Are pull stations basically leftovers from a time when smokes/heats were not common?

Are pull stations basically leftover devices from a time when smoke detectors or heat detectors were not common and fire alarm systems had to be activated manually? Are they no longer needed when there are automatic detection devices like smokes and heats?

Where I am, they are (thankfully) always installed. Always!

I’d guess so. Under some circumstances, pull stations can be omitted if the building is fully covered by an automatic sprinkler system.

I personally have issues with having no means of activating the fire alarms manually, though. I think my state does allow for such cases to be used but it won’t be implemented in my school due to the lack of sprinklers.


I strongly recommend the installation of pull stations, even if there are sprinklers.

I’m tempted to say yes, they’re a leftover… But ommiting them? That sounds like something that can turn out to be fatal.

Ideally you should always have a mean of manually activating a system, should the automatic activation fail in any way.

My school removed a lot of pull stations so they’re mostly restricted to exits.

Even though pull stations may seem to becoming obsolete, I don’t think that they are gonna end up being extinct anytime soon.

I believe pull stations are still important, mostly for use in any emergency requiring immediate evacuation other than a fire, but also in case the automatic detectors fail.

In Canada, our rules are different. Pull stations have to be at every classified entrance and exit. We can’t just get rid of them if heats/smokes or sprinklers are used. But, you can install sprinklers in lieu of smoke/heat detectors. Most systems in commercial plaza we service consists of nothing but pull stations and notification appliances, maybe a few smokes/heats here and there.

This is how I like it. :slight_smile:

NFPA 72 (2019) seems to address this too in

But it seems more AHJs are approving the notion to remove pull stations. This article however suggests that previous versions of NFPA required at least one pull station in an entire building.

My high school has one pull station, the AHJ allows only one pull station necessary. The previous system (Notifier AM-2020+NFS-640) had many stations located across the school, until replaced by an EST3 system with only one pull station in the main office.

What happened to the places where the other pull stations were located? Were they plated up?

They plated them all up the following school year, but not after the system was replaced for some odd reason.

So they kept the pull stations up until the following school year before they plated over them? I assume they were still working before they got taken down right?

What I meant to say is when they replaced the system, they removed all of the pull stations, but did not plate the back boxes, they left them open and wires were hanging out if the back boxes.

Wow. That sounds like it would be just sloppy. As well as not very safe.

They already replaced the AM-2020? That’s crazy to me, those are brand new systems, in fact, I saw one just getting installed in a new college building near my house.

The AM-2020 (or AFP-1010 depending on configuration, I’m going to refer to it as an AM-2020 for now) was installed in 1994/5, it was outdated by the time the district started upgrades across the school such as a new fine arts center in 2016. There was also a Notifier NFS-640 installed in 2004 when the school was expanded. The AM-2020 was not a good panel, it had many problems such as alarms not going off in certain areas of the building and problems with the zones, loops as well as compatibility issues with the newer NFS-640 since both panels use a different protocol. The district needed to replace it before things got worse.

The panel you’re specifying, I highly doubt is an AM-2020 because it’s been discontinued for at least a decade or two and the protocol is outdated, like BGX-101l and Windows XP outdated.

The AM2020 was discontinued in 2000 when the NFS-3030 came out. The NFS-3030 was then discontinued in 2007 when the NFS2-3030 came out.