DANGER FROM STEAM HEATING.
A Chicago correspondent, writing to the American Architect says: “I notice in your issue of April 10, 1880, an article upon “The Possible Dangers of Steam Heating,” which goes to prove that there is a very little, if any, danger in the contract of steam-piping with wood. I simply state the following as one of the cases of danger from said cause witnessed by myself, and which I noted at the time with special interest. Our business which is that of manufacturing, is carotid on in a factory 40 by 60 fed and about 65 feet in height, four stories. Our Engine-room which is about 15 by 25 feet, is situated in one corner of the building on the ground floor, and is occupied by a Baxter six-horse-power engine, the working pressure of which is seventy-pounds, and the safety-valve loaded to eighty. Tbe boiler of this engine, being too small for our present wants, is supplied with steam from a larger boiler, 5 by 12 feet, in an adjoining building. Our drying room and baking rooms, which are situated directly over the engine-room, on the third floor, are supplied with steam from a single half-inch pipe running from the smaller boiler. At about one foot above bo.ler this pipe is tapped and another pipe attached which passes through the second floor also and supplies the room immediately above with steam during the Winter. In passing both floors, these pipes when put up cleared the wood by a space of about half an inch all around, which was considered an ample precaution. One day during the middle part of last Winter a wotkman accidentally entered the tool-room and discovered a narrow jet of flame issuing along and up the pipes near the floor. Upon examination it was found that the wood around the two pipes was charred and burnt. No waste, oil, or other combustible material was near. Upon placing a thermometer at the spot recently, and at the same distance from the pipe, I find the temperature to be 120 degrees, but on the account of the absence of fire in the boiler just beneath, and consequently less heat in the room below, and only one pipe being in use at the time, the temperature can be estimated at more than twice that, or about 250 degrees at the time of the ignition, or very likely more. It certainly exploded a theory which we entertained that steam-pipe would not ignite wood under ordinary circumstances. Upon examining the floor above, the wood was found charred and appeared easy to ignite, but there being but one pipe there probably was not enough heat at that time. 1 he wood has since been cut away for a space of about three inches, and no further trouble has been experienced.