FIRE PROTECTION AT YOUNGSTOWN.
The fire department of Youngstown, Ohio, should be thoroughly equipped for action in every way and ready to do anything to protect the interest of such an important city. At present, however, it has to depend on stairways and elevators to reach fires above the fourth floor, instead of having proper ladders and a forty-foot extension ladder to replace the one at present on the aerial truck. These ladders can be advantageously utilised, not only in buildings of four stories and upwards, but also at less heights. The safety of life may depend upon their being on hand, just as it may depend upon the presence of an up-todate life-net. instead of one that is unsafe for work above the second floor. No hook and ladder truck is completely equipped, unless it carries a good lifenet. Sufficient hose, with Siamese couplings to be used, when necessary, is also a prequisite for effective work at fires, and each company should be provided with at least 1,500 feet, which would render it possible for the wagons to be reloaded with dry hose and its value would be preserved all the longer. In the same way. as with a pressure of too pounds at the hydrant, with 100 feet of hose and a one and onefourth-inch nozzle, under favorable conditions about seventy-six pounds pressure is obtained at the nozzle and a discharge of about 260 gallons a minute, throwing a horizontal jet 167 feet and a vertical jet 131. it takes a line of hose 400 feet in length to maintain that pressure, that at the hydrant must be increased to 173 pounds—an impossibility at Youngstown under the present system, if justice is to be done to the existing pumping plant. At the hydrants on Federal street there is now from TOO to no pounds fire pressure. While some of the department’s hose lines are necessarily 500 feet in length. 100 pounds hydrant pressure on such a line gives about forty pounds at the nozzle, discharging from a one and one-fourth-inch nozzle a horizontal stream no feet, or a vertical stream seventy-eight feet. Tt is obvious, therefore, that more steamers are called for—three would suffice. It would also be a great help to the department, if the eight-inch or the twenty-inch main on Federal street were converted into a high-pressure fire main to be used for fire purposes only. and. in case of emergency, to feed the other mains. From such a main could be obtained a hydrant pressure of 150 to 200 pounds and a one and one-half-inch or two-inch stream could be used, instead of a one and one-eighth-inch or one and one-fourth-inch stream as at present at all times, and sometimes not as many of these as are necessary, because, in case of fire, pressure must be kept on so many miles of mains. As regards water pressure: The fire department of Scranton is in the plight of a merchant who is alleged to do a thirty by sixty-foot business in a fifteen by thirtvfoot room. Among future improvements must be reckoned a storage battery for the Gamewell fire alarm telegraph system. At present there are 175 cells of battery, to maintain which costs $300 a year. A punch register installed at central headquarters would also greatly lessen the danger ot mistakes, as the alarms would then be transmitted over two machines, instead of one. The better to guarantee the safety of life and property, the fire limits should he extended. «n as to prevent the further erection of firetraps; fire escapes should be of legal obligation on all buildings over two stories in height; gas shut-offs should be placed outside buildings and should be easily accessible; gas meter connections should be of iron and not lead; the standpipe system should be of obligation for fighting fires in all buildings more than three stories in height; also the regulation of the stringing of electric wires so as to prevent that being done in buildings, streets, or alleys, unless in conformity with an ordinance which should be passed; and the acquainting the department with the location of all high-voltage wires, and notifying it as to when and where the city streets are torn up or obstructed, so that, in consequence of not being notified, the department may not be compelled to go several squares out of the way in order to reach a fire. All these recommendations are made by Chief William H. Loller. who, also, incidentally holds up for imitation the example of one business firm in the city which has installed an auxiliary fire alarm system at its plant, and adverts favorably to the providing of funds for the erection and equipment of a fire station in the northern part of the city; the detailing of firemen to attend all performances at the two theatres; the installation of six additional fire alarm boxes; the purchase of a Deluge set; and the systematic inspections of buildings and apartments by officers of the fire department during the year. Two thousand two hundred and twenty-eight such inspections were made, and 529 notices were served. The number of alarms during 1902 was 276; damage to buildings, $12,199; contents, $18,014.80; insurance paid on buildings, $11,984.52, on contents, $16,407.80; loss above insurance on buildings, $215. on contents, $1,607; value of property involved, $3,562,750; insurance involved. $2,425,550; net loss, $1.822—a very fine record for Chief Loller and his men. Of the 276 fires 238 were confined to the one building; 22t. to floor where fire started; 189 to point of origin. The number of alarms was the largest in the history of the depart ment, and forty-six more than in toot. The loss, however, was smaller than in any year since 1888 The manual force of the department is as follows: Chief; assistant chief; captains, six; hosemen. six teen; truckmen, six; drivers, eight—total, thirtyeight. The equipment is as follows: Combination chemical engine and hose wagon, with two sixty gallon tanks, 1,100 feet of one-inch and two and one-half-inch hose, three-inch Deluge set, and attachment whereby a two and one-half inch line may be connected with a one-inch line to be used when chemical tanks are exhausted : combination chemical engines and hose wagons (with forty-gallon cylinder. hose ladders, etc.), three; two-horse hose wagons (with six-gallon Babcocks, etc.), two; aerial truck; service truck; exercising wagons, three: chief’s buggies, two. The trucks are fully equipped with ladders. Babcocks, cellar pipe, life nets and belts, etc.