FIRE LOSSES IN NEW YORK CITY REDUCED MORE THAN $3,000,000
Figures Made Public by Comm. Dorman— Firemen Detailed to 269 Theatres Number of New Fire Stations Opened Past Year
A DECREASE of over $3,000,000 in losses and a reduction of approximately 1,000 fires are reported for the year 1927 by Fire Commissioner John J. Dorman who attributes the improvement to “fire prevention education, greater activity by the inspection forces of the department and a more rigid surveillance of the moral hazards.”
The Commissioner’s survey of the records of the fire department on the closing day of the old year, disclosed that there were about 24,000 fires in 1927. as compared with 25,125 in the year 1926; a property loss estimated at S18,660,905 in 1927 as compared with $21,671,735 for the year 1926. The 1926 losses were fourteen per cent higher than 1925.
A vigorous campaign of inspection was conducted by the Fire Prevention Bureau in which special attention was given to unlicensed garages located principally in the frame dwelling districts. There were 179,254 inspections, an increase of 6.757 or approximately twenty additional daily inspections. This brought an increase of $105,876 in revenues from licenses and permits, the total of which amounted to S824.359 for the year 1927. The number of permits granted for garages, gasoline selling stations and similar enterprises was 95,902, an increase of 10,744 over the year 1926. The hire Prevention Bureau issued 34,682 orders to correct violations of the law, which was 6,625 more than were issued in 1926.
There were 98 persons killed in fires which was 33 less than the number killed in 1926 ; 290 persons were injured which was 10 more than in 1926. There were 69 arrests for arson, 11 of which embraced one coterie of firebugs implicated in one warehouse fire. Of the 69 persons arrested for arson, a total of 41 convictions were obtained, the remainder awaiting trial.
Of the 24,000 fires, 6,800 were in tenement houses, a decrease of 704; factory buildings had 1,672 fires, a decrease of 208; retail stores had 1,600 fires, a decrease of 213.
Out of a budget of nineteen and one half millions of dollars for the year 1927. there was turned back to the city treasury 8200,000 in accruals, but approximately 820,000 of this will be used to pay salary adjustments of firemen who were formerly in the Police Department and whose service therein has now been credited to their Fire Department record with proportionate advances in grades and rates of pay.
During the year, three new engine companies and four new hook and ladder companies were placed in service at three locations—the Flatlands and Rugby sections of Brooklyn and the Springfield section of Queens. Bids were opened late in December for seven new fire engine houses to be constructed at Flushing, Gravesend, Brooklyn Fleights, Astoria, Arverne, Great Kills and Eastchester.
The department acquired twenty motor tractors, twelve pumping engines, twelve ladder trucks and twelve hose tenders. Six of the twelve new pumping engines are extra size, of 1,000 gallons per. minute capacity. The-department bought 136,000 feet of hose of three different sizes.
Thirty new theatres opened during the year brought the total of amusement places to be protected by firemen detailed .during each performance up to 269. Twenty years ago there were only 63 theatres to be thus protected. This increased the demand on the services of the Division of Public Assembly in assigning firemen from Brooklyn fire companies to theatres in the Broadway district.
The curfew law sponsored by Mayor Walker necessitated fire protection supervision over cabarets, licensed night clubs and dance halls. The Fire Department is now annually supervising the fire protection facilities of places of public amusement seating an average of 1,100,000 persons daily.
In the fire alarm telegraph branch of the department, 1,000 new fire alarm boxes were installed for service, mainly in Brooklvn, the Bronx and Queens and 100,000 was appropriated for 1,500 more alarm boxes to be installed this year. A contract was let and is now nearing completion for equipping new fire alarm central operating station in Forest Park, Queens; twelve miles of fire alarm cable were laid underground in Brooklyn; the entire fire alarm plant in Long Island City was improved with a 100 per cent increase in the number of street alarm boxes, the number of circuits was increased from two to six and wherever possible all wires were placed in conduits. A new cable connecting the Rockaway central fire alarm station with the new Queens central station was installed along and under the Cross Bay Boulevard, giving added tire alarm protection to the Jamaica Bay communities, important changes and improvements in fire alarm equipment were also effected in the Bronx and along the Victory Boulevard in Staten Island which will scon fesult in a reduction of the fire insurance rates of the areas improved.
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During the year there were 384 firemen appointed, 221 members of the uniformed forcevoluntarily retired after twenty years service, five resigned, two were dismissed, two were resinstated, thirty-seven died of which number thirteen were killed in the discharge of duty; and twenty retirements for physical disability were ordered by the Board of Medical Officers.
There were 112 promotions in the service; one deputy chief, three battalion chiefs, forty captains and sixty-eight lieutenants.
E. Cleveland, O., Firemen Get Pay Increase—Firemen in East Cleveland, Ohio, were granted a pay increase.
North Wales, Pa., to Purchase Pumper—North Wales, Pa., will purchase a pumper through a special tax of three mills to be levied by the borough.
Clinton, la., Chief to Have New Car—A Buick touring car has been ordered by the council of Clinton, la., for Chief Albert Krenz to replace the car now in operation.
Salem, Ore., Opens Bids for Pumpers—Bids were opened in Salem, Ore., for a new pumper. The Mack company was low bidders.
Thirteen Men Promoted in Chicago—Commissioner A. W. Goodrich of Chicago has announced thirteen temporary promotions. The list includes one battalion chief, six captains and six lieutenants. In addition, twelve captains, ten lieutenants and fifty-five firemen were transferred by Fire Marshal Michael J. Corrigan.