GERMAN FIRE FIGHTING.

GERMAN FIRE FIGHTING.

A few extracts from a book recently published by Herr Krameyer of Berlin were reprinted in FIRE AND WETER a few weeks ago. Some more extracts follow:

Small fires he defines as those extinguished without the aid of a fire engine: Such fires comprise the burning of objects in the open air, small buildings, or small parts of, or objects in, larger-sized buildings. The means employed in their extinction consist of the restricted application of water, the cutting off of the air supply by smothering the fire with incombustible coverings, or removing all inflammable material within reach of the flames. Small fires can be roughly divided into the two categories,-i.e., those taking place outside in open spaces and those inside the building. The first principle in both classes of outbreaks is always to get at as close quarters as passible to the fire, and care must be taken that the water from the pump or bucket falls not only upon the flames, but also right on the burning mass. The stream should be directed from below the flames, working upwards, and not in the contrary direction.

There are cases where the working of the stream from the highest point downwards can be of use, inasmuch as the flames are cut off by the water; but the general rule should be to commence about a foot above the lowest extremities of the burning material, so as to fully use the water which may run downwards.

By attacking the Are at close quarters at its lowest point, the fireman is not troubled by the upward rush of heat or smoke, whereas the application of water to the body of the flame not only renders the position of the fireman more difficult, but the intense heat can decompose the water, thereby adding fury to the flames. Further, by neglecting the lower part of the burning mass the whole may collapse, and in any case th effective displacement of the air and subsequent choking of the flames by the upward rush of steam from below is lost. Such considerations are sufficient to justify the enforcement of the above mentioned general rule.

The author, proceeding, draws special attention to the need for careful use of water. Every drop of the liquid should be made to do some useful work, and none should be wasted, however copious the supply. This lesson once learned will prove of the greatest use when a scarcity of supply makes water of the utmost value to the firemen,to say nothing of the very appreciable reduction in the loss occasioned at fires by the water itself.

Where the heat is too great to allow of a near approach to the seat of the fire, boards, baskets, and the like can be used as shields, and by creeping along under the cover of such shields the firemen can often get at very close quarters. A spreading fire over a wooden wall can generally be extinguished instantly by means of a spreader nozzle, or the application of the thumb to the jet. Small fires inside a building present, as a rule, greater difficulties than those in unconfined spaces. Heie we find smoke the greatest difficulty more particularly when such things as straw, rags, beds, curtains and furniture are in flames

Generally, a well-directed stream of water from a handpump or a bucket is sufficient to allow of the burning object being at once removed outside and there thoroughly extinguished. Things of little or no value can be thrown out of the window, care of course, being exercised that no person or thing can be injured by such a proceeding. A wet mop is often of value in small fires, and causes a minimum of damage by water. When mattresses, more particularly feather beds are in flames, care must be taken not to blindly dash a bucket of water on the same, as this may cause the burning feathers to scatter themselves about the room. The water should be carefully poured over the bed. Curtains and hangings should be pulled down and water applied, while any object placed high on the walls can be extinguished by means of a hand-pump. Afterwards, steps must be taken to mop up the water on the floor or walls. Ovens or stoves should be carefully pulled down when necessary, and precautions taken to prevent damage to any valuable article in their neighborhood from thesoot. If small parts of the buildings are in flames, use a handpump in preference to a bucket.

Cellar fires often give more trouble in their extinction than the burning of a large building. The smoke prevents any close attack, which must take place, as a rule, from above. The use of smoke helmets in such cases is of the utmost value. Where no smoke helmet can be had, the fireman can take a hose coupled to the delivery outlet of a manual—which In this case performs the duties of an air pump—in his hand, and by keeping this close to his mouth can in many cases get a sufficient supply of pure air. Then, creeping carefully backward down the steps and lying flat on his stomach on the cellar floor, he can often approach the seat of the fire. The direction of the jet in all parts of the cellar will, however, through the hissing noise of the water falling on the flames, give the location of a fire.

When working in dense foul smoke, the fireman at the branch should be frequently relieved, and should always be in communication with his comrades by means of a line. When the smoke is too great to allow of the approach of any men to the seat of a Are, as a last resource the windows and doors of the cellars should be closed, and crevices sealed up with earth, mud, etc., and an attempt made to smother the fire. This method of extinction, however, is seldom capable of being satisfactorily performed.

In every cuse the greatest effort must be made to prevent the flames from reaching the ceiling. Smoke, in other cases, can be removed by the judicious opening of w ndows or doors.

Fires under floorings should be carefullyjlocatcd by the removal of the planks, by making borings, by «feeling along the boards, or sometimes by placing the ear to floor and listening for the usual crackling sound of fire. Such fires are generally discovered in the neighborhood of fireplaces or stoves, and a hand-pump is all that is necessrry for a small fire of this description. Small fires in attics often present the sume difficulty as those in cellars, namely the presence of thick smoke; in which case a hole is gener’ ally made in the roof, or a skylight broken to allow of its escape, either of these two operations being performed from the outside of the roof at its highest point.

The beams carrying the roof should be first cared for,and a fireman placed in the story below to watch as far as possible whether the ceiling above him is catching fire. Above all, the way of retreat from the attic is to be kept open and free.

In the case of a chimney being seriously, on fire, the author recommends the placing of a fireman near the chimney on every story. The fireman should have a bucket of mortar and a trowel to close up any cracks that may occur, as well as a bucket of water and the fire-mop to extinguish the sparks.

The New York city Fire Department has ordered twenty more steel horse collars of Gleason & Bailey.

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