A Chief’s Suggestion.
To the Editor:
Do not compare my ideas of sprinklers with the sprinkler generally in use and called automatic. There is this very great difference: the automatic would probably put from fifty to 100 barrels of water per hour in a burning room, where the plan I suggest would put in from 400 to 600 barrels, especially if two steamers were attached to it, and the water would reach the fire. We will take the last Boston fire. With the sprinkler the first steamer would have had water playing all over the inside of that upper story in from five to seven minutes, and actually extinguishing the fire, as the sprinkling apparatus would spray the side walls and keep them from getting red hot, as well as cover the entire room with a spray of water. The present mode of battling with fire in high buildings is that the department must wait until the fire comes within reach. I will venture to say that in an eight-story building there will not be a stream that will be really doing extinguishing service in such a fire as the one at Boston. The putting out of fires in these high buildings is one that each and every efficient chief engineer is making a deep study ; it might be called a new problem in the handling of fires. It requires heavier hose, boilers that will carry more steam, pumps that will stand greater pressure, and firemen who know no fear. It is not a question of getting water into a room, as with the water tower, but it is to get the water on the fire and side walls.