Annual Fire Report of London

Annual Fire Report of London

Chief S. Sladin, of the London, England fire brigade, in his annual report for 1913 presents the following information: The most serious fire occurred on April 20th, in a sixfloor paper warehouse. Four motor-pumping engines, six steamers and two hydrants were used in extinguishing the fire. A timber fire at Hoxton on October 6th required the use of 11 steamers, 6 motors and 1 hydrant stream; a jewelry case factory in Great Sutton Street, on July 11th, and an outfitters in Clerkenwell Green on June 7th, both buildings of 5 floors, required the use of 8 steamers, 4 motors, and 1 hydrant. The fire floats were used at two serious fires, furnishing 8 deliveries on one occasion, and 4 deliveries on the other. The total fire loss for the year it may be observed was the lowest since the figures were first recorded in 1890. There were 94 fatal fires, occasioning a loss of 101 lives. Twenty-six of these fires were due to children playing with fire or matches, 27 to clothing in contact with fire or gas stoves, 10 to sparks from fires, and 8 to accident with oil lamps. Forty-nine of the victims were children under 12 years of age. Of the 101 persons who lost their lives 62 were injured or removed from the building before the Brigade received notification of the fire, and of the remaining 39, 21 were taken out alive from the building after the arrival of the Rrigade. The lives of 148 other persons were endangered at fires, and of these 43 were rescued bv members of the Brigade, the remainder making good their escape by other means. The number of malicious false alarms continues, unfortunately, to increase, last year’s figures, 436, being the highest on record. Only 39 persons were prosecuted, in respect of these false alarms With a view to checking the practice, the County Council has decided to offer a reward of $5 for information leading to the conviction of the offenders. One thousand and eightv-two fires were extinguished without the assistance of the Brigade: firemen extinguished 1.761 with small appliances. 432 with hydrant streams. 85 with the aid of engines: the remainng 16 outbreaks were explosions only, not followed by fire. The following is a summary of the causes of fires: Structural defects 209. lighting 533. heating 574, in the exercise of business or industry 422, carelessness 1,294, suspicious 41, unknown, 304. The Brigade consists of a Chief Officer, 2 Divisional Officers, 2 Assistant Divisional Officers, 1 Senior Superintendent, 7 Superintendents, 9 District Officers, 95 Station Officers, 99 Sub-Officers, 957 firemen, 36 men under instruction, 13 pilots, 151 coachmen, total 1,373. There was also a staff of 111 clerks, mechanics, inspectors, attendants and other non-uniformed workers. The Brigade had 83 land fire stations. 3 river stations, 1 river repairing depot, 11 street and sub-stations without horses, 8 hand fire escape stations, 63 horsed steamers, 1 steam motor fire engine, 30 petrol motor fire engines, 22 petrol motor escape vans, 5 petrol motor tenders, 11 electric motor escape vans and ladders, 13 motor cars, 2 motor lorries, 1 manual engine, 3 hose and ladder trucks, 90 hose carts, 2 steam fire floats, 2 motor fire floats, 2 steam fire engines on rafts, 1 steam tug, 7 skiffs, 191 fire escapes, 21 long fire ladders, 5 turntable long fire ladders (horsed), 74 ladder vans, 316 hook ladders, and other appliances, with 245 horses, 1,554 street fire alarms and numerous telephone lines. The Brigade made 177,582 hydrant inspections and 177,414 inspections of hydrant indicator tablets. Firemen rendered first aid to the injured on 194 occasions. The number of journeys made by the Brigade was 64,831, and the distance covered was 156,795 miles. These figures do not include fire escapes and hose carts run by hand. The quantity of water used for extinguishing fires in London was about 9,088,966 gallons or 40,575 tons, two-thirds of this coming from the mains. At five fires the water arrangements were unsatisfactory. The installation of an underground water tank—the first of its kind to be provided by the Council and fixed in the streets of London—-was completed during the year in Pepys Road, New Cross, S. E. Various modifications were made in fire stations, with a view to accommodating motor appliances; quickening the response to calls and facilitating fire escape and pompier ladder drills. Over 1,150 buildings were inspected regularly by the inspection staff. In all about 23,000 inspections were made, including 13,000 visits to places of entertainment during the presence of the public. The London fire record for ten years, was as follows:

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