The Waltham Fire Alarm System
The fire alarm system in Waltham, Mass., states the fire department’s annual report, is in good condition and continues to perform its work in an efficient manner. Every box has been inspected at least twelve times this year and many of them many more times. Tests are made at least six times each day of the central office equipment. During the past year the department has had more trouble from lightning than in former years, there having been eleven breaks caused from it. There were six other breaks caused by heavy winds and trees falling on the wires. Each circuit, of which there are nine, represents a large amount of area and covers a large amount of property. When they do get a break on this system it puts anywhere from eleven to twenty-one boxes out of commission. The inspector believes that this system should be cut up into more circuits and the different fire stations put on a circuit by themselves. Three times during the past year the gases caused by the police patrol, which sets directly under the central office apparatus, have put different circuits out of commission temporarily. This ceiling over the police automobile should either be plastered or some other means be taken to lessen this trouble.
Three new boxes have been added during the past year and another ordered. Twenty-eight keyguards have been added, thus doing away with running around the neighborhood to find a key when a fire occurs. All boxes should be changed during the next year, thus doing away with all the keys. Much trouble has been caused in the past by people having keys moving away, and dust and verdigris collecting on the keys, making them unfit for use. This department has responded to all box alarms of fire during the year and shut off the services on the lighting and power systems in nine buildings which were on fire. For this system, I would recommend that it be cut up into more circuits, thus allowing but a small amount of property to be put in jeopardy when a break occurs.