Pennsylvania city mulls future of antiquated alarm system

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Friday, March 1, 2013

YORK, Pa.—City officials in this Pennsylvania city are considering a proposal to terminate a 127-year-old fire alarm system, according to an article from the York Dispatch, a newspaper based here.

Installed in 1886, the Gamewell systems’ operating and maintenance costs are becoming onerous for the city. The 83 street boxes are connected to 320 properties, mostly businesses. Maintaining the system costs about $84,000 a year, the report said.

Despite the age of the street boxes, the Gamewell system is actually faster than modern systems, which are monitored by a private company that notifies local 911 dispatchers when a fire occurs.

The York city council agreed to gather more information before moving the proposal to eliminate the boxes ahead for a vote, the report said. 

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