Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Not Just Decoration
Affiliated Customer Service Inc. takes care of fire alarm maintenance for the city of Chicago and beyond. Hang around the city long enough and you will see crews going around checking up on the boxes that still work.
Most cities like Chicago have scrapped their fire alarm boxes. Boston hasn't. Honeywell who bought out Gamewell makes replacement parts. So its entirely possible to fix the nonworking boxes.
The article linked above gives a good example of why fire alarm boxes are still useful.
When a computer glitch caused New York City's 911 system to crash for two hours in March 2004, the street boxes continued to work, and someone used one to report a serious fire in Brooklyn.
An EMP or Carrington effect could take out all or some of the electrical grid. Having a redundant system may be more expensive but it saves lives.