Electronic Tabulators for Fire Statistics
Starting November 1st, electronic business machines were placed in service tabulating fire statistics to enable the New York Fire Department to direct its fire prevention efforts in the areas where they are needed most. Pertinent data of each fire, such as location, point of origin, type of building, class of occupancy and cause, is determined by the chief at the scene and listed on cards with a special pencil. Information on false alarms and emergencies is also recorded.
An IBM mark-sensing machine at fire headquarters records each item on the card in its appropriate category. From this information, plans for the fire prevention program are formulated and stress can be placed on the most serious problem.
The program is at present in use in the 4th Division, which includes upper Manhattan and Harlem, but Fire Commissioner Edward F. Cavanaugh, Jr. said he planned to extend the new system throughout the department early in 1957.