Your first opportunities to hear a specific fire alarm

If you remember hearing a specific fire alarm going off for the VERY FIRST TIME, post it here.


  1. In 1998, (I was in Kindergarten) on the first fire drill I heard 892 fire alarms for the very first time. It’s also the first fire alarm I heard.


  2. In 1999, I went to a learning center (for kids with special needs) and I got to hear SpectrAlerts for the first time. One of them is in code-3 mechanical, and another, I think was in 3000Hz Continuous (which would explain why I was thinking that there was a smoke detector was

    sounding).


  3. In 2001, I got to hear NSs in continuous in CCD.


  4. In 2003, (4th grade) I got to hear the Integrity (It’s that horn-only unit in my ES, please refer to my post in the fire alarms in your work/school topic).


  5. In either 2003 or 2004, I got to hear EST Genesis’s in code-3.


  6. I got to hear an underpowered 7002T (that’s what the fire alarm used to be on the outside of my school but now it’s gone, my first fire drill in high school will probably sound better).


  7. In 2006, (6th grade, 2005-2006) I got to hear the annoying Edwards 892 piezo horn/strobe in Spanish class (yes there are piezo horn/strobes in the 892 series, I saw it from a picture from eBay a long time ago and the model number was on it).


  8. I got to hear SpectrAlert Advances during a false alarm on September 6, 2007.

February 28, 2006, approx 12:30 AM. I’m at a Rock 'N Bowl at a bowling alley in Latham. they start to turn on the fog machines, and a lot of “smoke” is produced. I thought to myself “they keep this up it’ll set off the alarms…”. And of course, not 5 minutes later, you hear this FAINT buzzing over the music. The DJ goes “what the…?” and the music stopps, making the buzzing a bit louder. I look around towards the music “set up” and lo and behold, I discover the -9833 and the Simplex 2903 light plate doing march time. There was no alarm down on my end, which is why it wasn’t loud at all. Everyone near me was like too drunk to comprehend what was going on, so I’m like “The fire alarm’s going off,” and they’re like “oh yeah…” in a drowsey sort of voice. The alarm went off for about 30 seconds before security officers shut it off. But like 10 seconds later, it went off again (they probably reset the system instead of leaving it silenced), but it only went off for like 10 more seconds and then they shut it off for good. The panel was a newer 4001 (w/ the black stripe on the door), and the alarms as mentioned were Simplex -9833s on 2903 triangle light plates, the coding was march time, and for some reason, all the smokes were System Sensor. They also had 4251 T-bar pulls. Unfortunately, the 4001 has since been removed in favor of an Ademco combination security and fire alarm panel and the alarms now look like this:







That was the first time I had ever heard horns in person. The first time I had heard speakers was many years before in a hospital, and it was NOT a pleasant experience, especially when you go into lockdown instead of evacuating, thus, you’re listening to a blaring (and I do mean blaring) alarm for 10-15 minutes while the staff investigate. And of course, I’ve heard bells literally ALL my life, so nothing special about that either…

(1998)-9219s where the first alarm I ever heard and I have a special bond with them.



(1999)-Got to hear an SHG for the first time in what was once the art room. (now is an ESL room)



(2000)-Heard the gym with 9838s for the first time.



(2003)-Heard an older AS do Code-3 in the Enrichment Room (which was the kitchen once and is now a 6th Grade classroom) along with the continuous 9219s



(2005)-Heard Simplex 4050s for the first time (they are all over the place in my junior high school)



(2006)-Heard Simplex 4051s for the first time (on the first floor and in the Tech Drawing Classroom in my junior high)



(2007)-Heard a CP HDC for the first time



(2007)-Heard a newer AS for the first time

Let’s see…



1989: Heard Standard 30A’s during kindergarten. At the time I had no idea what the sound was or why we went outside when we heard it. I only heard them from inside a classroom so it wasn’t TOO bad, but when I heard them in the gym during second grade…OY!



1990: First grade took me to the 1986 addition of my school where I heard V7001T’s and saw fire alarm strobes flash for the first time. This time my teacher had told us it was fire drill, and this was where my fascination began.



1992: I was in a day care program at Rutgers (Davison Hall to be exact) the summer during the second grade, and several fire drills were held, as well as one false alarm. This marked the first time I heard bells - they were on Simplex triangular strobe retrofit plates. These are still installed BTW.



1992: Mercifully, the Standard 30A’s were disconnected and Edwards 892’s were installed in the old wing (as well as the library) late in my second grade year. I didn’t hear them until the following fall though. I also heard a 7002T outside the main entrance.



1998-99: Started St. Peter’s High School, which had what I believe were single-stroke bells. I only heard them once, because of a trouble condition, and I think the system was turned off for the rest of the year. I did, however, hear the System Sensor MASS’s set to Hi/Lo in the elementary school next door during band practice - a sound that didn’t seem so bad at first, but after a fire drill during lunch the following year, I started to fear them.



Fall 1999: The apparently detective old Simplex system in the high school was replaced by a Notifier system with Wheelock AS’s. This marked the first time I heard code 3.



2001-02: Changed to New Brunswick High School for my last year, where I got reacquainted with the 892. But that was also the year I discovered this site, and so I got to hear a lot of the alarms that I had seen all my life, at a controlled volume and without the fear of having them go off unexpectedly. I also learned exactly what that pattern I was hearing at SPHS was.



Fall 2002: Started at Rutgers, and moved into Clothier Hall, where I heard voice evac (Simplex to be exact) for the first time. It was a great relief to hear that the alarm wasn’t very startling at all. I also heard Integrities - they were the emergency door alarms, and of course people went through them in their drunken (or not) stupor.



At later points during college, I would hear TrueAlerts, 9838’s, and Wheelock MT’s, all set to March Time. At some point I also experienced an alarm activation at Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC, with what I believe were MTL’s (they sounded especially harsh and loud).

1984: heard a fire alarm for the 1st time, a 10" bell manually rung



1986: heard a horn for the 1st time an IBM/Simplex 4030-2, thus starting my obsession with alarms



1988: saw a horn/strobe, an FCI labled 450+wedge strobe, in action for the 1st time



1990: heard an 892 for the 1st time.



1992: heard a type 2 in person for the 1st time, scarring me half to death



1993: heard an electronic alarm for the 1st time, and MT4 set to continious horn. I thought it was someone blowing a whistle (a girl who had a whistle around her neck was walking down the hall) until my teacher said “is that the new ones? we’ve got to go”



1994: heard a speaker/strobe for the 1st time, an 892 speaker in slow whoop



1994: heard a coded signal for the 1st time, coded 4s on a 4040



1995: heard a Standard 50 for the 1st time



1997: heard an MT-LSM for the 1st time (set to hi volume continious horn)



2001: heard an SHG for the 1st time



2002: heard a Spectra for the 1st time also 1st time hearing code-3



2004: heard an MA/SS (set to slow whoop) and PA400 for the 1st time



2006: heard an MTL for the 1st time (set to continious horn)

So I take it you heard the mechanical version of the 892?

Pre-1998: Heard a 7004T and a GMS

Saw a few 7002T’s (I vaguely remember them)

Saw a BG-10 (It was the first time I ever saw a fire alarm pull)





1998: Heard a combination of 2901-9833’s and 2901-9806’s for the first time. They all sounded like 9806’s.





1999: Found the FACP in my ES



2001: Heard a 9838 for the first time



2004: Saw a 4051+4050-80 for the first time in my life

Heard a 4903-9237 for the first time

Heard a 4051 for the first time



2007: Found the FACP

Heard a 9219 for the first time

Heard a TrueAlert for the first time

Pulled the Fire Alarm twice on fire drill days

Joined this Forum

Started a collection

Found my HS’s panels



That’s it!

-In kinergarden,I heard an Edwards 8" bell for the first time

-Grade 4-Heard an edwards intergretiy for the first time(False alarm during my cousin’s b-ball game),Saw a Simplex 2901-9333 (10” bell)with

a 4903-9101.

-Grade 5-Heard a Mircom select-a-horn/strobe.



That’s all.I also have 3 stories:



In grade 1,We had a new principal.She made an announcement on the PA,

and it went:



Principal:May I have your attention,Please.Before we have a fire drill this year,I anm going to show you what the alarms sound like,So listen.



There was silence,Then the 8" bell outside my classroom went off for 10

seconds,And then she resetted the fire alarm.



When I was in grade 4,I was going to my sister’s b-ball pratice at my school.We were going towards the entrance.Then I noticed people were coming outside,And I heard Bells going off.That’s when I noticed the fire

alarm was going off!I looked in the school.I saw everyone going out,Then

the janitor came from the crowd and silenced the alarms,But didn’t reset the panel.Turned out a baby pulled the alarm in the gym(Cause the mom

was holding the baby near the pull station).Back then,I didn’t know much about FAs,And when I saw the janitor trying to reset the pull station,I

covered my ears,Because I thought he was going to set the alarms off again.But,He resetted it,And resetted the system,And It was all over.



Another time In grade 4 was when we had a fire drill.We were standing outside for 10-15 minutes,and finally they let us back in.But the reason why they didn’t let us in,was because they were trying to turn the alarms off.So when we came in,The alarms were still going off.They stopped,And

went off again.Then,They resetted the system for good.I think they silenced the alarms,Then tried to reset it while the pulled pull station wasn’t reset.Then It caused the alarms to go off again.



Wow,I’ve had a lot of fire alarm experiences in grade 4!

You should write an angry letter to the people that own the bowling alley or installed the fire alarm system or whatever, saying that it is not an adequete installation, and desparately needs a revision or fix-up.



But I first finally got to hear an electronic fire alarm horn at my college last Tuesday, when they were testing the fire alarms at the Fine Arts building. They were really annoying. All my life I’ve heard buzzers/vibrating horns. The horns were the SAE VA4s I keep mentioning. I’m glad I don’t see them anywhere else outside of Massasoit. But at least they have GOOD install jobs when replacing old fire alarms.

The first alarms I ever heard were 4/6 piezo smoke detectors, First Alert 83Rs to be exact. Hearing such a loud thing so early, they terrified me for life and yet at the same time, sparked an interest in me. Little did I know other people shared the same feelings!



1997- The first ones at school I heard (kindergarten in fact) (and when I was 5) were MA/SS sounders set to 800 continuous with projector cones over them. I was playing on the playground about 40 feet from it when it went off. It was loud, but not all that bad outside. I wasn’t that scared of them, but I still sorta was.



2000- But when I was in 3rd grade and 8, I heard the Wheelock AS for the first time, this time inside a classroom doing code 3! I was scared TO DEATH of those alarms! These made all the girls in the class scream whenever they went off!



2001- This was the first time I heard a PA400R. I was 9 and I thought it was a smoke detector! I was scared of these alarms, too, mainly because they were loud, high pitched, and smoke detectors traumatized me in my early years. That’s why I don’t like PA400Rs. (and why I want one for my collection!) And BTW, I couldn’t find this alarm or tell what it was, because I had never seen an alarm so small or that looked quite like this one. But now I can identify it.



2002- This was a pretty good year, as it was my first year in science camp (5th grade). I was 10. They had a fire drill while I was there, and since they had projectors over them, I freaked before it happened and thought they would be MA/SS sounders in 800 continuous! But the cabin leader told me that the fire alarm were seriously not loud. I still held my ears, but when they went off, I couldn’t believe it! They were really quiet! I still have no idea what they were, but I suspect they were high pitched 9838s. They sounded like vacuum cleaners.



2003- 6th grade- This was the first year I ever heard a 7002T, and I was 11. I thought to myself, “What the hell are these things?!? They sound like a dying cow!” They weren’t too bad, but they did scare me.



2004- My first year out of ES, and from there on in, the only alarms that I heard were MTWPs and Wheelock AS horn/strobes (both horizontal and vertical.)



Well, that’s about it for me.


A “fix-up” would be just fine, as there’s only a couple of issues. One, they could have at least removed the retrofit plates, because the way they’re on the backbox is the 4x4 holes for the horn, so removing it would be much more appealing, despite the spectralert being off center, and two, another thing I’m amazed about is that they didn’t add a spectralert down on the end where I was that had no alarm, and believe me, it’s badly needed down there. I mean, there might be one hidden, but this job looks like a “quickie”, like they only replaced whatever signals were there and not add anything else, and it also looks like the only reason the signals were “upgraded” was because of the new Ademco (at least that’s what I think it is) panel. And I went back there this past summer, 1 year after I made this discovery, and again, nothing had changed.

OK. I hope the people that did that fire alarm install job were fired for that blunder! And besides, I’d like to see the SpectrAlerts go as well, and have them replaced with SpectrAlert Advances or maybe Wheelock AS/NS/MT signals.

Well, Advances would probably be the way to go, as in another topic that specifically discussed this issue, we think the system may be a 12v system, and can only handle 12v signals, which is probably the main reason they installed spectras.

1995-first drill in kindergarten, heard the Faraday-branded 9838s at my ES for the first time



April 3, 2001-U-MMT in the newly renovated ES library. 2 days later, we were swimming at the HS and they had a fire drill so I heard the SHGs there for the first time when I was in 4th grade.



October 4, 2001-the only time I ever heard a 7002T in person, in the art room at my MS



October 26, 2004-first time hearing the integrities at my HS



October 12, 2006-first time hearing the lone MT at my HS

That’s the first time hearing code-3. I was like

Oh! I almost forgot! This year I heard the 892s in the Modular Building. Not FUN!

I stand corrected, 1990 1st electronic heard, 1993, 1st time hearing or seeing an MT. I didn’t hear the electric verson until 2 years ago when I got the one I have.

1995: First time hearing a fire alarm ever. MA/SS’s in Slow Whoop at my ES.



2002: First time hearing Code-3 (9219s) when my MS switched to that code from continuous.



2004: First time hearing a 4030 in Code-4 at my HS (current school)

Then how come you have a recording of them in continuous?

Not exactly a fire alarm, but today at my college at the Fine Arts Building, the Edwards 874 Adapt-a-Horn was blaring outside. I think it was like so for five minutes. This horn is for in case the basement is flooding. The reason it went off was because some people were working on the drain system. The horn sounded just like the one Ben has.