Edwards Adaptahorn

I went to a parochial school in New England from Kindergarten through 8th grade. They had a system of Grey Edwards Adaptahorns that said “Fire Horn” on it. They were not flush mount but sat on the wall. I remember those alarms would make your heart skip a beat. They were exceptionally loud especially with around 4 or 5 in each hallway. Also in my 8th grade year they had an issue with the system and there was one or more false alarms each day which was very annoying. Anyway, those alarms scared me to death. Did anyone else have these alarms at their school?

There is an old school in town that used to have the Edwards “Fire Horns,” along with old 270-SPO pull stations, so I’ve seen these horns, but haven’t personally seen them go off. That system was replaced 5-10 years ago with a new Simplex system.

If you ever get the chance to hear them it is an experience you will not soon forget.

I own a flush mount version of the old Adaptahorn in my collection, and it is ear splitting loud. I’ve only ever seen one installed in a building, and that was in a mall outside of town. It was installed next to an old Adaptabel. Good thing I’ve never had to hear one that wasn’t in my control.

I once was sitting under one that went off.

I’ve seen them around here and there, mostly in older buildings, like schools. I’ve never heard one go off in a system, but I did test one of mine in my back yard…with a long extension cord. lol

They are loud, that’s for sure. The building across the street from where I work used one for a lunch signal and it would always sound at 12:30PM …the exact time when I was sitting in my car eating my own lunch. lol

Does anyone have any audio or video of this alarm as a system in a school or other type of building?

What about normal Adaptahorns?



When I was in eighth grade, my high school had the flush-mount “Fire Horn” ones. They did 60 BPM March Time, but it was interrupted. It was like a watch alarm. They were loud, but I didn’t think they were as bad as the Standard 30A’s I had to put up with in middle school, especially where the Standards sounded on Continuous. My high school was renovated the following year, and now they have CP U-MMT’s on Continuous but coded to Code-3 by the panel.

I dont know if there is a big difference between the newer adaptahorns in the video above and the older round grey Fire Horn alarms but that video does not do the noise they make justice.

Want noise? Try the beginning of this one:


Or this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf_tnzA-U3Y (not as noisy, but Adaptahorns)

Just snagged one on ebay.

Isn’t that just a motor horn? Or do they look the same?

What? That’s an Edwards Adaptahorn. The only fire alarm “motor horn” I know of is the Amseco BZ-54.

Idk but I remember one that looked like that that was a motor horn.

I have one which is 120VAC at my school. It works good but I liked the red fire horn ones.

When my Junior High school was built, the original horns were those Edwards Fire Horns one, before they replaced the system and put in 4051+4050-80s. With my elementary school upgrading, I’m wondering if the rest of the district will follow (Though my high school wasn’t in the district as it was a vocational school).

My Intermediate School has two grey, flush mount Edwards Adapt-a-horns. But strangely they were on the ceiling while 3 Wheelock 7002T’s were on the walls. I didn’t know the Adapt-a-horns were there and I assumed that only the 7002T’s were there until my first 5th grade fire drill. They were on continuous and they were LOUD.

They still have one of those old-style Adapt-a-horns outside the Kelly Gymnasium at Bridgewater State University, where my friend goes. The building was built in 1957, and inside they originally had the projector version of the “Fire Horns,” sort of resembling Faraday Type 2s or IBM 4030-1s. The entire Edwards system inside the building was replaced in 2008 with a Simplex 4100U InfoALARM voice-evac system (the university prefers Simplex), but the old horn outside is still intact but disconnected.