How Old is this Fire Alarm Control Panel

This must be one of the oldest fire alarm panels that I have come across. Probably dating back to the fifties.

As you can see the panel was not made by a fire alarm manufacturer, but by Electrical Engineers and would have been made up from mechanical parts and relays.

The system operated by having a manual switch, as there were no resettable break glass units as we have today. Each switch would be located in the areas as shown on the display.

On operation of the switch, a flag would drop to indicate the zone, and the bells would operate throughout the building. The system and flag were reset using the two levers on the right side of the control panel.

None of the manual detection or sounder circuits would have been monitored for short or open circuits, so you would not know whether the system was working until you activated one of the switches.

There was a fire alarm code of practice in the fifties. This code was produced and managed by the Fire Offices Committee the FOC, whose function was to represent the fire insurer’s interest.

Fire Alarms have come a long way in 65 years, so much so, that next to this antique was an EMS Fire Point 5000 wireless fire alarm, which itself is no longer being manufactured as the wireless industry has moved on again with EN54 part 25 radio compliant systems.

What I would say, is there was less to go wrong on the older panels.