How often do schools usally replace fire alarm systems?

My school has mostly Siemens u-mmts and old Siemens speaker strobes and MS pull stations the have probably been there since the late 90s or early 2000s but,I just want to know. Also, my school has been doing major renovations in the past year. They redid the gym but did not replace the alarms in it. they also redid the home-ec room,but they added new alarms like celling mount ZNSs and new T bar pull stations(not simplex)in the redone classroom. I have heard that the school might me redoing all of the hallways of the school.(my school opened in 1982 btw)

Usually schools only replace systems when absolutely necessary (i.e.: when the system is getting too old to work without constant maintenance or if multiple system devices are failing).

Cases in point: the middle school I went to for the sixth grade was built in the late 70s had a Simplex 4002 system with 2901-9838 horns on 4903-9101 strobe plates. There were 2098-series photoelectric detectors everywhere with 4251-30s around each exit. When the building was added on to in the mid to late 90s, they installed newer SImplex electromechanical horn-strobes and 2099-series pull stations. At some point the 4002 died and was replaced by an EST-3, and all the signals were replaced by Geneses, Signature-series pulls, and Signature-series smokes.

At the middle school my dad works at, which was built in the early 70s, the old system was a conventional ADT modular Unimode system (as evidenced by the empty can in the office next to the current panel), likely old ADT pulls, smokes, and heats, and bells (there’s one bell still in one of the hallways to this day). When the school was renovated in the 90s, they replaced everything with Spectralert Classics, Silent Knight photo detectors, and SK pulls. As the school was added onto even more, they added more pulls and signals to the existing loops.

Like a lot of things in the world, it all depends on money.

Sometimes my school has false alarms and I think the have problems with it. I am a junior in high school, and it has happened a few times.

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False alarms happen. They happened all the time when I was in high school and they I find they happen even more often here in college! That doesn’t mean the system is on its way out, though. There are tons of factors that could cause a false alarm.

$500k to completely replace a system, or deal with a few false alarms?

school’s replace them only when absolutely required, tough to fit that one into the normal budget and most schools are strapped for cash as it is. really, if the system is in decent working order, they won’t replace it. if they can no longer gets parts to fix it or the ahj requires it, then they’ll look into replacing it, and normally it’ll be a butch job with a new panel taking over parts of the system at a time. that’s when you end up with these Frankenstein systems with a few parts from seemingly everywhere.

It depends. Usually if they’re doing a renovation or something, then they’ll do a full fire alarm upgrade. This happened with a few schools in my town, installing new voice-evac systems. One interesting example was an old school building that had been abandoned for years, which they planned to reopen as a new kindergarten center (as the elementary schools were getting more crowded). It was built in 1925, and I know it previously had a very old Edwards system; all I know is that it had no “real” alarm signals; just an alarm tone over the intercom. When they renovated the building a couple years ago to reopen it, they installed a new Notifier NFS2-640 voice-evac system with SpectrAlert Advance speaker/strobes and remote strobes, FSP-851 smoke detectors and NBG-12LX pulls (no Stopper covers, as this was just for kindergarten.)
A couple of my old schools are due for full fire alarm upgrades in the future; both have really old Gamewell FlexAlarm systems. Chances are the new systems will be Notifier voice-evac as well.

They’ll also replace a system if the old one is failing. This happened to the school I went to for kindergarten (now a K-8 school.) Until early this year, they had a Simplex 4010 system tied into an old Simplex 4208 panel from 1974. Most of the alarms were Simplex 4051+4050-80 horn/lights, as well as a few 4051+AV32 horn/lights, SpectrAlert Advance horn/strobes in some recently-renovated classrooms, a Wheelock NS in the music room, and a Simplex 4903-9236 in the boiler room. Early this year, the system was having numerous problems and getting unreliable; it wouldn’t sound in a few parts of the building, and it would randomly go off; a friend of mine even recalled hearing on his police scanner that the school’s alarm system went off at four in the morning! (I’m betting it was their ancient 4208 panel that had these problems.) So they removed it and replaced it with a new system (probably a small Fire-Lite or Notifier system), and replaced all the old Simplex alarms with SpectrAlert Advance horn/strobes (most on adapter plates, though one simply replaced a 4051 that was installed on two backboxes onto a 4050-80, and it looks really awkward. They kept the existing pull stations (mostly Simplex break-glass 4251-30s) and smoke/heat detectors.
They did it this way because the upgrade had to be done quickly, during the school year, so the school could have a working fire alarm system once again.

How many are we up to now? :lol:

Burnt food, Pranks, Smoking. So many possibilities in college.

Volusia County Schools does this mostly to systems that are failing or are aging (primarily older Autocall systems from the late 80s-early 90s, but also newer systems from FCI and Fire-Lite). Their administration center is getting a new Notifier NFS-320 system to replace their older Pyrotronics System, but they might be keeping some of the pulls and newer Siemens and Gentex NAs. Surprisingly enough, my first elementary school replaced theirs sometime after I left (MTs, MASS, 2901-9838s on 2903s with Commander 3s).

From what I have heard, in the spring the school will be redoing the 200 hallway in my school.What I predict, is that they will add new ceiling mount strobes in the classrooms and replace the ummts in that hallway I hope…(btw they will have us move in other classrooms throughout the school) I think they will do this to some of the hallways in the school.

My elementary school replaced their whole system in 2014 when they needed to do ceiling repairs because the ceiling in the library fell. The whole system was replaced with SpectrAlert Advances.

On the other hand, my high school replaced horns or put them up only as needed. When they split the freshman wing into two smaller wings, they put two Commander 3 horns next to the doors for most likely strobe coverages (a few feet away there was another horn/strobe) and before they, they replaced two older horns with Wheelock Exceeders.

Yeah my cousins have told me about that. They said some of the techs are out there regularly.

In my city, the only time they replace systems is when they do an extensive renovation/addition to schools, or when the government tells them too. Back in 2003, the ontario government went to every school in ontario and did a ‘Building Condition Assessment’, where they listed basically everything structurally, electrically or mechanically wrong with the school and the cost to upgrade each item. Certain schools were listed under ‘prohibitive to repair’. & A ton of schools were told to replace the exisitng fire alarm system, since most of them were obsolete. The next year, the schools boards in my city replaced pretty much every system with a new Mircom one.

The only exception so far is my old high school, which still has the Edwards 6500 installed with the single stroke Adaptabels. I think it’s because the building needs about $16 million in repairs and renovations, since it hasn’t been renovated since 1988. At this point, instead of spending money on a new system, they are probably going to replace the entire building in a few years from now, so they might just leave the system as it is until that day they demolish it (and of course, I try to scrap as much things off that system as I can :smiley: ).

It would seem my district’s policy is purely based on age for the most part. There is evidence that all 8 schools had an Edwards system at one time, most likely original to the schools when they were built in the '60s and '70s. At one time, all the schools were upgraded to Simplex 4002 systems, most likely in the early '90s. The middle school I went to had its system replaced with a Simplex 4100U in the mid-2000s, most likely due to a failure of the 4002 there. In the past few years, they have upgraded all the schools to EST FireShield Plus control panels. The only exception is an elementary school that has an addressable Notifier panel of some sort, which is original from when the school opened in 2003.

My middle and elementary schools had an odd fire alarm replacement schedule. They both had 4040s or whatever originally, then a system with Wheelock MTs was installed in the early 90s. In 1997, both schools were completely renovated, and they received a Simplex system with GX-90s. I wonder what happened to the Wheelock system, and why it was only around for a few years.

My district almost never replaces an entire system, only the part that fail. The only exceptions are entire system failures or when a majority of a system fails.

Oh really? I wonder why…