1. #1
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    Default Window Punching: The spark plug principle?

    Gents,
    I was wondering if anyone could explain to me how the whole sparkplug to smash a window thing works? I have heard it's suggestion as an alternative to a centre-punch, but I cannot get my mind around it. I have seen the youtube videos that scum-rats post about those 'ninja rocks', aka broken pieces of ceramic, but I have a strong doubt that is what people are referring to. Not to mention it would be dangerous to add more projectiles to the scene.

    Is it the ceramic that does the breaking, or is it the concentration of force? For those that use them professionally, is it the electrode that you use, or what? I mean, the last extrication I was on, I saw a Halligan bounce clean off the window lol... Nobody had a punch on them, and whilst I had the excuse of being new, I should be prepared for the next one!

    I ask because, being the cheap b****rd that I am, I may replace my spark plugs soon, and when I do if there is legitimacy to it's use in FFing, then I may save the old ones... Why buy something when you can get comparable free lol...

    If you'd rather PM me the answers, I don't mind that at all, in a small attempt to hopefully keep the information out of the wrong hands!

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    legitimately, there is no use for the spark plug ceramic toss on the fire ground. Will it work? Yes, on tempered glass (side window). Is it an uncontrolled event in comparison to a window punch, or striking tool? Yes, with potential to shower glass over your patients.

    The principle behind it is that the ceramic is harder than the glass. How it is done; crush the ceramic part of the spark plug into a bunch of chips. Toss at tempered glass. Window shatters. Cool extrication class party trick.

    Take out glass in a controlled manner. Don't take glass that doesn't need to be removed.
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  3. #3
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    As brother Drew said, the ceramic from a spark plug does work to shatter tempered glass, but it's not a recommended practice! You're not using a whole spark plug for anything - the ceramic has to be broken off of the plug for this trick to work. The "ninja rocks" you referred is actually exactly what does the damage.

    It's something cool to show at an extrication glass, but in this day-and-age, it's not a practical method to break the glass. There's a greater chance of injury due to flying projectiles and glass than it is a safe means to take out side glass.

    Stick with proper training, techniques, and tools, and consider the broken-ceramic trick a good piece of firehouse knowledge.
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    Alright thanks for the information.

    Yea no, I had no intention of using any ceramic chips! I had read on here that some members carried old spark plugs instead of centre-punches, and that is the only thing that intrigued me... For the $5 it's not worth the hassle of breaking the damned things up! lol..

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    Recomendation, for a window punch. Get the external spring pull punch http://www.thefirestore.com/store/pr...l-and-Release/ and NOT the spring loaded punch http://www.thefirestore.com/store/pr...Spring-Loaded/

    The spring loaded ones will rust and get dirt and such inside of it after years in your bunker gear. The external pull punch will remain functional long after the spring loaded one is tossed in the garbage.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    I went back to the internal spring one because my external one rusted horribly after a wet extrication. Even attempted to clean it up when we got back with WD40 and some TLC.

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    As stated above, the ceramic will break the glass but you have to hold your nose just right. The ceramic needs to have a pretty decent point on it to break, and just hauling off and chucking it doesn't always line it up right.

    I vote for external spring window punches too, as internal ones have driven me crazy before. That said, I'd just as soon use a set of irons. Placing the point of a halligan at a corner of the glass (where the handle will keep the head from going too far into the passenger compartment) and lovingly thumping it with the flat side of a flathead ax is reliable and, done properly, not intrusive enough to be a problem.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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