Glass Break Rod Alternatives

So I wanted to do a demonstration of breaking a glass rod in my 270 SIGA so I looked online and saw that glass rods are VERY expensive, does anyone have any ways to make homemade break rods?

Empty pen tubes work great for simulating the appearance of glass rods, and they just bend out of the way and reset with the pull station. If you actually want one that will break and not make a sharp, dangerous mess, fill up an empty pen with water and let it freeze. Remove the ice from the pen, and you should have a (very fragile) “glass” break-rod! This works best with pulls where the rod just falls or slides into place and exact size isn’t important, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue to get one into a 270 if the diameter is right. It is certainly too fragile for designs where it has to be pushed against a retaining spring or flexed into place. Just make sure you use it before it melts :smiley: .

I might as well stick the pen outside and freeze it because we have the coldest and worst weather here in Michigan! Thanks for the idea, I’m going to try it right now


In that case you might as well just use an icicle as the breakrod :lol:

How much are the glass rods?

$27.75 For package of 20 at <LINK_TEXT text=“ … -Rod-1EYC7”></LINK_TEXT>

I’m going to make a video of the icicle break rod, lol

That’s not bad at all, especially considering grainger’s extreme markup for the general public. Kind of steep just for something to break though.

I don’t see glass rod pulls being installed anymore, most specifications even outright exclude them as a choice. Not entirely sure what their point ever was, outside of making a mess. :stuck_out_tongue:

Maybe as the ink cap thing is to make it harder to pull. I would think of it as like the first Stopper.

Good example of skeuomorphism. Since the very first alarm devices required a piece of glass to be broken to activate, it has probably just evolved with pull station designs to at first provide “familiarity” to their operation. Even know, some people (sadly) don’t exactly know how to activate the alarm in an emergency. When “pull down” devices were beginning to be introduced to replace “break glass” devices, the general public knew that breaking the glass on the station would sound the alarm, allowing a smooth transition to a newer design without so much confusion.

On some of the pull stations, you will get that little bit of resistance with the break glass installed. Don’t think it’s really designed to deter one from pulling it in that respect. Unless you want to try to convince a bunch of people that the glass is filled with ink that would spray out if you pull it!

Then you have the pull stations where the break glass is hidden, like in a FCI MS-2, so what is the purpose there?

I always figured it was more of an auditing function. If the pull station got pulled, available staff could reset the pull station and panel and place the system back in a normal condition. But then the glass rod is broken and someone would have to account for that. A person in charge would then replace the glass rod and determine why the pull station was pulled.

It seems like a logical reason for glass rods still existing would be to add just that much more force necessary to pull the pull, which could succeed in preventing false alarms - some pulls seem way to easy to activate without a glass rod (like the Century, for example). But who knows, maybe the alarm companies just came up with it to have a way to make a few extra bucks anytime someone pulls on of their units. :slight_smile:

Ahem Simplex.

Maybe not Simplex - they’re not required for the pull to operate.

Try Fire-Lite. The BG-5 required the use of a glass rod to keep the pull lever up and in normal mode. And when the BG-10 was being sunset in favor of the BG-12, you could buy a plastic rod to stick into your BG-10 to give it some more resistance… or replace it with a BG-12. ($$$!)

Of course, the BG-10 flop wasn’t intentional (or was it?).

Those BG-10’s don’t need a glass rod! You pull them and they just spring right back into the reset position because the button is stuck down. You’ll better off taking a hammer to it and smashing it into pieces - then maybe the impact would pop the button out to activate the alarm!

I know that they don’t need a break rod, but I remember Andrew saying that one of the fixes for the BG-10 activating too easily was an optional “crush rod” that Fire-Lite sold. I’m not sure if that’s the case or not.

I think my sarcasm got lost! I was eluding to the fact that the electric button in those BG-10’s gets gummed up and doesn’t pop out and latch the unit in alarm when pulled, thus no worry for accidental activations (and no need for that added resistance). Those pull stations were flawed from day one. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever come across one that doesn’t have that bright yellow “Do Not Over-tighten” warning sticker on the inside! Maybe design the unit a little better so you don’t have to worry about that, just IMHO. Now you have the recall out on them? I would say easily 50% of the ones I test I find they qualify for the recall - anymore I just write them up regardless, why risk it.

But I think the crush rod you are referring to is the brown brittle tube that I see in them. Not made of glass, more like a hardened paper that crumbles. The datasheet for the BG-10 actually says it adds 5 lbs of force needed to activate the pull station!

Oh, whoops! Yeah, I completely missed your sarcasm, haha! :roll:

Is that what that brown break rod in Riley Dilley’s BG-5 video is?


Here’s something interesting I found on Safety Systems Technology’s website: <LINK_TEXT text=“ … l-station/”></LINK_TEXT>

So I guess alarm companies do believe break rods prevent false alarms.