Commercial Fire Alarms in Houses

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking through a neighborhood that was not mine and noticed that a lot of the hoses had a commercial fire alarm on the outside. Most of them were Wheelock EHS-DL1s, but I also noticed a SpectrAlert Classic here and there.



It appears as though these were probably tied into some sort of security panel since the houses had regular residential smoke detectors in them. It just seemed strange for me to see them though.



Has anybody else seen/heard of commercial fire alarms in residential houses (excluding Jake’s…)?



Here is a video that I found that shows a commercial fire alarm system in a house. It could just be a hobbyist system, however.



[youtube]neSGkHa3pfU[/youtube]

I remember a house along 7 Mile in Livonia that my family went to in the mid 2000s when we were looking for a new place to live. It was a larger house than most normal residences, and to my surprise, had an actual fire alarm system! The system consisted of 34T horns (flush-mount plates) and BG-10 pull stations, though only specific parts of the house were covered (foyer, one hallway, part of a basement room). The panel was located in a hallway b/w the garage and what I think was the kitchen.


I know who made that vid. I’d sort of label it as a hobbiest system, although it does serve a purpose. As the description says, it’s installed in his grandparents’ house. I do believe he was the one who installed it, and he installed it was because the horns are lower-pitched (and louder) than the smoke alarms you see and also because of the visual devices (the 2903 light plate & spectralert strobe).

The closest I’ve seen is at some apartments in Brockton (the kind that are usually made out of older three-story houses remodeled to house three to five families/units.) They have smoke alarms all tied into each other, and on the first floor there is an Edwards 270-SPO pull station that can set them all off when activated.

Plenty of large homes have commercial type systems.



It is pretty common to see a commercial type system in the homes in and around my area because of the size of the homes, many of us are also sprinkled with a few flow valves, etc.



Sounds like the house kevistic went into was a business at one point. It is very uncommon to see pull stations and such in a residential type installation. Some larger older homes do have some pretty ugly installs done on them however as the options were pretty thin back in the day. No white low profile devices :slight_smile:



A horn/strobe could just indicate a small sprinkler system inside which is required in may places now when a home is over a certain square footage. The flow switch simply acts as a switch to control an outside sounder.

There’s a neighborhood near my house that has a bell and a red light on every single house – whole neighborhood is sprinklered.

Never liked the bell on houses, Everyone seems to call it in as a security alarm. With the localized sprinkler codes should be a line indicating the sounder must clearly indicate fire by tone and light. IE code 3, light, and lettering and colour.

I’ve seen a fire alarm system in a set of row houses from the late '80s that have a parking garage for the residents underneath. I don’t recall what the system consists of precisely but was surprised to see that the house I went to had a pull station in its front entrance.

It’s alos possible certain houses are actually split up into different units. I was in an old house yesterday for inspection that had a sprinkler system and a fire alarm system. At one time it was a nice single family home built sometimes before 1910. Now it’s used as a boarding house, seperated into different units.



It’s sort of a crappy installation though. The sprinkler system needs a complete makeover. There is exposed plastic pipe EVERYWHERE along the walls and all the sprinklers are Central Omega heads from 1990. These heads were recalled years ago.

One of my friends in high school had an extremely huge house, it had a sprinkler system, possibly because of its size. There was a strobe outside but no other signals, the strobe is probably required since there is a sprinkler system there needs to be some type of signal. There was just the typical household smoke alarms inside. I was there several times, my friend had a few parties there. It was funny how his parents told him to make sure no one smokes inside so the sprinklers don’t go off :roll:

I assumed they know that’s not how sprinklers work, I think they said that just to scare the kids from smoking in the house.

A couple of apartments near my junior high school have Integrities on the outside. When I was walking home from school one time, the guy tested it. Second time I heard Code-3, after the vertical AS in elementary school.

And of course that was before that time they installed the new Simplex fire alarm panel at your high school, and the first time they did a drill with it, it sounded most of the alarms on Code-3! (The Simplex 4903+9838 horn/strobes, 4903-9219 horn/strobes and older SAE 2DCD+AV32 horn/lights?) At least at Massasoit College they had no trouble switching to Code-3 in buildings using electronic horn/strobes!



With the thread bump, here’s another one; a small apartment house not too far from the abandoned Howard pre-K school in my hometown; they have a Silent Knight system that isn’t monitored, with at least one or two Wheelock MT-24-LSM horn/strobes on Continuous, Adaemco-branded Sigcom T-bars and some kind of System Sensor/ESL smoke detectors. I actually heard it going off one day when I passed by, and noticed no fire alarm company trucks or whatever. I didn’t see any smoke or flames but I still did the right thing by calling the fire department! It turns out a lady was cooking on the top floor and the smoke tripped a detector in her apartment, and she couldn’t hear the alarm from where she was! (The fire department did agree that the system does need some fixing up, such as heat detectors in the kitchens instead of smoke, and probably another horn/strobe on the top floor.)

Does anyone here think that commercial fire alarm systems in houses have advantages to just the traditional household smoke detectors? I think they have some. For instance, with a fire alarm system in your house, you can have an NA in the shower area, an area where a smoke detector can’t be installed. Often times the sound of the shower blocks out the sound of a smoke alarm that is outside of the area.

They were on Code-3 for a few weeks before they switched back, and that was AFTER I heard the Integrity. And it was also the Modular Building’s Edwards 892-2B that were in Code-3. It was switched back because the AS (and I’m sure the SpectAlert Classic in the Lecture Hall) weren’t coding properly.

ive seen the alarms o houses too. i went to a garage sale last year. i noticed a wheelock EH horn on the outside of the house. i asked them why it was there. they said it was there since the fire department was so close. they said they could see the strobes flashing. they also said their house has sprinklers too! it may be that reason, or its just the neighborhood rules.

Are there anymore videos about houses that have systems like that? I mean are there any videos on YouTube where they have multiple NAs in areas around the house?

Why not just go and search?

Just watch some of NewAgeServerAlarm’s videos.

My uncles house has a sprinkler system. And uses 34T Wheelock EH-EL1’s as the fire alarms, and it has a Notifier panel, with System Sensor smokes (i think). I have pictures but only of the sprinklers and one smoke detector in the den.

I don’t know the name, but I saw a video on YouTube of a guy who lived in a condo, and each condo had a red light above the door that was connected the interconnected smoke alarm system. It was pretty cool, I had never heard of anything like that before.