Fire Report of Milwaukee

Fire Report of Milwaukee

Chief Thomas A. Clancy, Milwaukee, Wis.

The annual report of Chief Thomas A. Clancy of the fire department of Milwaukee, Wis., which was issued by him on July 17, shows that the largest number of fires was caused by defective chimneys, the number being 112. Careless use of matches was responsible for 93; cigars, cigarettes and pipes, 114; children playing with matches, 104; backfire of automobiles, 37; and stills, 2. There was a saving in the fire loss of $200,000 and this is largely attributable, according to Chief Clancy, to the work done by the fire prevention bureau under Captain C. W. Sehunck and the secretary, J. B. Reik, for the bureau. This bureau costs $20,000 a year.

A series of lectures was delivered to the Boy Scouts and a fire prevention campaign carried on for a week in October. Chief Clancy urges the extension of the work of the fire prevention bureau. His report goes on to say: “The new zoning ordinance increased the fire limits to such an extent that it will be impossible to comply with the state inspection law unless more inspectors are provided. The fire prevention bureau should be given more serious consideration in the future and should be reorganized with an executive officer ranking as assistant chief, a captain, secretary, lieutenant, and at least six additional inspectors, to cover the congested district more frequently. This would not only reduce the number of fires but would tend to inspire the public with a desire to reduce the fire hazards to a minimum.”

Chief Clancy gives full credit to the bureau for the reduction of alarms within the last six months by 300 calls. “The average loss per fire during 1920 was $440.12,” he states. “This was based on a total loss of $885,109.54 on 2,011 fires out of 2,634 alarms. The average loss per call amounts to over $330. Since we have so far this year had 300 less calls than during the preceding six months I figure we have saved about $100,000. This decrease in the number of calls is due entirely to the work of the prevention bureau. Put out the fire before it starts. That is my motto and I hope to be able to extend the activities of this branch of the service.”

A summary of the work by the bureau for 1920 is reported as follows:

Buildings inspected within fire limits …… 119,969

Buildings inspected out of fire limits …… 140,805

Defects found within fire limits ………. 6,642

Defects found out of fire limits………… 1,163

Reinspections ………………………. 3,222

Defects remedied …………………… 5,641

Defects reported to building inspector …. 1,612

hire escape* defective or blocked ………. 108

Stand pipes defective or blocked ………. 101

Stairways blocked ………… 164

Windows blocked …………………… 52

Aisles blocked ……………………… 82

Doors blocked ……………………… 36

Stoves and furnaces defective ………… 916

Gas plates defective ………………… 222

Gas jets defective ………………….. 97

Electric wiring defective ……………… 762

Eire doors defective …………………. 212

Broken windows …………………… 58

Removal of rubbish or ashes ………….. 2,725

Violation of gasoline ordinance ………. 485

Elevators defective ………………….. 78

Chimneys defective …………………. 140

Miscellaneous defects ………………… 1,412

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