Fighting Oil Fires
Fire chiefs who have oil refineries or storage yards within the limits of their cities are face to face with many important problems in fire prevention and firefighting. An oil tank fire always contains the possibility of a conflagration. If an explosion occurs the flaming oil is apt to be scattered over other tanks or adjoining buildings and cause further fires. If a tank on fire boils over, the burning fluid, if not restrained by walls or dykes, is apt to involve the surrounding tanks or stills or flow out on the water—the works are usually situated on a waterfront—and endanger wharves and shipping.
Firemen are always in peril of their lives in fighting such fires and must take chances in controlling the blaze. The record of death in oil fires is a long and formidable one, and is composed of brave men who have not hesitated to sacrifice their lives at the call of duty. But these sacrifices should not be necessary and the great majority of oil fires arise either from wrong construction or from ignorance in handling the fluid by employees of the oil companies.
Some valuable information is contained in the paper in this week’s issue on the prevention and fighting of oil fires. The article is written by an expert oil man and one who speaks with authority and the suggestions it contains are therefore doubly valuable. It should be read carefully by all chiefs who are called upon to fight oil fires within their borders.