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Fire alarm facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Simplex TrueAlert Speaker Strobe 2
A Simplex TruAlert fire alarm.

A fire alarm is an electronic sounder or a bell. The alarm makes a loud, high pitched sound to notify people that there is a fire in the building. The sounders can be programmed to sound different tones. Most fire alarm sounders in Europe sound like a siren. The bell makes a continuous ringing sound.

There are also companies like HST Fire and KKmoon which produce fire alarms and pull stations. In every building, the fire alarms are hooked up to a main control panel, which allows the inspector or janitor to preform fire drills, do inspections on pull stations, and more.

Some examples of companies which make fire alarms are Wheelock, Simplex, Edwards, Gentex, Johnson Controls, Fire-Lite, and Notifier(Fire-Lite and Notifier both being owned by Honeywell). There is also Fulleon who are best known for their Roshni electronic sounder. These sounders are often used around Europe and they have 32 user selectable tones. Sometimes, old-fashioned fire alarms are metal bells. Many fire alarm systems also have flashing lights, also known as strobes. These are important for deaf people who cannot hear the fire alarm. There are also special alarms which are less loud for sleeping areas, so that people are not startled, and white fire alarms for dark walls. In larger buildings, There are 2-step systems with a recorded message, which start off by stating the emergency and waiting for the security guards to be sure there is a fire, then asking for the occupants of the building to calmly evacuate. In smaller areas, there is a immediate alarm, without voice.

Fire alarms are often used in schools and other places during fire drills, or in the case of a real fire. If somebody activates a fire alarm for fun or without reason, it is called a false alarm. Setting off a false alarm is against the law in most places.

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