HOLIDAY DECORATIONS.

HOLIDAY DECORATIONS.

The methods of decoration recently adopted by Marshall, Field & Co., of Chicago, on the completion of their recent store in that city may be described as a hint to would-be decorators of stores, windows, churches and the like during the approaching holiday season. That company had all its decorations, whether of cloth or paper or other inflammable material, made thoroughly fireproof by means of a special fireproof paint; a special detail of porters equiped with chemical extinguishers was established; also, a special detail of regular firemen from the city’s fire department was on duty; and the usual protec tion afforded by the house’s fire department companies, carefully looked after each floor of the buildings. Then, in addition to this, protection was afforded by the sprinkler and standpipe systems for each floor. All electrical or mechanical work used in the display was largely installed in iron conduits provided for this class of service. Pails of water for lire purposes only were liberally distributed throughout all buildings. As the State street building is divided into three sections and the Wabash avenue one into two, with double iron doors between each, the firm s system t» such that, in case of fire or panic in any one section, the people in the store at the time can be removed immediately into any of the others, and this feature is carefully looked after.

HOLIDAY DECORATIONS.

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HOLIDAY DECORATIONS.

CENTRAL FIRE STATION, NORWICH, CONN.

The following remarks on the fire hazard of holiday decorations are made by Secretary J. L. Blumenthal of the Texas Fire Prevention association: “A most objectionable feature in many displays is the indiscriminate use of cotton lint and similar combustible material throughout buildings along electric wires, gas jets, ceilings, posts, shelvings, etc. Not only are such decorations easily ignited, but, being subject to the flash hazard, they cause incipient fires to spread with such rapidity as to make their control extremely difficult. Special illuminating effects are often improvised by means of electricity, and, being generally installed by amateurs, are frequently in total disregard of requirements for safe electrical wiring. Being intended only for ‘temporary’ use, the tendency to he careless in this respect is more common than ordinarily, and the necessity, therefore, for employing experienced electricians and requiring them to do the work in accordance with the standard should commend itself to the careful consideration of all interested parties. These and other objectionable features which are likely to be introduced with such decorations arc quite obviously a means of increasing the fire hazard.” At public entertainments in halls and churches decorated for the Christmas holidays there should always be one or two regular firemen on hand, with suitable fire appliances ready for prompt use, particularly if there is an illuminated Christmas tree. The fire hazard in such places is full of danger to property and to life from panics. That of holiday decorations is probably greatest in department stores. Marshall Field & Co., Chicago, have taken certain precautions against this hazard which are well worth remembering. Arthur Hawxhurst, manager of that firm’s insurance department, describes them as follows: “Regarding the fire hazard of extensive decorations. such as drygoods stores usually have at openings, we believe it has been practically done away with in our displays, as they have been reduced to a minimum, and consist largely of appropriate scenic painting created from aniline dyes on opaque muslins, first sized and then fireproofed by dipping in a neutral solution of silicate of potassium. The foliage and effects are created out of cloth and some paper, being first dyed and then treated to a liberal bath in the solution. This, together with effects from differently shaded electric lights properly installed, fine potted plants—and handsome flags artistically draped, not to speak of proper display of the merchandise on sale— gives effects that please the eye and taste, without adding to the possibilities of accidents and fire—and at a minimum cost. Many striking effects can be created with the above materials by an artist possessing good taste and ability, for the materials can be largely fireproofed, and do not add much, if any, to the risk, when properly used.”