Fire Prevention Division of City of Schenectady

Fire Prevention Division of City of Schenectady


“An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”

(NOTE:—Communications for this department are solicited from Chiefs and all others interested in the subject.—Editor.)

Has Been in Operation for Fifteen Years—Firemen Assigned to Division Veterans in Service and Experience—Rooms Always Open, with Clerk on Hand to Receive Complaints

FIRE PREVENTION has been in operation in Schenectady for the Past fifteen years, but in the past two or three years especially. commencing January 1, 1919. An extra endeavor has been exercised to that branch of the fire service to fection as possible.

The Fire Prevention Division is conducted in the following ways: Captain Sanford E. Alberts is Captain of the Division, assisted by firemen Buckley, Faircloth, Relyea, Tree, Banker and Carr, all in full uniform. The city is divided into six districts. The captain has a motorcycle. The firemen are of the type of men who have served many years in the departtnent and I have selected them from the older men, who have had a great deal of experience in the fire game. A room at headquarters is assigned to this division. The division meets every morning with Captain Alberts at 8 o’clock and start on their work at 9 a. m. A clerk is at all times in the office to receive complaints from morning to night. The department room is never closed; Sundays, holidays or at any time. Each hour throughout the day an inspector calls up on telephone to ascertain in regard to any complaints in his district, etc. They all report in at 5 p. m. and from 5 until 6 p. m. they make out daily reports on a blank especially printed for such report. Should an inspector have any trouble with any one pertaining to any repairs or the removal of inflammable materials, after being more than patient with the individual, he serves a written notice; making two copies of same—one goes to Captain Alberts and the other to the Police Judge. The Police Judge sends for individual and reads the law to him, and in one year only four notices were sent to the Police Judge, and not one conviction was necessary. There were 58,442 inspections made by this division during the year of 1919.

Chief Henry R. Yates, Schenectady

18,884 Buildings were found O. K.

1,391 Buildings were found not O. K

15,996 Cellars found O. K.

1,322 Cellars found not O. K.

12,219 Yards found O. K.

1,628 Yards found not O. K.

937 Times theatres were inspected.

21 Times violations were found.

1,601 Garages found O. K.

27 Garages found not O. K.

694 Times churches were inspected.

9 Times churches were found not O. K.

This will give you a synopsis of the work performed by this division.

This division has a small “developing room” with a complete Outfit for taking photographs, either day or night. The captain has had experience in the photo game, and photos are taken of bad conditions or suspicious fires.

All theatres are inspected by two inspectors nightly and Sundays, as well as on Sundays churches are inspected.

It has been found that the “heater room” as well as other parts of churches needs inspections and the proper time is on Sundays, when all are in operation.

I could write for a whole day and then I could not include all of the work that has been and is being performed by this division. The members of this division are not called upon to do any fire duty, but at night they report to any fires in the district and make a thorough investigation with Captain Alberts.

In the office can be found a complete file of all records and complaints and inspections, also such investigations as are made.

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