Rarest fire alarms you have seen inside a building

Personally for me i have seen 2 wheelock 7001t-24 alarms


I’ve seen a technical school up north that has Simplex 4050-80 light plates alongside Spectralert classics. One of the schools we take care of has Simplex 4037-1 flush mount horns that are still in place but have been disconnected.


saw this 4037 at a robotics event


The rarest I saw… That would probably go to an old convenience store in Southern France that had a bevy of Merlin Gerin SR-series sounders (that looked similar to the one I have) but smaller, with the occasional Roshni ROLP thrown in for good measure.

The call points were run down of the mill KACs rebadged by Esser.

Never saw the panel for this system but given the size of the store, a Type 4 panel wasn’t out of the question.

Second rarest system I’ve seen was comprised of Cerberus Guinard AT50MI call points (the vast majority having been replaced by Siemens KR-1 MCPs) and a 1970’s (!!!) Cerberus fire alarm panel (that was unfortunately partially gutted) tied to an addressable Siemens panel of some kind.

The last one is a bit painful as you know, Cerberus-Guinard equipment is extremely rare (it’s already rare in the rest of France) where I live, and a pre-Guinard buyout Cerberus panel from the '70ies, that’s a once-in-a-lifetime find. :cry:

1 Like

What the heck is a “Type 4 Panel”?

1 Like

I’m gonna try my best to explain, but in France we’ve got different types of fire alarm systems, with type 1 being comparable to the systems in America, 1nd type 4 being the simplest type (which can be resumed to a set of manual call points directly wired to a sounder and a battery).

In short, a type 4 panel is a type of FACP where there’s only one single loop where the call points (normally closed) are connected, and if either the loops break or a call point is activated, this will result in the panel going into alarm. There’s no supervision of any kind on these.

1 Like

I know that this is not an extremely rare find in the USA, but it is here in Germany. I once found what I believe to be a Simplex 4208 in a larger old shopping center near us. I’m not 100% sure because I’ve never seen a Simplex panel in Germany and the building was renovated with the entire system. However, it doesn’t seem entirely impossible to me since, as far as I know, Simplex even existed in Kassel until the late 90s.
I remember taking a photo of the panel back then, but I haven’t found one yet. From what I can remember, the system had horns that looked like Simplex 4050s. However, I’m not exactly sure about that. What I am certain about, however, is that the system did not have pull stations, but call points from T&N (Telefonbau Normalzeit). Today, however, the system only consists entirely of ESSER devices.

Another super rare, but completely German manufacturer system that I saw was actually the one at the school I went to and is actually still used there. The panel is card based and is somewhat reminiscent of the Simplex 2001. However, from what I know it is built by Siemens. The panel is from the 70s or early 80s, but it actually has a kind of voice evac. It plays an intermittent whoop tone, but has no messages. The system has call points from Siemens and only normal home smoke detectors. It will probably be in use for another 10 years until the old school building is renovated. Then the panel will probably find its way to me (;
I will probably have the opportunity to take pictures of this system again soon.
However, until then, this poor picture of one of the call points will have to suffice.


I know exactly what panel you’re talking about, in fact, I’ve seen not one but two (one badged Simplex France, that a former colleague of mine saw in a derelict building) and another one I saw in person (in an hospital building that was in the process of being gutted) that was unfortunately trashed beyond repair.

I think I posted a picture of it on these forums, the one I saw was jet black instead of red and was branded “ATSE”.

In the system I saw in person the call points were Télémecanique XAS break glass stations, I didn’t see any sounder for that matter, except a mechanical bell in a corridor and some indicator lamps above each doorway next to the exit signs.

(side note, I saw on Ebay some Simplex STR bells that ran off 240V/50Hz (!), and they looked very close to what I saw in one of the corridors, and there’s one building that I know of near my hometown that has Simplex 4040 and 4050 horns, so if Simplex no longer is present in Europe of all places, they definitely had a presence there)

1 Like

Simplex did exist in the UK at one point a bit like how Thorn, a UK company also existed in the US

A Reddit used shared photos of a Simplex 4208-style panel in Germany. It looks different from North American 4208s, but it is still easily recognizable as a Simplex product.

I’d love to see photos of the older Siemens panel at your school—I’m intrigued by the description!


The panel was actually not built by Siemens, but by Klaus Esser (today ESSER by Honeywell).
However, the case of the panel including the heating control, a small part of which you can see in the first picture, is actually built by Siemens.
The panel was built around the late 1970s or early 1980s and is the original from this school. I couldn’t find anything about this panel on the internet. The order of the cards is actually almost the same as in Simplex 2001, but mirrored. The first 5 cards are zone cards. Then comes the card for the alarm tone. The button on this card is for silencing the alarm. The main card on this panel is actually divided into two.
On the right card there are three buttons, one to reset the panel and two to activate the alarm. The control knob above is actually there to select a zone from which the alarm will be activated. On the left card there is actually only the piezo, a light for the power supply, fault lamps and a button to turn off the piezo.
The panel also has a battery backup for power outages.

Although the panel is from Esser, the call points are still from Siemens.

Also, the alarm will not be played over all speakers on the school’s PA system, only the speakers in the hallways and classrooms.

1 Like

I actually think the panel in the mall was the same model as the one in the Reddit post. However, I think the one in the mall was a little bigger.

Thanks for sharing those pictures! What a neat-looking panel. I love seeing and learning about older fire alarm systems from other parts of the world—these types of products don’t get shown or discussed very often online in the fire alarm enthusiast community. It’s always interesting to see how they resemble and how they differ from North American products; the appearance of this Esser panel certainly reminds me of North American card-based panels from the ‘80s, but the configuration of the signals seems quite unique. I find it interesting that the cabinet and internal components are from different manufacturers (it looks like a rather large enclosure for a panel of that size).

Are the call points original to the system? Based on the style of the Siemens logo, I assume they’re older models.

That’s interesting to see, the ATSE A300-series panel we got in France looked closer to the American version of the 4207/8, although they had a big “red mushroom” button and the light clusters were different (two small round lamps in a silver frame per indicator).

Here’s a not-so-great picture of a trashed ATSE A320, on the left is what remains of the main panel (on the bottom section there would’ve been the “mushroom button” used to activate the horns, it normally would be locked using a pin that you had to rip out)

The left panel is an extander panel, it seems to have been preserved, although by the time I took this picture, the building probably is long gone now.

The A320 also had a red cabinet, with the version I saw being a later revision with a jet black cab…

Edit: Here’s a better picture of a 4-zone A320 I was able to find, you can just about see

most of it’s buttons:

1 Like

That ATSE panel is fascinating! The cabinet’s style is recognizable, but the indicators and switchgear are completely different from those used on typical 4207s—it almost looks like a modernized 4207 (as if someone had created a cross between a 4207 and a 2001).

Do you know anything about the history of these panels? I’m not familiar with ATSE, and I wonder how (or whether) this company was related to Simplex.

1 Like

As much as I wish I did know about its hirtory, I unfortunately don’t, I only know that it originally started as “Simplex France” (and as a matter of fact, there’s a picture of an early ATSE panel labeled “Simplex Time Recorder France” floating around, I haven’t been able to find it), then at some point it became “ATS Électronique”, abbreviated as “ATSE”, even though it’s not really known what ATSE really stood for.

And this is where it gets confusing, it merged with Proteg (another company that was specialized in the same domain, it didn’t last very long), before finally both companies being outright bought out by Chubb.

The only few scrapes of info about ATSE you might find on a good day are some programming docs about the ATSE AD1000 mainframe (a very unique addressable FACP that ATSE released somewhere in the mid-90’s) and some pictures of their Ten4-C panels (released during the time that Chubb was phasing ATSE and Proteg out).


Here’s a picture of a Ten4-C:

Ironically, I have both the matching smoke detectors and call points for the AD1000 and the Ten4-C but not the sounders or panels :joy:

Edit: Here’s another Pic I dug out of a A320, in its “red cab” variant


That AD1000 is almost mesmerising—there’s a lot going on with its user interface! This is an incredibly unique-looking panel; I’ve never seen a fire alarm panel with an on-board CRT display. If I understand correctly, it looks like it features eight loops?

The red A320 is a neat find. I noticed that the A320’s doors are slightly different from those of the 4207; they seem to have a higher profile, perhaps due to a different hinge design.

It’s actually a bit strange but having read the few documents I could find about it, it seems like it. Eight “master loops” that are broken down in multiple sub-loops where the device resides. And this is where it gets even more unique: the AD1000 does not need EOLRs, however it needs the line to be looped back to the panel.

It’s also card-based just like modern FACPs are, but on the AD1000 you can actually swap cards while the panel is running which was (and IMHO still is) pretty novel at the time.

As someone who really likes odd and quirky panels, it’s one of the panels that I would love to own, even though it’s both big (the main unit itself takes about 2 or 4 rack units while the “CMSI” expander can take an entire 42U rack with the main unit included!) and impractical to program (to my knowledge, you had to use a special software to generate a PROG file and burn it onto a few EEPROMs, and it seems that said software has unfortunately been lost to time :face_with_diagonal_mouth:).

There’s another one, not from ATSE but from Universal Det/Esser, although I have never seen evidence of any existing besides a brochure and a manual:

I believe this one was called the Universal Det Europa Quartz, I have no idea if it is conventional or addressable. (EDIT: It’s actually addressable)

1 Like

I know that @Caleb_Culwell will like this but I found an addressable Gamewell Century at Oakland Airport.

Newer ms-95 @HenBasket is good at identifying the age on these