Cost of Fireproof Construction
With the building season of the present year fairly opened, Fire Marshal T. M. Purtell, of Wisconsin, has issued the following special bulletin on the comparative cost of fireproof construction: At this time of the year many are building or planning to build. We urge upon all such the necessity and advisability of using fire resistive materials as far as possible. The comparative cost and reasons showing the need, both private and public, of fireproof construction are well stated by Philip H. Bevier. C.E., as follows:
“At the present price of building material, fireproof construction can he erected at a cos; not to exceed 10 to 15 per cent, more than nonfireproof, and when we consider that fireproof buildings deteriorate about one-ninth of 1 per cent, per year as compared to 4 per cent, for ordinary buildings, that they rent better and that money can be borrowed on them on better terms, that they are vermin-proof, cooler in summer and warmer in winter, it would certainly seem the part of wisdom and self-interest to adopt a better method in every case when a building is intended to be of a permanent character. When a man builds a house in the country, it may he that he has a right to jeopardize his own life and property and those of his family and gamble with the insurance companies, but there is no question that the owner of property in a city or town has no right to erect a structure which will be a menace to the safety of the life and property of the adjacent owner. The principle is clearly recognized in practice, and many of the smaller cities are adopting building codes requiring fireproof construction throughout a certain portion of the business section, and semi-fireproof bn filings in less congested districts. If one-half of the money spent fiy American cities for fire losses were Spent for better building construction, the annual loss by fire would soon begin to decrease. Improvement along the line of better construction can only come gradually. It can and should be hastened in thickly settled communities by stringent building laws. City officials must be awakened to their responsibilities and the individual shown that his own pecuniary interests lie in lessening the fire waste.