At the University of California at Santa Barbara it was 8:37 on the morning of March 21st, 2012 and students at North Hall were just settling in to their morning classes. The new fire alarm system activated and the building was evacuated. High amperage wiring and electronics had started smoking in a ground floor data center. Because the University considered the contents of that room vital to campus communications, they chose to install an aspirated laser detection (VESDA by Extralis) panel and piping for very early warning. It also serves as one input to the preaction suppression system (dry-pipe sprinklers). Had heat risen enough to pop a sprinkler head, the networked, addressable Notifier NFS2-640 Fire Alarm Panel would have released water on the fire…..and all of UCSB’s sensitive electronics. But that did not happen. Because smoke was sensed by the laser detector at the incipient stage, at the first whiff of smoke, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department arrived before ignition and before enough heat had built up to release water into the sprinklers. That’s a home run in our business!