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Fire Alarm Pull Station

A fire alarm pull station is an active fire protection device, usually wall-mounted, that, when activated, initiates an alarm on a fire alarm system. In its simplest form, the user activates the alarm by pulling the handle down, which completes a circuit and locks the handle in the activated position, and sending an alarm to the fire alarm control panel. Fire alarm pull station are often reset using a key, which allows the handle to go back up to its normal position.

Many fire alarm pull stations are single action and only require the user to pull down the handle. Other fire alarm pull stations are dual-action, and as such require the user to perform a second task before pulling down, such as lifting up or pushing in a panel on the station, or shattering a glass panel. The Fire-Lite BG-10 and the Cerberus Pyrotronics (Siemens) MS-501 are examples of this design. Perhaps the most recognizable pull station is the T-bar style pull. The style is so named because the handle is shaped like the letter "T". This style was first manufactured by Simplex, and is now manufactured by many other companies.

Resetting a fire alarm pull station after it has been operated normally requires building personnel or emergency responders to open the station using a key, which often is either a hex key (allen key) or a more traditional key. Opening the station normally causes the handle to go back to its original position, allowing the alarm to be reset from the fire alarm control panel after the station has been closed.

In Europe, a manual call point, usually referred to as an MCP within the fire protection industry, and as a "break glass" in the UK, is used to allow building occupants to signal that a fire or other emergency exists within the building. They are usually connected to a central fire alarm panel which is in turn connected to an alarm system in the building, and often to a local fire brigade dispatcher as well. The first MCP (as we know it) arrived in Europe in 1972 and was invented by KAC. [1]

MCP's would historically be printed with FIRE as a title above a glass element, where the element would be glass which would be covered with plastic. This element design would be the old British Standard. The new European Standard EN54 says that the title should be the House Flame symbol, and the glass would appear differently. The glass will still be covered with plastic on the printed side.

Previously, the old British standard did not allow hinged covers and plastic resettable elements. Plastic elements must have the same printing as the EN54 glass.