Simplex 4246-1 Fire Alarm Panel

I recently acquired a Simplex 4246-1 fire alarm panel! This panel came out of a church in Norwich, NY.

This panel is dated July 19th, 1969 and is now the oldest panel in my collection (previously held by my Gamewell Zans 200).

In addition to the panel, I also got some 4251-111 pull stations and a few 4040 horns (12 VAC @ 1.6A).

This panel is in excellent condition for its age, and based on the attached tag; I think this panel was in service until the end of 2022. Two interesting features of this 4246-1 are the auto-silence timer and the drill switch. I believe the auto-silence timer is configured at the factory; it automatically silences the horns after about 20-25 seconds. The drill switch is just a simple neat feature on the door: it’s essentially a manual evac switch.

Wiring up this panel is different than modern panels, particularly in adjusting the giant resistor at the top of the interior. This would be adjusted based on the voltage/current needed to power the horns on the gong circuit (NAC). The panel has one initiating zone: a Class A IDC. The initiating zone and the gong circuit are supervised. No internal buzzer, so the panel relied on a 120 VAC trouble bell instead. This is an awesome piece of fire alarm history that I’m glad I own!


Excellent acquisition! Simplex’s early 4000-series panels are among some of the rarest I’m sure, so anytime one can be saved is always good.

Really? That’s incredible! From what I’ve read the 4246-1 was introduced in the early 60s, so to have one in that good of condition & in service for that long is just mindblowing!

Yeah, seems the operators who serviced this panel took care of it through all the years. Besides some dust, the panel and its components were all in great working condition. I think this also goes to show such systems are built to last, compared to some modern systems.

go to the “What fire alarm do you have at work or school?” category under January of 2022, I have a thing about the fire alarm system at LeBron James’ high school, which is the exact same panel you have but it’s a 4247–2 from 1973. You’ll see a video link there. you should tell Glenn James (Old School Fire Alarms) about this.