CHIEF MARJENHOFF ON FIREFIGHTING.
Chief O. G. Marjenhoff, of Charleston, S. C., gives his views on firefighting as follows. “First of all I must say as to the merits of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING as a fire journal: I read every issue with much interest and receive a great deal of information therefrom. From the descriptions and illustrations of many fires you describe, and how they have been extinguished, we do not understand how fire in such buildings can get such headway as to destroy whole blocks, if alarms are received in a reasonable time, and powerful streams, with 150 to 200 pounds pressure and one and one-eighth-inch smooth-bore nozzles are employed at once. We have nothing new in our department: but we keep our engines at the height of efficiency, so that we can get the best out of them, when wanted, and that is the only cause I can give why our loss for the last twelve years has not been on the average over sixty cents per annum per capita. As to my opinion, from my own experience 1 consider steamers of between 7,000 and 8,000 pounds, with good engineers to run them, are the best for any department. These steamers will work satisfactorily with fifty or zoo pounds, when wanted, using one and one-eighth-inch smooth-bore nozzles. We have often come across old firemen and even chiefs who ridiculed the facts as we find them, that second-size steamers can he driven with one line of hose 175 to zoo pounds pressure continuously at a lire, and at 125 to 150 pounds with two lines and the same size nozzles; but our records show it. At a fire last February, when the firebug was about, a second-size Silsby engine ran four hours with 160 pounds water pressure on two lines. Another most important part of the equipment is the fire alarm. When we tell people that our alarm is twenty years old and that we have no mixed up alarms or non-sounding boxes, they sav ‘Rats!’ I often read that cause for failure of alarms is given to ‘out of date’ boxes. wonder, if these smart electricians bad a fine clock, which had been running as long as a fire alarm box, which they condemn, would throw it away as quick as the fire alarm boxes, which thev do not know how to keep in order. And a clock runs twenty-four hours a day, where the clockwork in a fire alarm box runs a few times a year. I believe. no one will deny that the clockwork in the fire alarm box is not as fine as in the clock. Of course, if the lines are not in proper shape, the boxes will he useless, even if brand-new. To sum up in a few words, my opinion is that, with powerful steamers, driven by engineers for business and not for politics or to play with, and fire alarm telegraph systems always in the best order and looked after by competent men who understand the mechanical, as well as the electrical parts, the steamers keening up ten to twenty pounds of steam in stations at all times, the annual tire loss co tld he materially reduced.”