fire alarm systems with a mix of speakers and horns

fire alarm systems with a mix of speakers and horns.



I have seen some in my area.

I’ve seen a few of these. I think it sometimes depends on the occupation sizes.



The hospital I’m working at is like this. The majority of it is voice-evacuation (Simplex 4100 system), with 4903 speaker/strobes in several areas, 2902-9711 LifeAlarm speakers on 2903 light plates in other areas (and at least one Wheelock ET speaker on one of the light plates), and a few other assorted Simplex speaker alarms. But the radiation therapy wing has Space Age 2DCD horns behind AV32 light plates (seeing as the hospital was added onto and renovated over the years since it was built in the 1920s, these alarms were probably installed before they first began using Simplex voice-evac in the early 1980s). I also found a portion of the fourth and fifth floors having TrueAlert horn/strobes as well! But I think these are smaller systems tied into the main 4100 system.



I also did some volunteer work at the local Boys and Girls Club. They have a Notifier ONYX voice-evac panel (it appears to be a smaller NFS-640), but only the gym has voice alarms: Wheelock E70 speaker/strobes. Other areas have horns EVERYWHERE (except in bathrooms), mostly Wheelock NS horn/strobes, and a couple of MT-24-LSMs as well.



The Boyden Hall at BSU is like this as well. The auditorium was renovated in 2008 (the building was originally built in 1924) and has Simplex TrueAlert speaker/strobes (panel is a Simplex 4100 with a separate 4003 voice-control panel), but the rest of the building mostly has 4051+4050-85 horn/lights (installed during a 1979 upgrade) and a few TrueAlert horn/strobes.

I know it’s common in some areas for buildings to have speakers in areas of large occupancy like cafeterias, auditoriums and gyms while having horns elsewhere.

most of the williamson county schools have different alarms in the theaters, gyms, and occassionally cafeterias. But I think they are just chimes or sirens, not voice evac. the schools always had two panels in the office, but I don’t think either of them were voice evac panels.

At my college, there is a building that uses speakers in the lobby and the auditorium, but the rest of the building as horns.

I’ve never actually seen a system with horns installed in most parts of the building and speakers in areas with higher occupancy levels such as gymnasiums, lobbies or auditoriums. However, on many older systems (such as the Edwards 6500) in high-rises or bigger buildings in my city, it is quite common to have bells or horns used as main signalling devices and speakers for emergency communication. In a system like this one, the speakers would typically be tied into an emergency voice communication system (not a regular P.A. system) such as an Edwards 6700 which in turn would be connected to the main fire alarm control. Here’s an example of a system like the one I mentioned, though this one isn’t a 6500/6700.

I know a few buildings that have speakers and horns, but the thing is, I’m not sure whether or not they’re wired to the same system. At UA, the main portion of the Campus Center has speaker/strobes on a 4120 system, but the extension (added in 1994) has a seperate 4100 system with bell/strobes. Turning Stone Casino has a large 4100U system with voice evac throughout the building but in and around the casino there’s horn/strobes ranging from pre-ADA System Sensor PA400Rs to Wheelock NSs in addition to the speaker/strobes.

My high school would be a prime example of this, having speaker/strobes in the gym, old cafeteria, & auditorium but having horn/strobes everywhere else.

See it at many schools around here. Horns for the classrooms/office areas and speaker/strobes in the libraries and cafeterias. I think its a good idea to have it like that or maybe just speaker/strobes everywhere.

Yeah, all the schools in my area that I’ve been to just have horns throughout, even in the cafeteria, gymnasium, and auditorium. I’ve never seen one that had speakers anywhere.

Heh, when they had to replace the Simplex 4100U voice-evac system at the middle school near my house with a new Notifier system (the panel broke down), they were originally deciding on replacing the speaker/strobes and using horn/strobes instead for the entire system! Luckily, they reconsidered due to occupancy reasons, plus replacing voice-evac with horns may not make much sense. They managed to get the existing TrueAlert speaker/strobes to work just fine on the Notifier panel (using Notifier sync modules.) I did warn the technician in advance that Simplex alarms are tricky to get working on another company’s panel (then again, Massasoit College has almost NO Simplex signals left ever since they’ve switched over to Notifier and Faraday.)


Had they done that they would’ve been forced to put in Speaker/Strobes in the cafeteria, gym, and auditorium! Thank god they didn’t replace all the speaker/strobes with horn/strobes though. :o

But speaking of that, several schools in my district that have newer fire alarm systems sometimes have this setup:

Elementary Schools:

Speaker/Strobes only in Cafeteria/MPR,

Middle Schools:

Speaker/Strobes only in Cafeteria, Gym (some cases), auditorium/fourm (if applicable)

High Schools:

Speaker/Strobes in Cafeteria, Gym, Auditorium, and other places too

In all cases, all other places that don’t have speaker/strobes use horn/strobes.

My school has Speaker/Strobes in the Cafeteria, Gym, and Auditorium. Horn/Strobes in the rest of the building.