Manual fire alarm activation is typically achieved through the use of a pull station or call point, which then sounds the evacuation alarm for the relevant building or zone.
Manual fire alarm activation requires human intervention, as distinct from automatic fire alarm activation such as that provided through the use of heat detectors and smoke detectors.
It is, however, possible for call points/pull stations to be used in conjunction with automatic detection as part of an overall fire detection and alarm system.
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, sending an alarm to the fire alarm control panel.
After operation, some fire alarm pull stations must be restored to the ready position using a special tool or key in order to deactivate the alarm sequence and return the system to normal.
Primitive manual stations, requiring only a single action or hand motion to activate, can be subject to unwanted activation by jarring or accidental contact.