Pull stations outside of buildings

I live near a bunch of old buildings. A bunch of them have pull stations on the exterior walls. Most of them are BG-10’s and BG-12’s but there’s also what looks like a very old version of those Harrington Signal/Unitec pulls.

Has anyone seen anything like this? And what’s the point of having external pulls?

A town in my state actually requires pull stations outside every building. I guess it can be an easy way to find a pull station in an emergency, but it also opens up an opportunity for abuse.

Yeah, our town doesn’t require that, though they may have in the past. I’m surprised that they even bothered replacing them, considering the chaos one idiot could cause in a matter of minutes.

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Well, you said Unitec, so here you go. This was located at an abandoned motel in Columbus, Ohio.

Here are one of the pullstations:

And another one:

And this one, that doesn’t even look red anymore:

Here are the N/A’s:

And the tag:

We also had these at the motel we stayed in, which, obviously, wasn’t abandoned:

Paired with Notifier KMS bells:

They re-added the fire lettering themselves!

Wow, neat! Yeah, the pull station definitely looked like that, but from what I could see from the car, the handle itself was slightly rounded.

A few early twentieth century apartment buildings near my house have pull stations mounted on the walls along the outdoor fire escape stairs. One of these buildings has Mircom MS-401s, while another has 270-SPOs behind Stopper covers.

I’ve also seen a local property with pull stations mounted at the outside gates (pictured below). This setup includes EST SIGA-278 pull stations inside the building along with a weatherproof RSG pull station installed outdoors at the main gate, as the property is surrounded by a fence.

You will usually see pull stations installed on the outside of residential buildings when no interior common hallways exist. It is very unusual to see a pull station inside a residential apartment or condo. And yes, the pull stations are always weathered and in tough shape after a couple of years of being exposed to the elements. Stopper covers help, but don’t totally protect the pull station. The only other place I’ve seen them outside is parking garages, motels (not hotels) that have exterior corridors, and some heavy industrial sites like power plants, oil refineries, and chemical plants. I doubt you will ever see them on a typical office building, school, etc. Not needed on the outside.

I would bet that pull station is really there because of that mag lock on that gate. Either wired into a zone on the fire alarm panel (and the mag is wired to the panel for release) or the pull is wired directly to the mag lock to drop power when pulled. And someone forgot or didn’t relabel the pull station as such.

I had seen some BG-12s mounted outside of some small duplexes used as housing for seniors in the next town over. They looked crappy after a few years and now they’re completely gone.

I had also seen some BG-6 pulls (I think) along the outdoor corridor of a motel too…

I’m curious about the label on that Amseco horn strobe. I don’t think I’ve seen that logo before.

Right across the street from the hospital I used to go to for my food allergies was from the 60s and had a really old system. What stood out is they had Fire Lite BG-5s all over the exterior (it was like a TALL motor inn).

I saw a bunch in West Lebanon, New Hampshire recently. Every building had a Gamewell box mounted on the outside, even newer buildings.

I’m going to assume you mean the Master Box, which is the way many cities call the FD. Saves telephone hassles.

The only time I’ve ever seen any outdoor pull stations are usually at the top floor of parking garages with fire alarm systems. Plus a few at Canada’s wonderland.

Here’s a pull station located outside of a building - typical “motel” where there are no enclosed corridors.

Ok, so a little dirty and rusty inside, what do you expect?


I commonly see outdoor pull stations at churches in my area.

I’ve seen them outside firehouses. I’ll see if I can dig up the pic I took in 2001 of a 270-SPO outside the bays of a firehouse in NJ which was connected to the house siren timer which of course would sound the siren’s usual rounds (I think it went off for about 2 minutes IIRC) and notify dispatch to send someone to the station.

The only one I can think of is at the Best Western in Aptos, CA. They’re actually Aames/RSG NC Series break-glass stations. The hotel is the same style as the one in Lambda’s picture. For the life of me I was sure I had a pic of it but can’t find it anywhere…


Gamewell fire alarm box. They come in street boxes or masterboxes. There are two types of masterboxes. You can’t tell the difference between any of the 3 without actually opening it up

In a parking garage. I’m not even sure how it got this dirty as it was under the roof of the parking structure.