Pennsylvania town looks to replace old fire alarms

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

EMMAUS, Pa.—The city council in this Philadelphia suburb wants to do away with its 60-year-old Gamewell fire alarm system, according to a report from the East Penn News.

The antiquated system, installed in 1953 and still connected to seven buildings, costs the town $455 a month to run. While the fire boxes run on an independent power supply and tend to keep working even when power outages occur, a recent study recommended that the houses get rid of the boxes and replace them with a modern private system.

Owners of the buildings in which the system is installed pay Emmaus $400 per year for the service, bringing in only $2,800 per year — far short of the $5,460 it costs to run the system.