Aged Jeffco Courthouse fire alarm causing trouble

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It was a big surprise Monday. A fire alarm went off, but officials at the Jefferson County Courthouse could not find where alleged fire was.

"We evacuated the building. Call the fire alarm manufacturer. They determined the system had failed and it needed to be repaired," Jeff Smith, General Services Director said.
The fire alarm system depends on a central computer and five mini computers. The entire system is 12 years old. "The fire system is worn out. It's obsolete and it's operation. We could deal with obsolete as long as it was working," Bettye Fine Collins, Jefferson Co. Commission President said.
The system is no longer working. General services will have maintenance workers walked the hallways looking for any fire problems. "We will have a manual fire watch which is essentially people on the floors looking to detect smoke. Smelling for smoke of fires, like that," Smith said.

Still Jefferson County taxpayers are concerned. "I appreciate they are paying attention to the situation. However, that seems like a retroactive way to handle it. As a taxpayer I want them to fix it as soon as possible," Erin Williams said.
County officials will be taking bids Friday. After that, they hope maybe by mid week of next week they will have the situation repaired. The estimated cost is about $85,000.

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