Favorable Report on Fire-Hazard at Brockton.
The engineers of the Committee on Fire Prevention of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, in reporting on the conditions at Brockton, Mass., speak rather favorably as to the fire-hazard there. They say: “While, in general, moderate in the principal mercantile district, due mainly to the small size of buildings and lack of congestion, local conflagrations are probable in groups of larger buildings of frame or weak joisted construction, with unprotected, exposed windows and deficient fireprevention equipment. Manufacturing plants consist of groups of large frames, well equiped with automatic private fire protection, in which fires are not probable, but would result in great individual loss, if not early extinguished. These plants being mainly isolated, present only local conflagration hazards.” Dealing with the fireprotective facilities in the city they summarise the conditions found as follows: Water Supply.—Works owned and operated by the municipality. Organisation and management good. Supply pumped from Silver lake to distribution system, with two standpipes as equalisers; reserve supply from Salisbury brook storagereservoir pumped at Woodland avenue station into the distribution system. The standpipes contain less than one day’s supply; the greater portion of the city may be supplied by gravity front Salisbury storage-reservoir at reduced pressure. Pumping capacity inadequate to allow proper reserve for engines out of service. Consumption very low. Pressures throughout the city from moderate to light are well maintained; sufficient for the operation of sprinklerequipments in high-valve districts. Main arteries are of good size and well arranged in and near the centre of the city, but lacking in southern portion. Minor distributors of good size and generally fairly well gridironed. except in outlying districts. Gate-valves in good condition, spacing fair to rather poor in all districts. Hydrants in good condition: of satisfactory type, spacing in high-value districts good, elsewhere fair to poor. Fire Department.—Part full paid and part call; under the management of a very competent chief. Financial support fair. Methods of appointment and promotion are satisfactory, except in the case of chief officers. Supervision is efficient but liable to political influences. Too few permanent men. Engines in poor condition and of too small capacity. Ladder-service adequate, except hose wagons lack short ladders. Hose wagons carry an ample supply of hose; but none are of the combination type. Chemical apparatus much used; but more is needed in some residential districts. Hose good and a fair supply. Discipline well enforced. Drills meagre. Response to alarm satisfactory for first alarms. Fire-methods excellent. Building inspections fair. Proper records are kept. Service, as a whole, fairly efficient, but weak. F’ire Alarm System.—Automatic system with provision for manual operation. Headquarters badly exposed and system liable to be seriously crippled by a small fire. All apparatus at headquarters installed in May, 1908. A new telephone system to be installed, which will meet present requirements. Boxes of good type,with keyless doors or keys attached; distribution satisfactory in important districts elsewhere fair to poor. Wiring of box-circuits now all overhead, but soon to be placed underground in important districts. Alarm-circuits in duplicate and underground. Batteries satisfactory; maintenance good. Diagrams of circuits lacking. System good.