The first fire alarm system was invented by Dr. William F. Channing. It was put into service in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 28, 1852. The first alarm received by the system occurred the following day.
Moses G. Farmer assisted Channing in the development and construction of the first fire alarm system. It was a telegraph system that was made up of three bells and three box circuits, 16 alarm bells, 40 boxes and a central office mechanism. The system has been largely unchanged to present day, with the exception of adding electronic decoding terminals to it in 1988. As of 2014, the system operates independently of any electric utility lines or telephone lines.