February Fire Loss Tops That of January
In spite of the heavy losses of January and of the fact that February is a shorter month, the record for the latter exceeds that of the former by over a million dollars, giving the sinister promise that 1922 will equal or exceed the disgraceful losses by fire of 1921, unless some very radical improvement in the situation sets in. The fires in February of this year cost $30,854,400 and those of January, $29,122,000. This compared with December of last year, shows an excess of over five million dollars, in the case of February. the amount for December being $24,294,300.
In the number of fires equalling or exceeding $10,000. however. February showed a decrease from the previous month, the number in February being 412 and in January, 497, or 85 less for February. This would seem to show that the average loss of the February fires was in excess of those of the previous month. The February fires may be divided as follows : Those whose losses were $200,000 or over, 23; $100,000 to $200,000. 51; $75,000 to $100,000, 11; $50,000 to $75,000. 32; $40,000 to $50,000. 39; $30,000 to $40,000. 24; $20,000 to $30,000, 66; and $10,000 to $20,000. 166.
There were only two fires which approached the million dollar mark. One, the Standard Fire Assurance Company’s building in Montreal, Can., with a loss of approximately $900,000, and the other the destruction of the huge dirigible air-ship “Roma” at Langley Field, through the failure of its steering apparatus and its consequent contact with a live wire in falling. This loss was estimated at $1,800,000 and helped, materially to swell the month’s totals.
As the direct result of a Fire Prevention Week jointly conducted in Waterbury, Conn., by the fire marshal and a committee of the chamber of commerce of that city, headed by Robert J. Eustace, assistant secretary, a 13-year old girl was presented with a medal for bravery on March 3, by the bureau of fire prevention of that city. Being awakened by fire in her home on February 17, her mind naturally turned at once to the teachings of the firemen who had visited her school and her first thought was the fire alarm. Springing from her bed she ran three blocks clad only in her nightdress and with bare feet and pulled the alarm. Then she waited in the biting cold until the fire department arrived, so as to direct them to her home. This is a very striking example of what can be accomplished by Fire Prevention teachings in the schools.
An unusual accident occurred at Lawton, Mich., when the 50,000-gallon tank at the municipal water works burst on March 1. An automatic pressure gauge failed to work after employees of the plant had gone home for the night, and the added pressure broke the tank, hurling it through the front brick wall of the station. No one was injured. The pressure gauge will no doubt be more carefully inspected hereafter.