1. #1
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    Default Red Lites at Firehouse Doors?

    I have moved to N.C. from N.Y.. Up there there was a red lite outside the firehouse overhead doors on most houses. No such thing around here. What are the red lites for? Thanks!
    David

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    Back when we had them, there was a red light above each pull box that was located on telephone poles. There was also a pull box at each firehouse with the same red light above the box. In my town, they showed which poles had the pull boxes. As the boxes came down, so did the lights.
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    If I remember my history the red light is a throwback to when a lantern was hung outside the firehouse when the station was manned.
    I think it is just another tradition, it doesn't mean anything special today. For the most part I think you only see it in seaport towns since the steam ship engineers were some of the fireservices 1st engineers because they were familiar with boilers and could run the engine.

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    Question

    I dunno why, never really thought about it before, but we have red lights on both sides of our bay door. Maybe so the building won't get backed into in the dark...It may be a tradition in some places, but I seriously doubt that our guys were trying to stick to traditions when they put up ours.

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    Talking Well in our neck of the woods

    In my area, we currently have the red lights nounted in front and too the side of each bay door at our firehouses. They are used to see when the large apparatus doors are in motion so as to not drive into them and to make sure that when we are responding to a call we can see (visuallise) that the door is coming down for station security purposes.
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    We have them above both of our engine bay doors, and I have always wondered what they were there for.
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    Wink Weellll.........

    Back around, Oh, I dunno, a million years ago, if you worked on the railroad, you were assigned a red lantern, as part of your gear. Any town with a lot of railroaders staying overnight between trips would have some houses wherein certain ladies would provide rest and relaxation for a fee. Since railroad men were always on call, (sounds familiar)and had to be located quickly when they were needed to get on a train they would hang their Red lanterns outside the door of the house that they were in. Legend has it that the term "Red Light District" came from this practice. And now, as Mr. Harvey would put it, "The rest of the story". Railroaders were a hardworking lot who knew the value of a dollar, and some were volunteer firemen in their hometowns. Those who were part of our great fraternity in the fire service would save a buck by sleeping in a firehouse where possible. And, you would surmise, leave their red lanterns hanging by the door. Plausible??, Maybe, I guess anything is possible. Stay Safe....
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    Recently, I was reading a book full of newspaper clippings dedicated to law enforcement officers in our area who have been killed in the line of duty. One JCPD officer was killed in the early 1920's. He was shot in the old section of our city down near the railroad tracks in a place they called "red row" in the newspaper article. I always wondered why the heck they called it "red row". While at the National Fire Academy last year, I visited the Gettysburg Fire Department. They had an old red light in a museum within their station. One of their officers told us that it was activated when they received a call and that it was formerly located on the outside of the original fire station.

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    We have those around our bay doors too but we use ours not only becuase of traditional purposes but becuase for lighting as we are in a rural area with no utilities.We run these lights from 12V solar panels...but the way i have understood the red light thing was back in the old days the red lights was put on all firehouses to inform townspoeople of where the firehouse was located and that it was a building that housed equipment and personell that fought fires.Basically it was more of a "street warning sign" than anything.

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    Default Red lights

    I think there was a post about this a couple of months ago, you might want to try to find it with a search. I think it said something to the effect to the lights go back to when a lot of fireman where sailors.The lights where red because of the whole port and starboard thing(hope i spelled it right}. Which would explain why they are seen on the east coast and not found that far inland.I know this didn't answear your question, but i hope it help some.

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    Talking Chicago! Chicago!

    I don't know where it went, but I remember a question about lights on apparatus in Chicago, in particular, a green light on one side, but not on the other. Someone said this dated way back (relative of Stayback??) to a Commissioner who had a nautical background. If someone can't tell the difference between one side of the pumper from the other side, a little light sure will not help. Stay Safe....
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    Yea, It was Chicago, they do or did have a red light on one side and a green on the other of the truck/engine bay doors. As aids to “NAVAGATION” when backing the apparatus into the station. Traditions - like the black over red on the apparatus.


    Here in good ol’ south central PA most of the fire stations that had a pull station on the front of the building marked its location with a red light. We then changed all of the lights on the new station to red, easier on the eyes at night I guess.


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    Default Red Lights?

    We Still have a red light attached to the pull box outside the firehouse Im stationed at and for the same reason stated before by bones42


    Bones42:

    Back when we had them, there was a red light above each pull box that was located on telephone poles. There was also a pull box at each firehouse with the same red light above the box. In my town, they showed which poles had the pull boxes.
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