FIRE MARSHAL WARNS ABOUT FLUES.
D. B. Haggerty, fire marshal of Louisiana, has issued a bulletin dealing with fire losses resulting from defective flues and sounding a warning to property owners and householders, He says that the most important single source of loss is the defective flue—that is, the stovepipe and chimney taken together. The fire-waste from inattention to stovepipes and chimneys exceeds $200,000 a year. Three-fourths of this amount would be saved, if the occupant of each house, before the weather requires heaters to be crowded, would inspect chimneys and stovepipes, hires from defective chimneys, usually being in the attic, get a good start in the driest of wood before the alarm is raised. Attics being difficult of access to one with a water bucket, the fire is likely to get beyond control. The settling of chimney foundations may open a crevice between the bricks or stones, so that sparks can escape. Sometimes a new chimney in settling forms a crack, because one side of it is held by Ihxir tint hers. A chimney built up from joists or a brack et is always a source of danger, because of the liability of cracks from springing of the timbers. Chimneys so built often have as their base a plank, whose only protection from sparks and heat is a layer of mortar on it. Many fires re salt from this practice. Salmon-tinted bricks disintegrate. Poor mortar crumbles out, leaving openings. Nails driven into brick chimneys are likely to come out, leaving holes. A joist-end should not rest in a chimney wall. Tile chimneys of all sorts are unsafe, because they are very likely to crack off at the level of the roof, where cold air strikes them. A hood should make no offset to hold soot. The chimney-top should be inspected, and the soot swept down and removed from below. A stovepipe must be cleaned. Jairing the soot out is not enough; a scraper should he used inside it to remove scales. Then it should be inspect! d, section by section, for rust-holes, which might permit sparks to fly outwards, instead cf upwards. See that the pipe, when up. is sparktight throughout and is not pushed into the flue so as to choke it. An elbow in a stove pipe lessens the liabilitv of particles kindling or fuel being drawn from the chimney-top and alighting still redhot on the shingles. If such sparks are given elbowroom, they are likely to bump in making the turn and fall back harmless. While a fire is burning, the air in a chimney travels up at the rate of 3 to 6 ft. a second. Unplugged and raglilled stovepipe holes cause some fires. A stovepipe should not pass where it cannot be seen, as through a lath and plaster partitien. or through an attic or unused room, because openings in it may occur from rust or the parting of a seam or joint. And, too, in such situation the pipe becomes covered with fluff, which is liable to ignite; neither should a pipe pass through roof, window or siding—even of a s miner kitchen—for it is liable to become redhot. No flue should be smaller than 8 by 8 ins., v hich is the length of a brick. If any green wood is used, it should be 8 by 12 ins. A fireplacechimney must have at least one-tenth the area of the fireplace it serves. The effective way to deal with this enormous loss from defective flues is through a State building law similar to that of North Carolina, which controls the building of chimneys and many other details of architecture.