Boy Scouts for Fire Protection
To enlist the services of the Boy Scouts of America in cleaning up cellars, basements and tenement houses so as to prevent fires and in keeping order at fires or helping to extinguish them or organizing them as guards and watchers in places where forest and brush fires are liable to break out, seems a more rational and a healthier use to put the lads to than to subject them to military drill and train them up for warlike purposes. Hence, with the former ends in view, the fire chiefs throughout the United States are heartily co-operating with the executive officers of the Boy Scouts of America. There are several corps of boy firefighters already in service in the United States.
Wm. Guerin, acting chief of the bureau of fire prevention in New York City, has made many helpful suggestions. He suggests that when the boys build a fire they make sure that it does not spread to the adjoining brush: that they never leave their camp until they have extinguished their fires; that they be careful about the throwing aside of lighted matches. He also suggests that the Boy Scouts send postal cards either to the fire department or the bureau of fire prevention whenever they had an accumulation of papers or rubbish exposed to the public view, or any place where it is likely to cause or promote fire_. Chas. H. Cole, fire commissioner of Boston, gives the following suggestions in regard to ringing up fire alarms:
“Know the number and location of the fire alarm box nearest to your house.
“Be sure that your father, mother and the rest of the family know the location of the nearest fire alarm box.
“Go to the nearest fire station and learn how to give an alarm.
“In case of fire keep cool. Run to a box at once and pull the alarm. Opening the door rings the bell, but does not give the alarm. After the door is opened pull down the hook that you will find inside the box. This gives the alarm.
“Stand at the box until the engines arrive so that you may tell the firemen where the fire is.
“In case of a fire in your house where you have a telephone, call ‘Fire Department Emergency.’ Wait until the fire alarm operator comes on the wire. He will ask you the street and number of your house and your telephone number. Don’t leave the telephone until you have answered all his questions.
“Never pull a false alarm. Do all in your power to keep other scouts from pulling false alarms. Just as much damage and just as many accidents may occur in responding to false alarms as in responding to alarms of fire.”
Although organized only during the previous week, the firemen of Sylvan Beach, N. Y., under Chief Griffith W. Roberts, saved valuable hotel and other property endangered when the Burte Palm Garden was burned. Tf the adjoining Forest Home Hotel had caught, the entire lake front with its cottages would have been burned as all are frame buildings and all near each other. As it was, the loss was kept down to $15,000.