FARM BUILDING FIRE PROTECTION.
The Bucks County, Pa., Firemens’ Association has demonstrated its progressiveness by sending to members of grangers or firemens’ associations throughout the county a printed circular relative to fires and fire protection of farm buildings, which contains much valuable matter and which in part reads as follows: “Members of a grange or farmers’ organization know the value of co-operation and realize that modern ideas, advanced through social intercourse and public discussion, has increased knowledge, comfort, and health of you and your family. There is, however, one question that should be given some attention in your discussions: The question of safeguarding yourself against destruction and losses by fire, aside from the insurance policy. Wihether such an unfortunate disaster comes as a result of carelessness in handling or storage of inflammable articles, burning of rubbish or weed patches, incendiarism or electrical storms, some forethought will eliminate, or considerably reduce, possible loss and mental anguish. These matters should be thought of previous to the fire instead of afterwards. This loss can be kept down and reduced in a number of ways. Increased ability of volunteer fire companies, more modern equipment, more fire companies, and the careful observance of fire prevention rules by our residents. To accomplish this will take time, as the awakening of the public to this great question is slow. We therefore hope to interest you in assisting us by improving your home and farm condition and by giving us your support, especially in securing legislation that will increase support of fire companies, so that they may become better equipped and more efficient. It is essential that every fire company be equipped with automobile apparatus in addition to horse-drawn or hand-drawn equipment, so that in case of fire at your home, they may quickly reach you even if the distance is four or five miles, a feat impossible with horses, because the time lost in getting there would give fire too much headway. It is usually in the spring and fall that farmers suffer most from fires and at that time roads are in good shape for travel. Also if you are located near any settlement of twenty houses or more, start or help start a movement to organize a fire company. Apparatus can be secured as low as $150, and will be serviceable to hold situation until arrival of better equipped force. Assuming that outside help is impossible, you can prepare protection yourself in many ways with little cost, if you give the matter a little thought beforehand. Have cistern or well near the barn and house and a force pump with ample length of hose attached to cover buildings. Keep your spraying tank filled and within easy reach. Most fires that visit the farmer are the result of electric storms, and we are all familiar with the path of desolation and destruction that follows in the wake of a lightning and thunder shower. The sole protection against this element which is lightning rods is being abandoned in this State through a mistaken idea. Their cost and maintenance is light and their usefulness is beyond contradiction. In the Western States this question has been given more consideration and most buildings are rodded. Edison commented on lightning rods as follows: ‘I have never endorsed any particular lightning rod. One or more metallic joints, when connected to a proper amount of metallic surface, connected with a permanent damp earth, will certainly protect a house from the effect of lightning. Any metallic surface on roof, etc., when connected with rods will increase the protection.’ Lectures on lightning rods are interesting and there is enough data to be secured to prove the value of lightning rods. Topics should be arranged on this question and interest stirred up. The National Fire Protection Association has issued a booklet on suggestions for protection against lightning, which should be valuable to those seeking knowledge on this protection. It is a common saying: ‘That lightning never strikes twice in the same place,’ but this has been disproven many times.
Remember that lightning fires come when you are either busy raising your year’s crop or just about the time you have it stored ready to cash in. Insurance, no matter how well placed, will never pay the loss, aside from the inconvenience and shock of such an experience to yourself and family. Many a good farmer has been put down and out by such an experience. If you contemplate any future building operation avoid frame construction. Concrete and Hollow tile cost very little more, and will last longer and are fireproof. In regard to your automobile or gasoline engine, be sure it is in a fireproof building, away from anything inflammable. The Bucks County Firemens’ Association is distributing cards on fire prevention. Kindly read them over carefully and observe the suggestions as well as place them in a prominent place in your drive shed or out-buildings, so that your employees and members of your family will become thoroughly familiar with them and get into the habit of following suggestions. We hope for your moral support towards any measure that may be brought before the Legislature to benefit and increase the support of volunteer fire companies. If you know of any public places such as halls, sohools or churches that you feel are maintaining a risk to life in case of fire or panic, report same to us so that we can have same corrected. This association is always willing to hear any suggestions from you or co-operate with you in anything in line with reduction of fire waste.”