Begin Now to Rid Your Premises of Dangerous Fire Breeders—Elimination of America’s Fearful Fire Waste is Squarely Up to the Individual. Do Your Part.

(By William J. Leonard, State Fire Marshal of Ohio) The department of Ohio State Fire Marshal suggests that municipalities, especially small towns, begin “clean up” campaigns extra early this year.

The very nature of the weather has made it difficult for householders to rid their premises of the winter’s accumulation of old papers, junk and other inflammable material.

There is a good market for old papers now and the money derived from the sale of such will go a long way toward buying paint, whitewash and seeds.

Spring might burst upon us all at once and this would mean not only that “clean ups” will be due, but also gardens, painting, etc., will have to be attended to. If the “clean up” part is out of the way, the housholder will be that much to the good and can devote himself to his outside work with profit to himself and his community.


This department suggests that as a preliminary to “clean up” work, this year, either the Fire Chief or some man or men detailed by him, make addresses to the school children on, for instance, “This Year’s Fires in Our Town, and How They Might Have Been Prevented.” Also the various women’s organizations could be instructed on “Home Fires and Their Prevention” and, “What to do in Case of Fire in the Home.”

Further, the business and professional men could be brought together and the question of “How to Make Our Town Safe,” could be thoroughly discussed with the Fire Chief.

Any successful campaign depends upon organization and team work and the municipality that has the best “pulling together” force produces the best results.

Something must be done at once to curtail America’s fearful fire waste and the place to start, is with one’s self. Therefore, if each municipality enlists EVERYBODY in the movement, a great stride toward safety to life and property has been taken.

EVERY DAY should be “CLEAN UP” day in America, and right NOW is the time to put the THEORY into PRACTICE.


Inside painting and papering can be done now when there is little flying dirt and dust, and there are no flies or other insects.

Begin at the cellar and thoroughly rid the home of dirt and debris. Clean up to the ridge pole, then examine roofs and chimneys. Sell what there is a junk market for, and burn the rest.

March is always a month of winds, hence if the debris is BURNED, the utmost care should be exercised


Make a cylinder out of close-meshed chicken wire with a wire net cover over it and set fire to the contents; but NEVER WHEN A STRONG WIND IS BLOWING, and NEVER leave the mass until the last spark is out.

Look to the fences and outbuildings, and clear dead grass and weeds from about them. All holes in fences should be repaired and roofs fixed. The smoother the surface, the less liability there will be for a spark to lodge and a fire result.

Ashes should be hauled away or spaded into the garden if the soil is heavy. The ashes have no particular fertilizing value, but they loosen up the ground that otherwise would be sour and heavy.

Do not overlook the bam, garage or stable. Get rid of all inflammable material and KEEP it away.

Brush the cobwebs out of basement, cellar and attic. These webs catch explosive dusts and are a menace to the safety of the home. Remove old barrels and other wood from the vicinity of furnaces.


Clean out the clothes closets, but NOT by the light of an open flame. See that all matches are out of the pockets of clothes hanging in the closets. Do not allow the workmen to paper over flue holes. Provide proper metal stops and thimbles for same and see that no pictures are hung over the flue holes.

Mayors and Fire Chiefs are requested to begin at once to line up the Chamber of Commerce, business organizations and other elements that figure actively in a clean-up campaign, and plan exactly how the work is to be done.


Put “live wires” on the committees and go after dirt, debris, germs and microbes RIGHT!

Make your town bright and healthy, always bearing in mind that it is seldom a doctor or the fire department has to visit a CLEAN home.

This department will gladly furnish municipalities in this spring work, with data, statistics, programs, etc., upon request.

In his report of March the 4th to the Chief Engineer of the Fire Dept., George S. Watson, Fire Marshal, district of Columbia notes 137 alarms of fires received, of which 68 were telephone calls. Of the box alarms 7 were false and of the phone alarms there were three false ones.

His losses were in February $17,000 in round figures, the lowest in the last five months.

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