BULAWAYO, Wednesday, September 14, 1966 — Bulawayo fire station will soon have a large and comprehensive control panel embodying all present automatic alarms, with provisions for half as many more. The panel will also contain the station’s complete network of telephone controls, the Fire Chief, Mr Thomas Clifton, said yesterday.
The new console is being made by staff from the City Electrical Engineer’s Department. The present alarm system at the fire station consists of four switchboards which register automatic fire alarms from 17 factories and public buildings in Bulawayo linked to the fire station by this time-saving device.
The system was introduced about seven years ago after a suggestion by Mr. Clifton.” Most of the 17 alarms operate through fire sprinkler networks. When flames or excessive heat start the sprinklers, a special valve flashes a landline signal to the fire station’s watch room switch board.
Said Mr Clifton:” Water sometimes causes as much damage as fire and the National Museum and some municipal have automatic alarms without sprinkler systems”.
The automatic alarm not only cuts out delay, but “minimises human error and panic”.
Adds Mr Clifton: “A bell rings, a light flashes, and off go the fire engines racing straight for the address indicated on the fours switchboards.