Hazard of Creosoted Piles

Issue 17 and Volume 72.

Hazard of Creosoted Piles The fire in the warehouse of the Army Base at New Orleans, La., described in this week’s issue, again emphasizes the danger of wooden piles, wharfs and bridges treated with creosote as a preservative against the action of water. The waterproofing and preserving qualities of this material as a coating for wood where exposed to the decaying influence of water make it a favorite composition for this purpose. But, unfortunately, besides being extremely inflammable, it has the added quality of vaporizing when exposed to great heat, and thus adding to the intensity of the flames when a fire occurs. Besides some severe wharf and dock fires, there have been several bad outbreaks in bridges of late, arising from a carelessly thrown lighted match, cigar or cigarette falling upon the creosoted flooring. Twisted and warped metal framework have been the only testimony to the fierceness of the…

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