Welcome to Old School Fire Alarms, an educational website dedicated to the history, salvage, and preservation of vintage pull rod fire alarm systems and the electrical hardware that automates them. Manufactured during the late eighteen hundreds through the nineteen sixties, pull rod fire alarms are both simplistic and practical in their design and use.
Before electric fire alarm systems were invented, manual pull rod fire alarms were commonly used in schools and other public buildings where an audible sound was needed to signal for a fire or to conduct a drill. As time marched on, due to changes in fire code regulations, pull rod fire alarms were automated with electric fire alarm systems. Great American companies such as: Autocall, Edwards, Faraday, Federal Sign & Signal, IBM, Standard Electric Time, and Simplex manufactured much of the electrical hardware that updated pull rod systems. The old manual technology was now merged with new electric technology, making better and more efficient fire alarm systems that can still be found in some older schools and other old buildings.
Unfortunately, with the passage of time many old schools and other older buildings have been demolished or renovated, hence destroying many pull rod fire alarms and all the electrical components that went with them. The time is quickly approaching where the only place you will find these fire safety relics will be in museums and private collections.
If you are a museum, educator, or fire memorabilia enthusiast who is interested in acquiring artifacts like those seen on this website for exhibits, educational purposes, and historical preservation, please contact Old School Fire Alarms.