DRILLS AND OTHER SAFETY MEASURES IN PENNSYLVANIA FACTORIES.
A pamphlet on the prevention of fires in stores, factories and other establishments has been issued by Commissioner John Price Jackson of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Harrisburg, Pa., and in it he urges the importance of fire drills, fireproofed stairways and other safety first measures. Commissioner Jackson says as follows: “There should be at least two ways of escape from every work room in a factory. Inadequate means of escape has caused most of the loss of life from fires. The number and size of exits and stairways should always be ample to permit egress of workers from every room without crowding. Fire drills should be held at irregular intervals, at least once every month and without any previous notice being given to the employees. Workers should never know when a fire drill is for practice or for escape from an actual blaze. Locked doors or doors that open inward should be enentirely eliminated. In many instances they have delayed escape just long enough to allow smoke and flame to accomplish deadly work. The first few minutes at the beginning of a fire are the vital ones and the time when escape can be made. Occupants on the upper floors of a factory filled with working machinery or of large buildings or institutions cannot hear or know immediately of a fire occurring on a lower floor, unless there is a proper fire alarm signal. A delay until they smell smoke will no doubt mean smoke filled exits and the death of these persons. The time to put out a fire is when it begins. Fire extinguishers should be plentifully supplied and prominently located. They should also be inspected frequently and responsible persons should be aeqainted with their use. Every factory or assemblage hall should have fire walls and fireproof doors that close without fail. There should be metal window and door frames, and metal window’ sashes with wire glass. Wire glass prevents fire entering a building from adjacent structures, and when used in elevator shaftwavs or stairways, prevents the rapid spread of fire and smoke. Fire towers or fireproofed stairways afford sure means of escape for occupants, and safe means of entrance to fire fighters. The automatic sprinkler, when properly installed and kept in working condition, has effectively shown its ability to put out fires.”