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Jim Baird

Mechanical fire alarm

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Sorry there is no picture, but I found a mechanical fire alarm on a kitchen ceiling I have never seen the likes of.

When I pushed what looked like a test button the "button" fell off and a loud alarm bell sounded.  The buyer, the realtor and I assumed it was hardwired, but throwing even the main breaker would not make it shut up.  After wrestling it from its mount on the ceiling we discovered that it was not battery powered but was a wind-up machine that only got quiet when the wound device ran down.  I did not have the tiny hex key it took for winding.  Our study of the labeling found it only responded to heat and was not a smoky at all.

Anyone here encountered these?  It was round, about ten inches in diameter, and loud as hell.

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Sure. They're usually painted gold/bronze or silver. I think it's made by Vanguard and named Thermotronic or Thermosonic or something similar. Early 1960s. 

 

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Yep, My brother had a short stint selling these in the late 60's or early 70's. That gig did not last long, seems I remember he was having to try to sell these heat alarms even though new fangled smoke alarms were making them obsolete.

 

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The couple I have out in the barn seem to get along just fine and seldom require any "winding up".  PS:  they move in a year ago. 

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Pours when rains dept, after finding first wind up ding dong bell I find three of them in one house, but don't touch them with even a pole.

P1010596.JPG

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Mom's house had them everywhere when we moved in. The foil heat sensor disks get brittle and fail and the alarms will go off, usually about 3am. A nickel is a perfect fit.

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