Fire Losses in March
In spite of intensive work in Fire Prevention in this country and Canada, the record of fire losses for the month of March, 1920, exceeds that of any month of last year, with the exception of September. The total for March of this year was $27,597,700; for March ,1919, $22,201,900, and for March, 1918, $20,213,980, while September, 1919, had a loss of $29,083,500. Of course, one explanation of this increase may be found in the raise of valuation since last year, but even this will not entirely account for the large difference. The record by months of the first quarter of 1920, also, with the exception of February, shows an increase over last year, the figures being: January, 1920, $37,012,750; 1919, $29,446,325; February, 1920, $26,631,500; 1919, $26,891,950, and March, as above, the total for the quarter being: 1920, $91,241,950, as against $78,540,175 for last year, and $78,477,235 in 1918, a gradual increase, as will be seen.
As far as individual losses are concerned, the records shows that there were 269 fires during the month with losses of $10,000 and over, which are classified as follows: Those of $200,000 and over, 25 fires; $100,000 to $200,000, 51; $75,000 to $100,000, 22; $50,000 to $75,000, 35; $30,000 to $50,000, 28; $20,000 to $30,000, 50; $10,000 to $20,000, 58. The number of fires of $10,000 and over damage in February, 1920, were 332, and in January, 460, making a total for the quarter of 1,061.
The lessons of the month’s record emphasizes the necessity of greater effort on the part of chiefs and all of those interested in the work of Fire Prevention to spread the doctrine among those whose carelessness may result in a further increase in this unnecessary loss by fire. Eternal vigilance is the price of Fire Prevention as well as that of Liberty. Unceasingly keeping at it alone will eventually result in the triumph of the principles for which every right thinking chief of the fire departments stands and desires to see put into effect. That these efforts will in time come to have their desired result no one can doubt, provided they are properly directed and kept constantly active.