The alarm system where I work

Unlike my past three workplaces, which were small or moderately-sized places, the hospital I’m working at is MUCH larger, and has more variety to their fire alarm system. So I thought I’d make a thread about it here. Since there are still renovations going on from time to time, and stuff is sometimes/often being replaced, I will post any updates about it here.

Anyways, here are the main system basics. The hospital is five stories tall, and was around since at least the 1920s, and has been added onto during the 1930s, 1940s, in 1950 and 1982, and has had renovations to areas since then (most commonly in the 1980s and 1990s.)

PANELS: The main fire alarm system for the entire hospital is a Simplex 4100 voice-evacuation system. The 4100 is located in the basement, but I have seen a few other doors for certain areas (like in the transitional care unit, the radiation therapy wing and the family suites in the maternity wing) with “FIRE ALARM PANEL” on them. This means there are also a few smaller panels (like a Simplex 4005 or 4010) tied into the main 4100 system as well (maybe they’ve also got transponders or something like that.) At the main entrance there is a Simplex 4603-9101 LCD annunciator, and next to it is an older SAE graphic annunciuator, and another SAE graphic annunciator is located behind the main receptionist/switchboard desk. I think before the 4100 was installed, the hospital may have had a 2120 system or something like that.

ALARMS: Here’s where the variety begins. One of the most common alarms throughout the hospital are Simplex 2902-9711 LifeAlarm speakers on 2903 light plates. They can be found in the main lobby, the basement, the radiology and psychiatric wings, the cafeteria, the maintenance areas, main laboratories, and several patient wings.

Several areas have horizontal 4903 speaker/strobes installed. These are usually in fully-renovated areas, such as the emergency wing and another one of the laboratories, but they can also be found in the transitional care unit, most of the fourth floor (the maternity section), and I recall seeing some in another area.

There are also some vertical 4903 speaker/strobes as well. I found them in a few renovated waiting rooms, as well as some in the radiology wing (which has a mix of both these and the older LifeAlarm speaker/lights), as well as a couple replacing older LifeAlarm speaker/lights.

One of the alarms near a set of elevators has a Wheelock ET speaker on the 2903 light plate (obviously, the old LifeAlarm speaker broke down.)

In the pediatric wing on the second floor, as well as at one of the service exits, there are 2902-9732 LifeAlarm speakers on 4903-9001 light plates. The pediatric wing was renovated initially some time in the late 1980s or early 1990s (and is being fixed up again, but the 1990s alarm equipment is still there as of now.)

In the transitional care unit and maybe a couple other areas, there are remote 4904 horizontal strobes in the restrooms. Other renovated areas and a few older places in the hospital use remote TrueAlert strobes (like the restrooms and offices in the emergency wing.)

Some areas actually use horns instead of voice-evacuation. The radiation therapy wing has Space Age Electronics 2DCD horns behind AV32 light plates. Near a set of elevators not too far from this wing (which has the Simplex voice-evac alarms) has a remote V33 light with “RADIATION THERAPY BUILDING” underneath. The family suites in the maternity wing on the fourth floor have Simplex TrueAlert horn/strobes.

PULL STATIONS: Many areas of the hospital have Simplex 4251-20 pull stations. Some renovated areas have newer addressable Simplex pulls, such as the 4099-9003 dual-action pulls in the emergency wing, the maternity wing and in one of the labs, and 2099-9761 dual-action pulls in the transitional care unit. There are also a few 2099-9756s (and at least one 2099-9754 single-action pull) replacing 4251-20s that broke down over time. Some of these pulls have Stopper II covers.

SMOKE DETECTORS: There isn’t much variety here; nearly all of the smoke detectors throughout the hospital are Simplex TrueAlarms. Many are conventional (probably 4098-9601 heads on 4098-9788 bases), some with thermal heat sensors on them as well. Many renovated areas, as well as one of the laboratories and a good portion of the second floor have addressable TrueAlarms, along with some of the elevators (for elevator recall, obviously.) One renovated area in the maternity wing has 2098-9202 photoelectric smoke/heat detector heads on addressable MAPnet bases. The main lobby and the pediatric wing have Simplex 2098-9201 and/or -9202 photoelectric heads on the two-wire bases (probably 2098-9637s), a couple other areas have them on four-wire bases (probably 2098-9536s.) There are also some older Simplex 4259-36 smoke/heat detectors in some areas, like outside the cafeteria and pediatric wing, throughout most of the psychiatry wing, the surgery wing, in a few offices and X-ray rooms, and in some stairwells. I saw at least one with an ADT logo on it instead of Simplex, and I even saw a couple still with the ESL logo on it! These are slowly being replaced with the TrueAlarms.

There’s a rather weird setup in the radiology wing; there are often areas where there are TWO smoke detectors right next to each other, a conventional TrueAlarm and an addressable one next to it. I wonder why it’s set up like that…

The volunteer room has a 4255-5 heat detector (with cursive “Simplex” logo on the label), and I’ve also seen a couple other Chemtronics/Simplex heat sensors as well.

The annunciator setup in the main lobby. Half the time, they both show “TROUBLE” conditions (I was told that sometimes they are working on the system.)

4903-9150 speaker/strobe in the emergency wing. Many of them make that soft buzzing/static noise some Simplex speakers make when idle.

One of the many LifeAlarm speaker/lights found throughout the hospital.

One of the many 4251-20 pulls found through the hospital.

A typical alarm/pull setup. Many of the pull stations have “FIRE ALARM BOX” signs above them.

The Wheelock ET speaker.

Most of the smoke detectors in the hospital have those orange stickers with dates showing when they were last tested/cleaned.

One of the SAE alarms in the radiation therapy wing. Those must be LOUD!

Another SAE alarm with a Simplex 2099-9756 pull station underneath it.

One of the old Simplex smoke detectors still in use.

TrueAlert horn/strobe in the family suites wing.

4099-9003 dual-action pull in the same wing. These are common in renovated areas. Note the wall plate above it, obviously covering up where there was probably an older coded pull station (maybe one of those big Couch ones?)

Addressable TrueAlarm detector at one of the second floor stairwells.

Remote TrueAlert strobe in one of the restrooms (in one of the renovated wings with 4903 speaker/strobes.)

Vertical 4903 speaker/strobe in the radiology wing.

Smoke detector with the ESL logo on it instead of Simplex!

Not part of the alarm system, but several rooms in the emergency wing have these Simplex clocks in them! I’m not sure if these were installed when the wing was built in the 1980s, or when the renovation occurred (as Simplex still makes the clocks like the one on the left.) There’s probably a 6400 master time panel somewhere operating them.

Any comments?

Nice post! Is the Simplex 2099-9761 the addressable version of the 2099-9756?

Also, how come they didn’t use a Simplex LifeAlarm Speaker-strobe?

Yes, it is the addressable MAPnet version; the 4009-9003 is the IDNET version.

I don’t know if those LifeAlarm speaker/strobes existed yet back in 1982. Maybe they thought it was easier to use separate LifeAlarm speakers and light plates.

I also made a BIG discovery a couple days ago. The hospital still has a Simplex 2001 panel for some of the older devices, along with the 4100 for the renovated areas and other voice-evac areas.

Don’t wander around places you should not be or where you do not have to be for the task you are assigned or you risk loosing the job you have there.

Well, DUH! I don’t do THAT. But my department is tied into maintenance, and they are often working on the systems. I overheard them, and that is how I found out.

Today they were actually testing the fire alarm system, but I think it was just the 2001 panel; the 2903 light plates (and 4903 light plates in the areas renovated in the early 1990s) were blinking in March Time. I learned it was silent testing, plus the LifeAlarm speakers are powered by the 4100 panel while the 2001 flashes the visual signals in the older wings.