Alarm History Museum

Alarm History

The CSAA Alarm Museum is a living entity chronicling the past 150 years of the burglar and fire alarm industry. Our goal is to preserve and record our rich history by displaying equipment, images and ephemera. These items not only exhibit our industry’s past, but also reflect the technological growth of our country as it developed over the last century and a half.

In the museum you will find early hand-crafted burglar alarm bells mounted on wooden platforms and mass-produced ultrasonic detectors. Pictures transport you back in time as you watch central station operators from 100 years ago read punched tape registers or interpret current changes on subscriber galvanometers. Letters from early industry entrepreneurs casually mention notables such as Alexander Graham Bell, while 19th Century advertisements introduce the concept of burglar alarms and echo the advertising display style of the era.

Located at CSAA headquarters at 8150 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA, the CSAA Alarm Museum continues to grow due to the generous donations and loans of antique security and fire alarm devices from members of the industry. Ralph Sevinor, of Wayne Alarm, deserves special recognition as a most generous benefactor, as does museum curator Stanley Oppenheim.

The CSAA Alarm Museum ensures that future generations will be able to view and appreciate the technology of our past. If you own or know of an interesting piece of security or fire alarm equipment, an old picture or even a leaflet dating back to the bygone days of the alarm industry, you have the opportunity for immortality by making a contribution. Donations and loans will always be fully credited to their benefactor at the museum. Photographs will be digitally scanned and returned to you unharmed. All are encouraged and asked to participate by contacting the

If you are planning a trip to the Washington, D.C. area, please call 703-242-4670 x 16 or email to arrange a visit to the museum.