Alarm tones over the intercom when the fire alarm goes off

Have you ever went to a school that has the fire alarm goes off and has an alarm or tone that goes off over the intercom? My kindergarten school did this and my 2nd grade school did this. Here is what I am talking about:

Fire Alarm and Rauland-Borg alarm - YouTube

I talked about this before in another topic, but my elementary school did that school, but the two tones were the same length, and they were a perfect fifth from each other, rather than the major second that is in the one you posted.

I still don’t know why some places do this; does anyone have any ideas?

Is that a Rauland Telecenter 21?

My old middle school’s alarm did that. It was a Simplex 4002 with some Rauland P/A system. The P/A did that tone in Code 3, however.

My middle school had a tone over the PA system too. I don’t know what kind of PA system they had, but the tone was the one in this video:

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I really don’t know exactly why some schools do that. Maybe it’s to make sure the alarm can be heard from all rooms?

My school does the same thing. Its probably because of the AWFUL placement of alarms in the older part. :lol: Same tone too. (except the school has NS’s instead of 9219s).

I know one of the old school buildings in Brockton had an old Edwards system with no “real” fire alarm signals; just an alarm tone over the intercom. The alarm panel was probably relayed into the intercom system or something. They don’t have that setup anymore; the school now has a Notifier NFS2-640 voice-evac system with separate alarm signals (SpectrAlert Advance speaker/strobes and remote strobes), installed when they renovated and reopened the building a couple years ago (it had been abandoned for years.)



The hospital I used to work at did something similar too, with their massive Simplex fire alarm speaker system (4100-series panels and a couple of voice-evac 2001s in the mix.) Though they had many separate fire alarm signals located in numerous areas (a mix of 4903 rectangular speaker/strobes and old 2902-9711 LifeAlarm speakers on 2903 light plates), some rooms don’t have any, so the fire alarm also sounds over the intercom speakers, in addition to the alarm speakers (I remember an area with the LifeAlarms doing a 2001 chiming sound, while the emergency wing did a Code-3 version of the “old” 4100-style Simplex chime!)

the last 2 elementary schools i went to had that setup! both schools had the exact tone that simplex4life referred to. it was really loud that every time i sit under it and it goes off, it scares the dickens out of me. hahaha XD at that point, when they announce that we’ll be having a fire drill, i get very scared of it. ohh the good ole days. haha XD

It wasn’t that loud in my school. I think it was a little bit louder than the school tone. Didn’t bother me at all. The horns, on the other hand, did bother me. Half of the building had Standard 4-350’s on Standard light plates, and the other half had Standard 30A’s. Both were very loud, but I think the 30A’s were louder.

Oh cool! Another person who experienced the infamous Standard horn-lights in school. I never liked them then, but now they’re one of my favorites. Do you still see them around anywhere, or have they all gone “extinct” in your area?

That school used to be 2 separate schools that were joined in 1970 or 71. The part that had the Standard horn/lights I believe had those installed when the buildings were joined. In 1999, the part with the 30A’s was renovated, and the other part is something else now. They did slap AS’s on the plates though where the lights were, and as of 2007, it was still like that. I haven’t seen any since then. I didn’t mean to venture off topic from this thread, but neither the current school nor the former part use the alarm tone over the PA system anymore.

My middle school has that still. The science wing doesn’t have any standard fire alarms, and still uses that system to this day.

My school had a unknown P.A. system and the tone sounded like it was screaming banana! lol! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

My school did that in my most recent fire drill here: https://youtu.be/8WSn_mWPoeM?t=1m45s

They did this primarily to alert the trailers that there was an emergency in the building and they needed to evacuate with them.

The weird thing is that it isn’t actually connected to the panel, so they have to manually activate it through the main telephone system. Also, they used this tone for the inclement weather drill (which is what it’s usually used for in the first place), so I don’t find this current system practical.

The what?

I’m guessing the trailers didn’t have alarms in them?



EDIT: the video explains it. “The trailers do have alarms, but they aren’t integrated with the system.”

Was that the bleep tone in the key of middle-C, like a typical late-1990s pre-TrueAlert speaker-strobe does?


It has an entirely separate system, but it’s not interconnected with the main building and vice versa. Heck, I don’t know why they were able to integrate the intercom system with the trailers but not the FACPs or other devices…

Depending on what I do for the drill and when it occurs, I might be able to record the trailer classrooms.

In the early days when they first put up the modular building at my high school, the secretary would have to announce over the intercom to the modular building that the main building was having a fire drill because they didn’t connect the system (Edwards 892-2Bs and Edwards SPO pulls) to the main building. They did it three years after the building was put in so it was already done by the time I arrived but it didn’t really seem like it was practical. I also wonder how they could connect an Edwards system to a mainly Simplex system in the main building.


They probably wired a zone input (or monitor module) on the Simplex panel into the alarm and trouble relays on the Edwards panel, and vice versa, so that if either system went into trouble or alarm, both panels would sound. Unless the panels were addressable and could make use of intelligent relay/monitor modules programmed for different functions, they probably had to silence and reset each system individually.



But back on topic, the only thing I wonder about here is how you can neatly integrate a full fire alarm system with PA speakers connected to an independent amplifier. The panel must just engage a relay that makes the general PA system play a specific file containing the alarm message. Fire alarm speaker control panels cannot use regular commercial PA speakers because the transformer in the speaker would short out the panel’s supervision voltage. Must be something they only do for drills, or maybe a system like this is set up just as a temporary measure?