Fire alarm

From Academic Kids

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Wheelock_mt.jpg
A Wheelock MT-24-LSM fire alarm horn and strobe.
A fire alarm is a bell, klaxon, chime, horn, speaker, strobe, or other device which warns people in a building of a possible fire. Horns can produce approxomately eight different kinds of sounds, including the recent standard Code-3 temporal pattern (0.5 second pulse, 0.5 second pause, 0.5 second pulse, 0.5 second pause, 0.5 second pulse, 1.5 second pause) which in code means "Evacuation" , march time (0.6 second pulse, 0.4 second pause, repeat), continuous, hi-lo, siren, slow-whoop (which is a slow rising sweep in frequency), and bell. Typically, when a fire alarm is sounded, firefighters are summoned, the building is evacuated, people gather at specified assembly points, and a roll call is held.

Fire alarms may be triggered automatically by smoke detectors, heat sensors or manually. Manual fire alarm buttons or pull stations are sometimes protected by glass which must be smashed to set off the alarm. Protective covers may also be placed on the station to help prevent false alarms.

Especially in college dorms and high schools, there has been an epidemic of students pulling the fire alarm as a prank. Since this wastes the fire department's time an resources for no reason, as well as a meaningless evacuation of the building, it is often a felony offense.

New devolopments in fire detection technology allow fire alarms to be activated when a fire sprinkler is activated in the building. Many fire alarms have strobes instead of regular lights to warn the deaf and hard of hearing.


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