

Eurofyre, who work extensively with The National Trust were asked to propose a solution to the ongoing false alarm problems. They recommended OSID, Open Area Smoke Imaging Detection from Xtralis which works by projecting dual Infra Red and Ultra violet beams to a receiver, an Imager type device incorporating a CMOS sensor.

Eurofyre explained how OSIDs unique use of dual frequencies would discriminate against dust and small objects such as spiders and insects and that this new generation beam type detector is far better at coping with the effects of bright sunlight. The existing beam set has been replaced by an OSID Imager (receiver) and an Emitter (Transmitter) and the system has proved to be effective and stable. All false alarms have ceased.

Download the case study here