Fire Box Traps Pranksters (Feb, 1938)

This is an awesome idea. When someone pulls the fire alarm, we’re going to handcuff them to that very spot. If they were stupid enough to pull a fire alarm some place close to, you know, a fire, well that’s their own fault.

Fire Box Traps Pranksters
THE sending of false fire alarms by mischievous persons may be eliminated through use of a newly developed call box. To use the device, the sender of an alarm must pass a hand through a special compartment to reach the signal dial. Once the dial has been turned, the sender’s hand is locked in the compartment until released by a fireman or policeman with a key.

  1. Storie di temporanea emigrazione says: November 30, 20062:38 pm

    Questa sì che è un’idea intelligente!…

    Vi rimando a uno spettacolare post che ho trovato in un blog e riportante una furbissima invenzione del 1938. Traduzione alla carlona del trafiletto di giornale, a beneficio di chi non mastica l’inglese: Allarme antincendio intrappola gli spiritosi …

  2. Magnumi says: December 1, 20064:17 am

    I’ve actualyl seen an old documentary video of this alarm system at work. It was developed because of too many false alarms going off. Particularly children used to play around with there “fire boxes” and caused a great deal of alarms which called for an immediate development of an system which would help identify the person who originally triggered the alarm. The hand must be vertically inserted throught the bottom of the housing to get to the actual trigger. When the trigger is pulled the alarm goes off and the bottoms plate part clamps onto the users wrist. I’m not sure about the actualy mechanics involved, but it would work even with non-adults (the clamp adjusted to the correct wrist size). Note that the bottom plate comes off completely and isn’t attached by cable or chain as mentioned at The bottom plate was made of heavy duty steel and was designed to be so big that it was hard to conceal under clothing. I consider this to be quite an interesting invention which did it’s job well, but it wasn’t very widely spread due to the fact that it was more costly to make and people didn’t like the idea that they had to put their hand deep into the box and then have the thing clamp of their wrist.

  3. The Eye / Diigo At The Eye 12/01/2006 says: December 1, 20061:00 pm

    […] Modern Mechanix » Fire Box Traps Pranksters […]

  4. Grandes inventos « strambinha strambloga says: December 4, 200610:03 pm

    […] Ao lado o recorte de um artigo publicado na revista Modern Mechanix em 1938. […]

  5. […] obviously not much thinking went into its design. see it here. […]

  6. Safety Ed says: December 31, 20063:19 pm

    […] with a key. No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTMLallowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> […]

  7. Roger Knights says: January 9, 20086:00 pm

    @ #7: “Note that the bottom plate comes off completely and isn’t attached by cable or chain ….”

    This gadget might be a useful determent behind the cover-flap of a car’s gas compartment, to deter siphoning.

  8. NikFromNYC says: January 12, 20081:41 pm

    Ah, it was likely just a chop reporting job. It’s just an iron hand-cuff that “marks” the wrist with a physical object, which the cops then remove later, and little kids have a lot of explaining to do to Mom and Dad about why they are hiding their arm for half a day after the fire alarm went off. Now the moral question is: do you get our your grinder and save your kid from being given a criminal record, or do you narc on your own son to “teach him a lesson.” Besides, how stupid could a kid be to not IMMEDIATELY figure out how to use a coat hanger to pull the lever instead of sticking his hand through a suspiciously dangerous looking clamping device? I mean that even defeats modern (permanent red skin dye spraying) alarms. Or just ket Mikey to do it; he’ll do anything!

  9. […] From this blog posting. […]

  10. Failed Invention of the Week says: March 13, 20086:03 am

    […] Link […]

  11. […] read more | digg story No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> […]

  12. […] read more | digg story Posted by corylines45 Filed in Uncategorized […]

  13. […] read more | digg story […]

  14. huh says: July 14, 20085:07 am

    This is a pretty good idea. I remember in high school we would have at least 4 false fire alarms a month. This doesn’t trap whoever pulled it to once spot, it just attaches a heavy metal wristband on them so they can be identified. This should be implemented in schools today.

  15. Jumbalaya says: March 18, 20091:58 pm

    So you put your hand in during a fire and you burn to death waiting for the police or fire departments to save you…. No thanks… Let it burn…

  16. […] 1. The Detachable Dog Sack 2. The Cat Wig 3. iPhone Fingers 4. The Pedal-Powered Wheelchair 5. The Inflatable Dartboard 6. iFlyz Portable Media Player Airline Holder 7. Battery-Powered Battery Charger 8. Method for Collision Recognition With a Pedestrian 9. Anti-Eating Face Mask 10. The Prankster Fire Alarm Trap […]

  17. jayessell says: March 26, 200912:51 pm

    Fire Alarm Trap unintended consequences:…

  18. b says: March 29, 200911:51 am

    ok, you will not die, attached to a wall, and burned alive.
    the bracelet device attaches to your arm, then you walk out of the building with everyone else.

  19. says: April 6, 20099:54 am

    Dispositivo para evitar ‘falsas alarmas’ de incendio (1938)…

    Aparato diseñado para evitar que alguien pulse la alarma de incendios sin haberse producido incendio alguno. El dispositivo evita que se pueda pulsar la alarma anonimamente….

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  21. Houston Fire Alarm dude Kinda Guy says: April 23, 20106:47 am

    Yeah, everyone would have to die in that building before I would give up my life to save them.

    Meanwhile the prankster goes around pulling the pull stations with a coat hanger.

  22. TruXter says: July 19, 20101:47 pm

    No one has figured to just use a coat hanger ?

  23. […] Source: Modern Mechanix […]

  24. […] 5. Trick Fire Alarm […]

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