John Brown House Museum - Case Study

Built in 1786-88 this large, three-story, brownstone-trimmed brick mansion located in Providence, Rhode Island is a perfect example of late-Georgian-early-Federal design. John Quincy Adams was so impressed by the house that he called it "the most magnificent and elegant private mansion that I have ever seen on this continent.""


In order to maintain compliance with local fire alarm regulations, this historic structure was faced with updating its current antiquated fire alarm system by installing a whole new state-of-the-art system without compromising the integrity of the house's historical status as listed by the National Registry of Historic Places.


Working closely with the construction design team (Architect, Engineer, general and electrical contractors), the Crown Supply fire alarm team was charged with coming up with a solution that would allow the museum to install a state-of-the-art fire alarm and detection system that would be physically unobtrusive and limit any structural damage through hard-wiring, thus keeping the process to a minimum while still attaining the required results.


Crown Supply's team identified the CWSI wireless fire alarm system as the best solution. It had the capability to handle 1,024 device capabilities. The smoke detector had NFPA-compliant 200 second polling and bi-directional communication between the transmitter and the device. Additionaly, the entire system utilized FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) technology. This would resolve any concerns regarding outside signal interference compromising the functionality of the system. Also, because of the system's wireless capabilities, workers were able to create a route that did not involve opening historic plaster walls, cutting mahogany trim, or any other actions that might compromise the structure. There was also a liability issue as much of the work was being performed around PRICELESS works of art and furniture; the wireless devices would limit the amount of equipment and time spent around these pieces.


With the proper preparation and planning, the project was completed on time with less noise and less activity, all while maintaining of the integrity of the structure. The installation required very little exposed conduit or "fished" wiring. In some instances devices were installed in a few minutes. And, the aesthetics of the building were maintained. The project brought the John Brown House Museum into compliance with current fire and building codes.

Crown Supply Provided

  • System application consulting
  • Product Application Design
  • Fire System Programming
  • System Integration
  • Fire System Testing
  • Documentation

Products Installed

  • Commercial Wireless Systems International (CWSI) CP-3000 wireless fire alarm panel
  • Associated devices
  • Cooper-Wheelock notification appliances
  • Honeywell power supplies
  • Gamewell master box (municipal connection)

Building Size

  • 18,761 square feet. Completion date: February 16, 2012

Manufacturers Represented

  • CSWI
  • CooperWheelock
  • Honeywell
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