HIGH buildings came in for a due share of attention on the part of the fire chiefs at their recent convention. Chief Swenie, of Chicago, introduced the subject. His paper took it for granted that the high building to which the fire department was called was duly supplied with pumps, standpipes, adequate elevator service, an interior court, or well, extending from the groundfloor to the roof, and a drilled corps of auxiliary firemen in charge, besides a thoroughly understood code of signals by which communication can be held between the engineer of the building and the firemen. Let it be granted that alt is thus and so: still the facts remain (1) that the extremely high building of the day has passed beyond the reach of the fire department5(2) that, even supposing the buildings to be all that Chief Swenie very properly insists they shall be, there is more than a probability that one of the links in the chain of essential requisites will be found defective—thereby rendering the others also defective in operation—perhaps, nullifying them altogether and paralysing the efforts of the fire department just at the most critical moment;and (3) that there is no such a thing as a fireproof building, and that what passes for such a structure is notunfrequently more of adeathtrap than many of those erected in the days when nothing of the sort was attempted. Chief Hale, of Kansas City, Mo., hit the right nail on the head when he indorsed the position taken by FIRE AND WATER that the solution of the difficulty as to the protection of high buildings against fire rests, not so much with fire departments, as with the underwriters, in whose power it lies not only to see that all such structures are provided with proper fire appliances, but also that such concessions in the way of reduced rates be granted to the owners of skyscrapers as shall pay for putting in tanks and motor pumps on the top floors or outside elevators for the use of the firemen. In addition, we would again insist that both underwriters and fire departments exercise a continual supervision over the fire protective apparatus and appliances stipulated tor either by law or in the insuranc policies, as well as over the elevators—outside or inside— pumps and tanks, on the strength of whose presence in the building concessions in the way of reduced rates have been granted. Only by this eternal vigilance can such equipment be kept in working order and the danger inuring to the community from the erection of these high buildings minimized.