Fire Alarm Systems Inadequate
Most municipalities have neglected to extend adequate public fire alarm systems into residential communities, where two-thirds of the annual 11,000 burning fatalities are recorded, a leading fire engineer stated recently.
Edward Penkethman, field engineer of the Gamewell Co., Newton, Mass., large producers of such systems, told the Empire State Section of the International Municipal Signal Association meeting at Niagara Falls, N. Y., On May 19, that authorities consistently have bypassed public safety in favor of more spectacular improvements that “can be seen and admired.” He said these include desirable parks, playgrounds, imposing public buildings and similar desirable projects.
He cited statistics of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, rating 80 per cent of 207 cities surveyed as “poor” in fire alarm box distribution in residential districts. Only 12 were credited with good box distribution. On the other hand, 199 of the 207 cities were accorded good or fair ratings for box distribution in high value business districts.