Convention of Ohio Fire Chiefs
The annual convention of the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Club was held at Youngstown, Ohio, on June 7, 8 and 9, there being a large attendance of chiefs of municipal and industrial fire departments from all over the state. The convention was opened by an address of welcome by Mayor Fred Wornock of Youngstown. H. A. Dykeman. fire marshal of Ohio, spoke of “Preventing Fires.” (NOTE — Mr.Dykeman’s address appeared as the leading article in last week’s issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING -EDITOR.) Addresses were made by Fred J.Lange, director of safety of the Ohio Industrial Commission; Charles H. Meigs, New York, president of the Foamite Fire Foam Company, New York: J. E. Lyons, secretary of the Fire Prevention and Conservation Association of Ohio; Norman M. Stineman, of the Portland Cement Association, Chicago; C. C. Friedley, H. W. Johns, Manville Company, Cleveland, and Frank J. Fertig, department manager of the Grinnell Company of Cleveland.
In Mr. Fertig’s address he said that the vast majority of our people, indifferent to the affairs of others and careless in many respects about their own, have failed to see the need of Fire Prevention, Fire Protection and Safety to Life measures. In spite of the fact that every insurance interest, architect, engineer, fire fighter and the press work together for the elimination of the great loss of property and life through fire, results gained so far are not commensurate with the effort. This, he said, had been partly due to poor house-keeping, carelessness, indifference, negligence, thoughtlessness or even pure cussedness, but it struck him that it was a combination of all and resulted veryf largely from the limitations of the human element which enters so largely into the question. He said tens of thousands of leading business men of the country appreciate the need of fire protection and to protect their business have installed the automatic, and in many cases, the open sprinkler system and, if the plant is large, an underground pipe system in the yard, with fire hydrants and many other devices for protecting the plant, including a private plant fire brigade. He stated that it was unfortunate that some necessity for protection had not been realized by authorities in charge of schools and institutions for the sick, feeble, infirm and aged, and said that the probable reason for this was that the state and municipal boards in charge of the various institutions and schools were working under a budget or an appropriation system. Mr. Fertig then described the workings of the different automatic sprinkler systems. He said in closing that he wished to leave with the members of the Fire Chiefs’ Club certain thoughts, the first of which was the adoption of a standard building code such as prepared by the National Board; second, the strict enforcement of the existing ordinances; third, the adoption of a personal liability ordinance; fourth, a more general use of automatic sprinklers, and fifth, an increase in the personnel of fire departments.
A paper on “Safeguarding Municipal Plants” was read by John E. Zoph of Springfield, Ohio; and Chiefs A. Walster, Bert J. Hogan, Samuel Butler and Philip J. Harty, of the steel mill fire organizations, described their various departments.
Mr. Charles H. Meigs, president of the Foamite Fire Foam Company of New York, spoke on the prevention and extinguishing of fires in highly inflammable materials, such as gasoline, oil, varnish, grease, etc. He spoke more particularly in regard to prevention fires in extra hazardous risks, such as oil, gasoline, and other highly inflammable volatile materials. The simple basic rules in preventing fires in tanks containing petroleum and its various products require that the tanks shall be kept a certain distance apart, and each tank surrounded by a circular dike to retain the oil in case the tank bursts or collapses from any cause. He pointed out the importance of proper construction of the tanks themselves. He said the extinguishing of fires in large storage tanks of oil, gasoline, etc., is almost an exact science. It is the surface area of the oil that needs to be considered—the total burning surface, for oil burns only on top, the quantity of oil not being so important. In the foam method of extinguishing fires two solutions are used, which, when mixed together, create a large volume of carbonic-acid gas confined in bubbles of froth or foam. The expansion of the two solutions into foam creates from eight to ten times the original combined volume of the two solutions. The fire smothering foam will float on the most volatile liquids, and coat all solid materials, thus making a perfect fire-smothering blanket. Mr. Meigs accompanied his paper with motion pictures of actual oil fires and the action of the foamite in extinguishing them.
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The paper by Norman M. Stineman, entitled “Fireproof Construction in Building Against Fire,” read at this convention is reproduced in this week’s issue.
The officers elected for the ensuing year were: President, James R. Fitten; First Vice-president, Thomas Gough, Conncaut; Second Vice-president, Samuel Butler, Youngstown; Secretarytreasurer, Phipil J. Harty, Youngstown; Trustees, J. H. Hunter, Springfield, and William C. Simcox, Youngstown. The selection of the 1922 convention city was left to the trustees as also an invitation from Bellair to hold the next meeting in that city.