Fire Alarms at UAlbany

OK, since the old topic didn’t get transferred, here’s a brand new topic.



No new alarms to report as of yet, HOWEVER, I did manage to find out when the alarm upgrades on the Podium took place - April 2001. It wasn’t that easy to figure out either. I searched and found an article telling of the upgrades, however, all the article is dated is April 19. Well, I find an archives link, click it, and it gives all the articles produced over the years. Well, as luck would have it, only one was dated April 19, and I click the link, and it brings me to the homepage for that particular article issue, and lo and behold, the full date is at the top - April 19, 2001.



So, I FINALLY know when the Podium got it’s upgrade.

That’s great! I still don’t know when my Middle Schools alarms were upgraded. One I didn’t go there before 6th grade. So, I’m guessing they upgraded in 1999 to the Simplex Horn/Strobes.

Well, now I have an alarm to tell about, but I wasn’t in this one, nor did I get it on camera. I left my oceans class, and when I stepped outside, I hear code-3 blaring. Well, I go to the campus center, then decide to turn around and try and get it on tape. I can see the strobes flashing from where I was standing, so I headed in that direction. However, they shut the alarm off before I could get there. I turn around disappointed, but take a quick look back to see what building it was, and I see strobes flashing through the windows, and turns out it was the Earth Science building. I had feeling there might be drills going on today, as it’s supposed to be REALLY nice out. Same goes for Monday. So, we’ll see what happens…

No alarm, but something happened nonetheless. For some reason, the Math department made all of the Math 111/112 professors give a departmental quiz. Aside from the fact that the quiz was BRUTAL, at the very beginning of the quiz, the remote annunciator out in the lobby decides to go into trouble. And guess what? No one silenced it! I gave up on the quiz after like 25 minutes, and the panel was STILL buzzing. After I left class, I just went to look at it, and I think a professor (definately a staff member at the least) sees me and asks, “Is there a fire?”, and I reply, “No, a trouble.” After seeing for himself it was a trouble, he says it’s probably nothing to worry about and leaves. Just as he steps out the door, they decide to silence the trouble (either that, or it went away). I just wanted to shout “FINALLY!”, but knew I’d look like an idiot if I did, plus there’s classes going on, so I didn’t say anything except to myself. Well, unfortunately, it went off so much that it left me with a headache, so I had to go to the convenience store and buy motrin to make the headache go away.



I just can’t believe they left that thing going for a half an hour, and as you can see, it took it’s toll on me. Also, that professor wasn’t the only one confused. Several of my classmates were concerned about it as well, but my math professor and I assured them it wasn’t anything to worry about. My professor even said when the alarm goes off, “it talks to you”. Still, pretty funny that people don’t know how to recognize an alarm - the alarms clearly weren’t going off, and yet, they still have to ask if there was a fire or not.



Question for the techs. On the Simplex annunciators, I know you need a key to do major functions, like silence alarms, but I also know that the acknowledge buttons still work reguardless. There’s one annunciator in that building that doesn’t have a door on it (i.e., this instead of this). Hypothetically, if I were to go to that annunciator and hit acknowledge, would that have shut the buzzer off? Kind of a stupid question, but being an annunciator w/o a key, I just wanted to know for sure.

Probably. Most annunciators use a special key, but the one at my ES uses a B key…

Now that you mention it, on the annunciators that have the microphone, you actually need TWO keys! One to unlock the cabinet, and the other to run the annunciator! However, I noted that lock today, and there no key in it, yet, it was slightly turned to the left. The one at MHS was also like this sometimes. Is there a way to remove the key after putting it in the enabled position, or is this just a case of misalignment?

Most locks can have the key pulled out if they’re within a parameter, so it’s probably not a big deal as long as it still locks.

Ah, another alarm today. And luckily, this time it was in the direction of where I had to go to next! It was the Education building. I did get a clip on camera, but it’s not very good because of all the pillars and people, and not oo long after i start filming, they silence it, plus, only 1 strobe flash comes out, so IDK if I’ll post it or not. BTW, those ASs are LOUD. I’m questioning whether or not it was the outdoor one set to a higher volume, but still it was pretty loud, and I wasn’t very close to the building either. I thought maybe Humanities (which is where I was going) may be next because it’s right next door to Education, but we had no drill when I was there. Plus, they may have had one earlier as one of the fire doors was closed…

here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9CCrcTSgO0

Ah, alarms are done for now. No more until after finals and the summer semester.



Anyway, I did some more investigating, primarily around the Arts and Sciences building. Well, there’s a connection to that building from the LCs, and it has a glass wall and doors. Well, because classes were very short today (last day), I just happened to be looking through the doors, and noticed something on the ceiling, and it was red and looked to be labeled “FIRE”. Well the alarms in the building are the 4903-9168 speaker/strobes. Well, after going in and getting a better view of it, lo and behold, it was THIS:







That’s right - a Wheelock 7002! And that wasn’t the ony one, or only thing I found. Click here to see more!

Cool! Look at all the new kinds of alarms! So. With those alarms, how many types of alarms do you have their total.

Well, everything seen is on my site. The 7002s aren’t new (as we all know). I believe they’re part of a halon system, despite the fact that the strobes don’t say “HALON” on them.

Well, I’m now in a building w/ no active fire alarm system! They had to shut down the alarm system in the campus center this morning, probably because of the construction, but I was told they were having issues with it. Maybe the construction led to the issues IDK. All I do know si that because of that, all the fire doors are closed, and believe it or not, some of the fire doors are LOCKED, which is not good, because it’s against fire codes. I’m just greateful there’s other ways around those areas that are locked. And for the record, we told the campus center director that they were locked, and he said we couldn’t unlock them.

Well, the system is back up. As I was leaving, I decided to check to see if it was back up yet, and the power and trouble LEDs were lit and “SYSTEM STARTUP IN PROGRESS” was displayed on the screen. I then went and informed my co-workers that the system was back up (so that way, the doors would stay open) and then the trouble buzzer sounded. And of the 9 troubles I saw the other day, after it started up, only 1 trouble remained. And then I left, so all is once again normal.



And BTW, I was right, the construction caused issues with the system, making it necessary for them to shut it down.

Had a bit of a bonus going into work today!



To start, it’s “fire drill week” at UAlbany. The guidelines require that ALL buildings conduct a fire drill the first week of the summer semester (which is this week) and, being pretty nice this morning, I had my car windows down. Well, I pull into the parking lot, I thought I heard code-3 blaring, and so I turned down my radio, and sure enough, it was! The Humanities building was in the middle of a drill. I have good reason to believe those outdoor ASs are set to high. Because a: my radio was up kinda high, having just driven on a highway w/ my windows down, and b: I was a good 500 ft from the building (and still driving) when the alarm was going off.



Anyway, I get out of my car and look for strobes, and I discover the strobes flashing in the Humanities building, and people milling about outside. I had my camera, but I didn’t take any vids, because I had a feeling by the time I got there they would shut it off, and they did. Plus, where I was, there weren’t any outdoor signals or windows (due to renovations going on in that area), so there was just no point.



Also, I got my AS back and was able to set it off again on low and code-3, w/o tape covering the horn. It IS loud, but not that bad. It’s loud enough to make the inside of your ears vibrate, but not enough to immediately cause a headache, so I’m slightly more at ease about being stuck in a drill in one of the buildings w/ horn/strobes. But that won’t happen anytime soon, as the building I’m working in has speaker/strobes installed, so I’ll be hearing that (if at all) instead of the horn/strobes.

Well, another drill was conducted today. It was the campus center addition, and I JUST missed it, because the people in the convenience store were like, “we’re only going to be outside for like 3 minutes.” So, I got the stuff I needed and headed out before anything happened. Besides, I already have that sytem on camera anyway… :wink:

Made a cool discovery today. I was moving files from our office to storage and the storage room was in this tiny hallway that leads to a stairwell and exit. Well, after doing what I had to, I followed the hallways to the exit and lo and behold, I found this:







I was kind of surprised, as ALL of the old pulls in the buildings have been removed, so I was kind of surprised to not only find the pull itself, but the great condition it was still in - the glass rod is still in place!



I’m really curious to see if the pull works, as the old system at the library is still active (no initiating devices left behind as far as I could tell). If it does work, it certainly won’t activate the Simplex system, but the old bell system! The bells are single-stroke, so I’m really interested in hearing what the old alarm was. I’m wondering if Simplex left this on purpose, of if they just overlooked it, because there’s another stairwell exactly like this one on the other side of the building, and the pull in that stairwell has been removed (there’s a cover plate where it used to be).



Still, interesting find, if I do say so…

I JUST missed an unplanned alarm this morning where I work. Apparently, construction dust was the culprit. It happened like 15 minutes before I got there, but I was on campus when it happened, I just wasn’t around the campus center though. They shut it off pretty fast, as everyone was only outside for like 2 minutes. But yeah, I just missed out on another one…

Well, I kinda got lucky today. The Physycs building is right across the walkway from my office (maybe like 40 feet away), and they had a fire drill today. I didn’t go out to see it, but due to the outdoor alarms that building had, I was certainly able to hear it. I now know like 95% how the TrueAlert buildings are programmed.



The TrueAlerts are the SmartSync type and are coded to code-3 (but I can’t back that up because I didn’t hear it, but the odds of me being right are like 99.9%), and the MTs outside are actually set to continuous, because obviously Wheelock MTs aren’t compatable w/ Simplex SmartSync appliances. So, instead of setting the MT’s to code-3 and have 2 unsynced rounds going, they just set the MTs for continuous and the TrueAlerts to code-3, that way the only thing unsynchronized is the outdoor strobes from the indoor ones. I’m not sure how the “audible silence” feature works, but I assume it works the same as the other buildings and the MT strobe still flashes. And BTW, it’s VERY annoying, as again, I could hear it from inside the office I work in, and it was going off for like 5 minutes, and when they shut it off, I actually said “Oh, thank god!”. My co-worker was outside on lunch at the time, and she had it a lot worse then I did, as the first thing she did when she came back in was complain about it, and I said on behalf of my whole office, “We know, we heard it in here too…”.

Nice! That reminds me of the South Junior High School near my house. They used to have an old Edwards system with 360-L flush-mount horns and those pulls. But in 2003 they renovated the school and replaced it with a Simplex system, which is powered by a 4100U panel and has TrueAlert speaker/strobes and dual-action T-bars (push-type).



It also reminds me of a similar discovery I found in the Liberal Arts Building at my college. As I said, they got rid of the old Simplex system, with all the T-bars replaced with Faraday Chevrons and being powered by an MPC-7000, the annuciator taken apart and the old Simplex NAs replaced with SpaceAge Electronics piezo-horn/strobes… but they overlooked one in one of the classrooms which also seemed to be a conference room. Inside that room (this was back in Fall 2006), there was a Simplex 4051 horn on a 4050-80 light plate! I’m not sure if it was still fuctional, but it was there. Unfortunately, as of January 2007, it is now gone. This is what’s in its place…







I guess someone saw it and must’ve snitched to the Maintenance department. The Liberal Arts Building now no longer has any Simplex fire alarms system componenets left. And the way it is installed one can obviously tell that it replaced an older fire alarm. But it could’ve been worse. They could’ve installed a SpectrAlert or U-MMT in its place! :wink: