An Automatic System for the Prevention and Location of Fires in Buildings and Ships—Can Also be Operated Manually Through Concealed Electric Element —Controls Fire Doors or Curtains—Ingeniously Designed Annunciator

John Carrigan

A NEW system for the prevention and location of fires both in ships and buildings is that of the American Fire Control Company, Seattle, Wash. This includes a specially prepared sprinkler that operates automatically under the same conditions as other sprinkler heads, but having an electric element concealed within its construction that allows it to be operated manually from a central controlled station. The system can be operated in separate units or in a unit of series as the conditions may require. When any of the sprinkler heads are automatically operated by a predetermined raise in the temperature or by the manual operation from the central station, they light a light to indicate the floor where the sprinkler head is located, illuminate the floor plan on which there are duplicate numbers to correspond with the number on the drop on the station, showing the exact location or room where the sprinkler has operated from; so that the parties in charge can direct their men to the exact floor and the exact location of the fire.

Water Valve

This company has a dry valve of its own special design to be used for a dry pipe system, keeping pipes under air test as in other similar systems. This is an electric control air operated valve. Its operation can be tested at any time without disturbing the system; it can also be used for a wet system during the warm weather. This valve is so constructed that it can be operated on either a dry or wet system without any cost by changing from one system to the other.


In connection with this system is a “thermostat” or circuit closure device used to operate fire doors or fire curtains. This device operates automatically from a predetermined temperature, registering its location on the central station; rings the alarm gongs and illuminates the plan, showing the location where the doors or curtains are located. All the doors or fire curtains can be manually operated throughout the entire building from push button located on the central station, allowing parties in charge to close the fire doors or fire curtains before the fire or heat comes in contact with same, to automatically operate them, thus stopping the progress of the fire or smoke from communicating with other apartments.

Central Station or Annunciator

The central station or annunciator is located in the entrance of the building or where the fire marshal or Underwriters shall direct it to be placed.

The annunciator is especially constructed to record the operation of the different fire devices connected to it. The opening of any of the sprinkler heads or the closing of any of the fire doors or fire curtains causes one of the drops to fall, which illuminates the building plan, showing where the device is located, at the same time ringing the alarm gongs on the outside of the building and on the annunciator and any other gongs placed in the building to let the parties in charge know that some of the fire devices have operated. This calls their attention to the annunciator on which is located the drop which is numbered, the duplicate number shown on the illuminated plan showing the exact location or room where the sprinkler head or fire door has operated.

All the sprinkler heads, fire doors or fire curtains can be operated by manual control by push buttons, placed on the annunciator for that purpose. The system is under a closed circuit or test system, and the tampering with any of the devices turns in an alarm.

There is also in connection with this system a series of fire call switches connected with the fire gongs in the halls, corridors, or compartments, that can be operated from the central station or annunciator to give fire drills or fire alarm calls to any floor or compartment, especially adapted for schools, hotels, or factory buildings.

John Carrigan, the inventor of this system, who is a native of Saginaw, Mich., has been a resident of Seattle, Wash., for the past 13 years, being a member of the well known fire of architects, Blair & Carrigan, of that city. I. Seitzick, who is also interested in the company, is a former resident of Minneapolis, Minn., where he was engaged in the cold storage business, and is now a resident of Seattle, where he is interested in the Kilbourne-Clark Wireless Company and the Elliott Bay Shipbuilding Company, Seattle.

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