Fire Losses in America and Europe.
According to Frank H. Mason, American representative at Paris, there were 2,019 fires in Pans in 1908, 2,167 in 1909, and 2,030 in 1910. The returns for 1908 have been analyzed in official reports and show that there were 1,634 fires where the loss was less than 1,000 francs ($193) in each case, the total losses for such fires aggregating $46,494. Fires in which the loss was more than 1,000 francs, numbered 415, with an aggregate loss of $1,343,919. The total loss for all fires in 1908 was $1,390,413. The Paris firedepartment at present includes 1,803 officers and men, or one to 1,579 inhabitants, the population being 2,846,937. The cost of maintenance of the department in 1909 was as follow’s: Salaries, officers, $64,269; men, $405,300; material and apparatus, $158,086; telegraph and telephone, $12,°05; all other expenses, $56,491; total, $696,151. The average cost per inhabitant was about 24 cents. The department is well organized and managed, and although its apparatus and methods are relatively primitive and inexpensive as compared with those of fire departments in the larger American cities, it does with reasonable promptness and efficiency the work that it has to do. One of the most effective units of its equipment is an automobile wagon carrying eight men, including the chauffeur, and short sections of hose, 65 buckets, one hand pump, three ladders, 10 feet in length, together with axes, hammers, and other necessary tools. It is quick in movement, and is able to extinguish the vast majority of fires, which, by reason of the safe construction ot buildings and the careful, frugal use of fire and fuel in French households, are usually confined to the room, or at least to the story, in which they originate.
During 1907 the loss by fire in the United States was $215,084,709, a per capita loss of $2.54. The expense of fire protection was $241,401,442, which may be itemized as follows: Excess of premiums over insurance paid by companies, $145,604,362; annual expense of waterworks chargeable to fire service, $28,856,235; annual expense of fire departments, $48,940,845; annual expense of private fire protection, $18,000,000.
This annual outlay for fire protection amounts to $2.82 per capita, the total loss and outlay for the year being $5.36 per capita. The following table was compiled from United States statistics gathered from the Geological Survey and front European figures gathered front the bureau of manufactures from reports of consular officers. It show’s the per capita of fire losses in 1907 in American and European cities classified to popu lation:
The average annual losses of six nations in Europe, per capita, were compiled from records of varying years and the years grouped with this result: Austria, 29 cents; Denmark, 26 cents; France, 30 cents; Germany, 49 cents; Italy, 12 cents; Switzerland, 30 cents. The aggregate loss front fires in Paris in 1908 was $1,390,413. The cost of the fire department, consisting of 1,803 officers and men. was about 24 cents per capita. The salaries of the force amounted to $469,569. The average cost per capita in Berlin for the maintenance of the department was 30 cents, the actual cost of the department in 1910 being $609,814.