Has anyone ever seen foreign fire alarm devices on American systems?

At the vista house near Multnomah Falls and the Columbia river gorge in Oregon, there is a FA system with Spectralert classics and Callpoints installed as the initiating devices, rather than pull stations. I want to know if anyone has ever seen foreign fire alarm devices on American systems.

I once saw a European-style sounder/strobe as a spot-replacement on a Notifier system that otherwise had Wheelock AS’s. I’ve also seen European sounders once or twice used as general signaling alarms.

I’ve seen this before at McDonald’s.

i saw a european pull station

What about the opposite? I once (keyword here is once!!) saw a SpectrAlert Classic at a local McDonald’s that was tied to the CO2 leak detection system (heck it even had a red strobe with “ALERTE” written on it…)



That aside, I’ve seen a Simplex 4004 on a boat (belive it was on a ferryboat… Why would they use a 4004 panel? Whatever.) with… ROLP sounders, and the smoke detectors were either very well hidden from view or literally they used linear beam detectors.



The pulls were [IIRC] generic, run down of the mill MCPs, I can’t remember the brand on top of my head but if I were to take an educated guess I’d say they were KAC MCPs (they looked like KAC WCP2 outdoor manual call points) so yeah I don’t remember much (my memory is fading…) but I thought I’d share that very odd encounter that happened 3-6 years ago?



Possibly the MCPs were intrinsically safe (explosion proof?) WCP2 models, well I’ll never know for sure the ISWCP2 and WCP2 models are externally identical, I belive it’s just the innards that are different.

I know of at least three instances of “Chinese bootleg SpectrAlerts” (these ones) being used in real systems. One is from someone on this forum who commented that they visited a museum with these installed. Another is this photo from an apartment building. And another is from this video, which doesn’t actually show the appliance, but the sound is the same.



Also, Federal Signal sells a rebranded version of the Roshni sounder.

I have to admit, I’m surprised that during inspections that the fire marshal doesn’t write the system up and allows the alarms to stay.

As long as they are rated for the voltage that is being applied to them, are UL listed, FM approved and the AHJ allows for it, then they can stay. From what I can tell, those bootlegs are probably not UL listed, nor FM approved and there will inevitably be a fine written up on their behalf.

NFPA 72 requires that all devices used for fire alarm applications must be listed (through either UL or FM). I know STI manufactures a manual call point that is UL and ULC listed so theoretically it could be used on a real installation.

That must explain why they used call points on that system with the spectralerts

I would have thought that call points and pull stations since they are both used to activate devices wired to a system would have the same UL or FM.

UL and FM (Underwriters Laboratories and Factory Mutual) only have clout in the United States. In other countries, they need to be CE listed or VDS approved, etc. There are other listing organizations that European jurisdictions require.



Just for clarity, the United States requires that any device used for fire alarm use must be listed. It doesn’t say by whom but just about every AHJ will accept listing by either UL or FM. Some jobs that FM themselves are insuring (Factory Mutual is a Highly Protected Risk firm) will require FM approval, which is generally harder to achieve than UL listing as FM’s requirements for approval are more stringent than UL’s.



Listing just means that the product has been sent to a firm for testing to see that the device safely performs its function for the task it is designed for, under various conditions like extreme heat, cold, etc. It’s basically a seal of approval that the device will be able to safely handle the rigors of its task, and indeed it isn’t just fire alarms that are listed. Cell phone components, computer components, just about anything can have a UL listing.

I’ve seen a pull station (or, actually, “PUSH”.} from Australia.