Demonstration of Shingles Before Fairfield Chiefs

Demonstration of Shingles Before Fairfield Chiefs

A demonstration of the fire resistant qualities of asbestos shingles was given at the regular meeting of the Fairfield County Fire Chiefs’ Emergency Plan, which was held at the Elks’ Home, South Norwalk, Conn., on Wednesday Evening, February 23.

The plan was welcomed by Chief Charles Volk, of the South Norwalk department. A letter was read from President Bernard Scully, regretting his inability to be present. Vice-President Boyle, Noroton, presided.

A National Board film of two reels, demonstrating the work of the Chicago Salvage Corps, under Chief McAuliffe, was shown.

A letter was read from Chief Kerrigan, of the Litchfield Plan, thanking the Fairfield Plan for the American Flag Banner which it presented to the former. Letters were also received from Plymouth and Amherst, Mass., mentioning having seen account of the Plan in FIRE ENGINEERING, and asking for information as to its workings, with a view to forming similar organizations in their vicinity.

Several representatives of the JohnsManville Company were present and took part in the demonstration of the asbestos shingles. A short film was shown, which illustrated the burning of an experimental building, partly covered by asbestos and partly by wooden shingles. The asbestos shingles showed little effects from the flames, until the building collapsed, while the wooden shingles were entirely destroyed.

As to the explosibility of the asbestos shingle, it was demonstrated by the use of a torch that a new shingle, after it has absorbed much moisture, will explode under very intense heat. The torch, applied to such a shingle, blew a hole in it. However, it was also shown that a weathered asbestos shingle will stand any amount of heat with no bad results. The torch applied to such a shingle had no effect whatever. A series of experiments had been conducted by the company on buildings and it was found that with an optimum of moisture content, a shingle will explode at from 1,800 to 2.000 degrees Fahrenheit, as tremendous pressures are developed by the steam arising from the moisture in the shingle through such intense heat. Experiments are being conducted in the laboratories of the company to develop a shingle that will not explode in its early stages. As the shingle ages pores will develop, which will allow’ moisture to exude.

The next meeting of the Plan is to be at Trumbull. Conn. Refreshments were served at the close of the meeting.

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