Fire Alarm Box History

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Jul 29, 2019
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I was surprised to read there are still that many false alarms. I know its way down from the War Years but I guess there's still alot of a-holes around.
 
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False Alarms from Pull Boxes in NYC are very infrequent nowadays .....that is ones that are actually Responded to ......the Boxes are often still pulled by miscreants however most do not get a response since THEY DONT WORK.......more than one mayoral administration has tried to remove all of them but have been blocked .....a Court order to keep them is still in force however the City's efforts to "maintain this Lifesaving System" is haphazard at the least .....the biggest absurdity is having workers go around & put a fresh coat of paint on NON WORKING BOXES ......this in it's self is ludicrous as I watched a worker paint one of my local NON WORKING BOXES with some thinned out red paint in a plastic spray bottle like you would use to spray household cleaner.
 
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Jul 20, 2022
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Cell phones have greatly reduced the need for street alarm boxes. But you still need street alarm boxes. Captain Bob Rainey FDNY Engine 26 retired
 
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Mar 30, 2023
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False Alarms from Pull Boxes in NYC are very infrequent nowadays .....that is ones that are actually Responded to ......the Boxes are often still pulled by miscreants however most do not get a response since THEY DONT WORK.......more than one mayoral administration has tried to remove all of them but have been blocked .....a Court order to keep them is still in force however the City's efforts to "maintain this Lifesaving System" is haphazard at the least .....the biggest absurdity is having workers go around & put a fresh coat of paint on NON WORKING BOXES ......this in it's self is ludicrous as I watched a worker paint one of my local NON WORKING BOXES with some thinned out red paint in a plastic spray bottle like you would use to spray household cleaner.
The Courts probably need to get involved again and force the Department to actually put some funds to repair the boxes.
 
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Jun 27, 2017
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1880 London's Metropolitan Fire Brigade introduces street electrical fire alarm boxes

1900 MFB introduces bells into London Fire Stations including family living quarters.

1949 London County Council abolishes street fire alarm boxes.

As far as I know, the place is still standing.

Below: Southwark Fire Control probably around 1900

Lambeth Fire Control 1950's

Lambeth Fire Control 1966
 

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Prior to radio and telephones, telegraph boxes (fire alarm and police call boxes) were the only communications available for units that were out of station.
 
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Prior to radio and telephones, telegraph boxes (fire alarm and police call boxes) were the only communications available for units that were out of station.
Before apparatus radios were installed in the early '50s Units responded Lights & Siren back to the FH......in 108 I had an old School Officer J W who still did that into the early '70s.
 
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1880 London's Metropolitan Fire Brigade introduces street electrical fire alarm boxes

1900 MFB introduces bells into London Fire Stations including family living quarters.

1949 London County Council abolishes street fire alarm boxes.

As far as I know, the place is still standing.
Three questions, the Fire Brigade (well the early version of it) was founded January 1, 1833, it really took them 67 years to put bells into the Fire Stations? How we're the Companies alerted to fires pre 1900? Also, why would they get rid of the alarm boxes, we're most of them damaged during the Blitz or did London County Council just not like the boxes?
 
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Three questions, the Fire Brigade (well the early version of it) was founded January 1, 1833, it really took them 67 years to put bells into the Fire Stations? How we're the Companies alerted to fires pre 1900? Also, why would they get rid of the alarm boxes, we're most of them damaged during the Blitz or did London County Council just not like the boxes?
I'm guessing they got alarms by phone. LCC must have had other priorities.
 
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Prior to radio and telephones, telegraph boxes (fire alarm and police call boxes) were the only communications available for units that were out of station.
When I lived in Pittsburgh in the late 1960's, the company officers still carried dimes in their turn-out coat pockets; secure in the knowledge that every corner bar and tavern in town (including the Home Plate Inn on S. Bouquet Street in Oakland; about 200 feet from the actual home plate in Forbes Field) had a pay phone.
 
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Cell phones have greatly reduced the need for street alarm boxes. But you still need street alarm boxes. Captain Bob Rainey FDNY Engine 26 retired
Yes cell phones have reduced the need for Street Alarm Boxes somewhat however the various cell systems have proven unreliable quite often & have been overloaded during many large scale events like storms ...tornado's or even just reports of earthquakes in foreign countries triggering numerous calls by US relatives or a large scale gathering like an NYPD LOD Funeral have triggered an overload & have crashed the system....this is not supposition all & more have happened & been documented ....during the two tornados in my QNS neighborhood on 9-16-10 not only were most cell phone carriers down but the FDNY Alarm Box system also failed ( & hardly anything has been done to rectify it ) ......when advocating with the FDNY Staff & Community Board 11 & the City Council & the failed former Fire & Life Safety Chair Liz C. for repair to the Alarm Box system when they all countered with "we don't really need Boxes , everybody has a cell phone" I repeatedly said ...." NO not everybody has a Cell & of those that do can they rely on it 100 % if their life depended on it ? .....I also always said what about a young child in pajamas who at 0400 hrs manages to be the only family member to escape a house Fire ....will they have a Cell with them & will their corner FDNY Alarm Box work ?
 
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Yea should walk near one near a high school.
Last Thursday Irvington E44 got turned out twice to 255 Myrtle in 10 minutes. (middle school). There's not even a box in the township and kids just wanted to pull the alarm.
 
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Three questions, the Fire Brigade (well the early version of it) was founded January 1, 1833, it really took them 67 years to put bells into the Fire Stations? How we're the Companies alerted to fires pre 1900? Also, why would they get rid of the alarm boxes, we're most of them damaged during the Blitz or did London County Council just not like the boxes?
 

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