Annual Reports Received
Nassau County, N. Y., Fire Marshal Reports
Few of the Nation’s County Fire Marshals issue a printed Report of activities, which makes that of the Nassau County Fire Commission, George Clough, Marshal, all the more interesting.
The Report for the year 1954 sets forth the set-up of the Commission; the Marshal’s Office reviews fire investigations, fire causes and losses; and gives data on inspections of various occupancies.
Charlotte Losses Sharply Up for ’54
Fire losses for the City of Charlotte, N. C., in 1954 amounted to $1,288,483.88, or almost again as much as the next highest year, 1953, according to the Annual Report for 1954, Chief Donald S. Charles. There were 2,758 alarms.
Among the recommended improvements stressed in the excellently prepared Report are: Erection of a new station in the northwestern part of the city; replacement of one station, with a new house; new and larger quarters to house the Mechanical Repair Division and Woodworking Division; enlargement of Station 7 with another company; also No. 4; and the addition of office space at Fire Headquarters.
Honolulu Alarms Down—Losses Up
Although the Honolulu Fire Department, Chief H. A. Smith, responded to 418 fewer alarms in 1954 than in 1953, the fire losses soared to a new high, exceeding $1,200,000—almost triple the figure of the year before.
Of the 198 false alarms received, 53 were by telephone and 145 by box. Of the latter, 63 were caused by minor temporary defects in master boxes or their affiliated sprinkler systems. Chief Smith points out that injuries from fireworks continue to be heavy, and children and matches remain a deadly combination.
Canada Issues Statistical Fire Loss Report
The 33rd statistical report of the Canadian Department of Public Works, Fire Prevention Branch, C. A. Thompson. Dominion Fire Commissioner, is published in both English and French. It summarizes and classifies the 67,519 Provincial fires for the year 1953, in which the aggregate property loss amounted to $84,270,896 — a per capita loss of $5.70.
This compares with 64,103 fires, resulting in $80,902,205 loss, and a per capita loss of $5.61, in 1952.
Fatalities from fire were 477 in 1953 compared with 562 in 1952 with the highest proportion among children.
Fire Control ‘Bia Business’ in Detroit
It cost the City of Detroit in 1954 the sum of $11,136,871.00 to hold its fire losses to $7,570,128. But no one can deny it was a good investment. The property in which fire occurred had a valuation of $387,161,689, according to the Annual Report of the Detroit Fire Department, Chief Edward J. Blohm, for the year 1954.
During the year 220,446 alarms were received, a decrease of 3,137 from the year previous. Of these, 2,185 alarms were listed as “false,” 1,976 of them classified as box alarms; and 208 false telephone alarms.
During the year the department rolling stock of all types made 55,321 runs; traveled 152,622 miles, and suffered 124 motor vehicle accidents.
In his report, Chief Blohm pays this credit to fire department radio: “Twoway radio mobile communications equipmen was utilized to the greatest extent possible. The use of the 137 mobile sets continued to provide greater mobility, efficiency and versatility. Considerable savings were again effected through the elimination of unnecessary mileage made possible by the constant contact with all vehicles. . . .”
Chief Hydaker Puts Recommendations First
Whereas most fire department annual reports list the recommended improvements (when they do include them) in the rear of the document, the Lima, Ohio, Annual Report, issued by Fire Chief Walter L. Hydaker, starts right off with the recommendations.
In the 1954 publication, the National Board’s report on Lima is referred to as a reason why manpower should be increased and one ladder and three pumper companies added.
If persistency pays. Chief Hydaker will be rewarded for repeatedly calling attention in his Annual Reports to the need of repairing existing fire stations and installing other needed improvements.
In 1954 the department responded to 536 alarms, or 147 less than in 1953. Total fire loss for the year amounted to $221,621.
Atlantic City F.D. Responds to 824 Alarms
The total number of alarms received by the Atlantic City, N. J., Fire Department (Chief Zenus Mathis) for 1954 was 824. Of these, 687 were for actual fires. False alarms amounted to 78—53 by box and 25 by telephone. There were 59 “unnecessary” alarms. The department was called 109 times for work outside the city. Total fire losses were $840,043.05, with property at risk amounting to $58,748,902.
Manila Tie F. P. Week to Civil Defense
For some years, the Manila, P. I., Fire Department, Chief Cipriano Cruz, has published a comprehensive booklet crammed with facts about the need of preventing fire, and the work of the Manila Fire Department. This year’s booklet is captioned “Prevent Fire for Civil Defense.”
The booklet has 65 pages and cover, and contains personal messages from Ramon Magsaysay, President, Philippine Islands; Arsenio H. Lacson, Mayor of Manila, and Chief Cruz. It has chapters on civil defense; home inspections and fire prevention measures; industrial fire protection; school fire safety; hazards of transporting flammables; fire extinguishing agents; arson and hazards of gas installations.
The publication also contains the fire record of the City for 1954, including details of loss of life, and a chapter on first aid treatment. It is profusely illustrated with photographs and diagrams.
City of Chester (Eng). Calls Increase
Fire calls in the area covered by the City of Chester, England, Fire Brigade were 338 in 1954 compared with 354 for the vear before. Of these, 225 were within the city area, 123 beyond the area, in Cheshire and Flintshire. The estimated direct fire loss within the city area was £9,976 or an increase of £5,996 over the year 1953.
Mr. C. V. J. Avery, M. I. Fire, E., Chief Fire Officer reports growing interest in automatic fire alarms for commercial, industrial and other occupancies.
Worcester City and County (Eng.)
Uses H.P. Fog
Frontispiece of the Seventh Annual Report of the Worcester City and County (England) Fire Brigade pictures a “composite appliance” of the Brigade, a feature of which is the use of high pressure fog with ‘gun’ type nozzles, similar to those used in this country.
According to G. Eastham, Chief Officer of the Brigade, between April 1, 1954, and March 1, 1955, fire calls increased 268 over the year previous total of 1,524 with total fire waste in the county of £26,184,000. Chief Eastham also strongly urges installation of automatic fire alarm systems—even in dwellings. .
An interesting tabulation within the report sets forth the time elapsing between time of discovery and time of call to the Fire Brigade. The Report does not indicate how these data are verified, but the following table should be of interest to FIRE ENGINEERING’S readers:
Fort Worth Fire Loss $1,342,948.89
According to the 1954 Annual Report of the Fort Worth Fire Department, Chief P. C. Fontaine, there were 5,080 alarms received that year, of which 4,456 were for actual fires; 268 false alarms; 233 classed as “honest mistakes”; 25 for multiple alarms; 50 out-of-city calls, and 48 “sprinkler system out of order.” During 1954, the department apparatus rolled “628,398 blocks” and were in service 5724.58 hours.
Salt Lake City Has Low Fire Loss Record
Fire losses for the year 1954 in Salt Lake City were $272,766, a drop of $30,316 from 1953, according to the Annual Report of the Salt Lake City Fire Department, Chief J. K. Piercey.
Early discovery and reporting of blazes, together with the department’s training program account for the low loss, according to the Chief.
It is interesting to note that this department has acquired compressed air and oxygen masks to equip nearly all firemen on duty with one. Wet water also is being used, as are large scale fog nozzles and chemical foam equipment.
Salt Lake City is another department that uses deodorant chemical to reduce smoke losses.
Austin, Tex., Issues Comprehensive Report
The 1954 Annual Report of the Austin, Tex., Fire Department, Chief J. E. Woody, is proof that an artistic, comprehensive, interesting accounting of fire department makeup and operation is possible even though in mimeographed and offset printed form. The document contains excellent promotional as well as statistical material.
Last year’s fire losses amounted to $388,774.91 with property at risk valued at $7,641,271.00. There were 2,005 alarms, of which 1,318 were for actual fires, 365 of them in buildings. There were six deaths and 45 injuries (4 of firemen) from fire. Operating costs were $735,634.67.
Colorado Springs Fire Loss $.64 per Capita
Fire loss for the year 1954 in Colorado Springs, Colo., according to the Annual Report of the Colorado Springs Fire Department, Chief F. H. Lausch, amounted to $35,020.96 which, based on population of 55,000, amounts to $.64 per capita.
During the year the department responded to 502 alarms, of which 40 were false and 17 outside of the city.
Alarms Down—Losses Up in Santa Barbara
According to the Annual Fire Record of the City of Santa Barbara, Calif. (Chief C. L. Tenney), for the year 1954, the department responded to 571 alarms, compared to 752 for the year 1953, with losses last year amounting to $51,758.56 compared with 1953 loss of $36,651.97.
The report details the miscellaneous equipment used on fires, one item being “Smoke Ejectors” (used) 130 times for 36 hours-9 min.” The department goes in heavily for fire prevention work, with property inspections right up front.
Small Booklet, Big in Facts
The Columbus, Ohio, Fire Department has issued a little booklet (18 pages fits a business envelope), the purpose of which is two-fold. First to acquaint Columbus folk with the service performed by their fire department; secondly to invite cooperation of citizens with their fire force in preventing fire. It’s a wee bit booklet, but big in vital information and suggestions. It ought to prove a good “sales agent” for the Columbus Fire Department (Chief W. G. Strickfadden, and Chief J. H. Cassell head of the Bureau of Fire Prevention).
Reading Mass., Reduces Losses
According to the Annual Report of the Town of Reading, Mass., fire losses in 1954 were reduced $15,134.23 from the year previous. The department answered 93 bell, 171 telephone, 14 verbal and 15 radio alarms. There were 88 building fires. The Town Fire Department aided other communities on 16 calls and asked for help in 12 instances. The chief, Hugh L. Eames, is also forest warden and superintendent of fire alarm. He urges additional installation of twoway radio.