Simplex 4246-1

Hey all!

I’m looking for any information or manuals regarding the Simplex 4246-1 Fire Alarm System. It is currently installed in our building, and is functional (I hope). I’m hoping to be able to test it and come up with a policies and procedures on how to run, silence, and reset it.


Before any of us help you, you need to tell us more. Is it for a life safety system, and if so if you are qualified for your area? But if it’s not protecting property, then it makes it easier for everyone.

It is the fire alarm system in our church. It is the only system protecting our property. I have no qualifications short of being the facilities manager at my previous job and being one the people who tested and manages the Silent Night System up there.

Our building (built 1967) was donated to us after the previous church closed in the 90s. I just came on as a staff member and am wanting to have an actual emergency plan, but I’m hesitant to test this system (no one here has ever heard it go off, short of the trouble signal when the power goes out) without any manuals or info. I know that it needs to be replaced but that is not a budget reality right now.

Just to verify, a 4246-1 should look something like the picture below. That is a 4247 which is the “double supervised” version of that panel. It has one more relay and one more toggle switch than the 4246 version.

You have a very old panel that only the oldest of the old FA technicians know anything about. It is a one supervised zone panel with one series AC signal circuit (the meaning of the -1). If the building has an annunciator it operates on a second contact on the field devices. The horns or bells are AC at some low voltage (4 volts, 6 volts, 12 volts) at some current (usually 1.8 or 2.2 amps) wired in series. Replacement signal devices have not been made in 30 years or more. Internal parts consist of several relays and large resistors. The resistors are standard available parts but the relays probably are no longer available. I know that Simplex discontinued these parts many years ago. Everywhere in the system is exposed to line voltage so it is very easy to get a nasty shock working on it. All the manuals on this system are long gone.


That is what it looks like, minus the extra toggle switch. All the labels had fallen off, but I was able to find a youtube video that showed a close up and I relabeled them.

I figured it would be hard to find anything on this system. Thanks for the explanation.

I’m not sure what my next step is. Between dealing with the non-functioning original emergency lighting system, the original Hobart Dishwasher that leaks into the basement, and the original boiler and air conditioning unit—let’s just say it’s slightly overwhelming.

Wow, that’s a pretty neat old system! Keep it maintained properly and it might be able to last a couple more decades!

I just went on a service call for 4246-4 yesterday.

Need to replace a shorted supervisory relay in the 4312 annunciator.

They are a poor senior living apartment facility.

Any help appreciated.

Lights all work

Bells all work.

Imazing how well it really is, except for the relay

That system belongs in a fire museum! You should contact Old School Fire Alarms about it when the building owner wants to replace it. My high school has a really rare 4247–2 SU with an auto silence timer. I also recommend that system for preservation when the school board has the funding to renovate the 1972 building.