Fire Protection Improvements.
A correspondent at Kansas City writes as follows. There is a growing demand in this city for an improvement on the present system for fighting fires and the indications are that the city council will at an early date take some action in the matter. One of the first things needed is a new alarm system, covering the whole city. This will cost a very small amount as compared to the great amount the people will be benefited. At the present time the only fire alarm system the city has is the one connecting the fire department with the various packing houses, and the other portions of the city have to depend entirely on the telephone service which is not always reliable.
The cost of such a system as would furnish good protection to the people would be very small. It is estimated that $3,000 will pay for a system that will answer all practical purposes. The loss on small homes in various parts of the city is due wholly to the lack of an alarm system There is no city in the country where the water pressure is any better than here at the present time.
The scarcity of telephones makes it almost impossible to get an alarm in before the house is badly damaged. After the department does reach them it does as effective work as could be done by any department. With an alarm system, the firemen will be able to respond quickly and thus save much property that otherwise would be destroyed. The committee on fire department is investigating the matter now, and, it is said, will submit a communication to the council at an early date looking toward the purchase of a system.
Colonel R. M. Jones, of the waterworks company, says that if the city had a fire alarm system the fire department would be in as good shape to fight fires asany in the country. He said the department was efficient in every respect, but could not respond to a fire until it received an alarm. He also stated that his company would like to assist in the establishment of a fire alarm system here, but owing to the fact that it has reduced the rental of fire hydrants over 50 per cent, to the taxpayers of this city lately it will be impossible for it to do anything. I le said that the present rental of hydrants was barely above the cost of operation. He is a great believer in good protection against fires and is looking forward with much interest to the action of the council in this matter.