Projects Retail

Choice Discount Stores

Located throughout London, Essex, Kent and Cambridgeshire, the 21 Choice Discount Stores offers shoppers a unique shopping experience.

Choice Discount Stores

Located throughout London, Essex, Kent and Cambridgeshire, the  21 Choice Discount Stores offers shoppers a unique shopping experience.

Established in 1966, the group brings leading high street and designer labels together under one roof, at a fraction of the retail cost, offering customers the chance to get their hands on fashions, homewares and accessories at an up to 70% discount. With over 500 staff working across 21 stores, and over 10,000 customers coming through the doors each week, safety is a primary concern for the team at Choice Discount Stores. Ensuring the safety of members of the public and staff is paramount, and a state-of-the-art fire alarm system was required to ensure this was guaranteed in every location, including every store, multiple distribution hubs and head office. With this in mind, the team at Choice Discount Stores made contact with Carter Group to deliver a solution. Having reviewed the requirements of the project, the Carter Group team delivered aa project plan addressing the requirements outlined by the management team. With 30 locations to consider, it was important that a detailed time frame was drawn up, taking into account the busy head office operating hours, and peak flows of consumer footfall. With public safety to consider, a comprehensive system was recommended, including an addressable fire alarm, smoke and heat detectors with sounder bases, manual call points (MCP) and interfaces linking to all retail stores.

At a Glance


Works Description
Fire & Security

Scope of Works
Smoke & Heat Detectors

An existing system was already in place in most of the units, so initially work had to be carried out removing certain products and installing new routes and cabling to allow for the new, improved product. In the busy head office it was important that the Carter Group team were conscious of work carrying on around them, and were careful to keep disruptions to a minimum so as not to cause any unnecessary upheaval.

An addressable system is made up of a series of devices, each linked to an address or location. In the case of a fire, the exact detector that is triggered can be quickly identified via a centralised system, although an alarm will still sound throughout the entire building. For large buildings, such as distribution centres, head offices and retail outlets with storage space and multiple closed off areas (such as changing rooms) this is a great option, as it allows teams to pinpoint an area of danger, get everyone to safety and direct emergency services to the blaze quickly.

Smoke and heat detectors with sounder bases

In order to ensure maximum safety, it was recommended that both heat and smoke detectors were fitted across the Choice Discount Stores project, offering a double layer approach to recognising the danger of fire.

Separate sounder bases designed to recognise both concerns were fitted throughout the locations, all of which communicate with the addressable system. The hardwired detectors link to the centralised system, and feed data in, providing a pinpoint of heat of smoke, causing an alarm to sound and allowing staff to react quickly.

Manual call points (MCP)

Whilst the technology installed throughout the Choice Discount Stores locations is as comprehensive as possible, it was also important to install a series of Manual Call Points (MCP) – fire alert switches which can be used to manually activate the fire alarm system. When pressed, the MCP sends a message to the addressable fire alarm system, signalling the alarm to sound.

Interfaces (to link to the retail store)

Interface units were fitted at certain retail store, which enabled smaller units located within larger retail units, such as shopping centres, to be fully integrated with the Choice Discount Store’s centralised system.

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