Improved Protection at Los Angeles.
During the last year practical measures were taken for the improvement of the fire protection of the rapidly growing city of Los Angeles, Cal. Besides changes of minor importance, two positions of public safety inspectors were created, whose duties are similar to those of the deputy fire marshal. This will tend to reduce the number of fires in the congested district. The position of machinist has also been created and added to the shop force, as likewise has that of a department horseshoer, with a wagon force and all necessary appliances. This will enable the horses to be shoed at each firehouse. Another position, that F. W. Frankhouser as superintendent of the fire-alarm, has beer, created, and has been productive of great benefit to the fire-service. The two positions of battalion chief, more than justified their creation in the previous year and have greatly helped both Chief Walter Lips and Assistant Chief George H. O’Donnell. The hattalion chiefs in question are Charles B. Casey and John G. Tocld. The services of two more could be utilised with advantage, as each of the two already in service have to look alter twelve companies, located in some very remote quarters of the city, and, il possible, to visit every company every day, to look after minor details and respond to all alarms in their respective districts, bp to the present they have not lound it possible to do all tnis. The water department has aided the fire department, it has built reservoirs, laid many miles of large mains throughout the city and set over 400 hydrants. I11 addition, in accordance with the recommendation of Chief Lips, the hydrants in a large portion of the business district, both single and double of the 2j4-in. type, are being replaced by large double 4-in. outlet hydrants, which have stood the test most successfully. The building laws, also, are being most rigidly enforced by Chief Inspector J. j. Backus. Buildings are being equiped with fireescapes and standpipes, and the new ordinance compelling all landlords to change the old-style straight-ladder escape to the baicony-and-stairway escape is being put into effect, and fire-escapes are being erected on all buildings of three or more stories in height. Two fourtn-size, two extra-first-size engines and four combination chemical and hose wagons were purchased and placed in service in the business, congested and residence districts, 8,000 ft. of Victor jacket-brand 2j4-in. hose, tested up to 450 lb. and guaranteed for three years, and thirty horses averaging $285 per head were also bought. A firemen’s relief association, with a State charter, was also organised during the year, and an additional private telephone exchange has likewise been installed in department headquarters, with a direct line to all companies. The department has thus two telephone lines over which to transmit alarms, etc. Chief Lips now asks for a 3-story enginehouse— the third floor to be used for the fire-alarm system ; also, for the purchase of four lots on which to build two enginehouses and two truckhouses; also, for the quarters of one engine company to be sold and the money devoted towards purchasing another lot and building on it an engine and truckhouse. This will avoid the necessity of the apparatus having to run up hill in three out of four directions. Twenty-five additional firealarm boxes should be installed, and the headquarters of the system should be a fireproof building where there should be room for expansion. The manual system of central office equipment should be preferred to the automatic, and a municipal conduit district established, instead of leasing conduits from outsiders as at present. Lairing the past year the department answered 1,074 alarms, of which 988 were for actual fires. Of these 510 were in wooden buildings; t88 in brick; one in an adobe structure; and 284 were other than building fires—brush, bonfires, etc. Six hundred and seventy-four fires were confined to the one building, and twenty spread to adjoining buildings. Water was used in extinguishing 157 fires; chemical, in 218; water and chemical, in ninety-eight; garden hose in 164; buckets of water in 161. The occupants themselves put out fortyone; eleven were smothered; and wet sacks did the work in the case of 138. Of chemicals there were used 15,440 gal.; 287,650 ft. of hose was used; 3,836 ft. of ladder was raised. The total amount of loss was $631,942. The manual force of the department consists of the following: Chief; assistant chief, battalion chiefs, two; secretary; telephone operator; superintendent of engines and machinery; superintendent of firealarm and police telegraph; assistant superintendent of fire-alarm telegraph; captains, first-class, 10; second-class, 12; lieutenants, 26; engineers, first-class, 7; second-class, 14; relief, 2; drivers, 51; tillermen, 2; hosemen, 79; laddermen, 22; blacksmith; horseshoer; machinists, 4; painters, etc, 3; fire-alarm operator; repairman; foreman of linemen; inspector of fire and police telegraph; battery man; wireman; linemen, 5; inspectors of public safety, 2—total, 256. The equipment is as follows: Steamers, 25 (2 extra-first-size, 2 firstclass, 12 second-class, 5 third-class, 2 fourth-class, 2 second-class in reserve); combination chemical and hose wagons, 25, (1 in reserve); hose wagons, 2 (1 in reserve); chemical engines, double tank (in reserve), 2; hook and ladder trucks; (turn-table extensions, 2—1 in reserve—straight frame, 2), 4; water tower (Gortcr’s make); chief’s buggies, 6 (2 in reserve); supply wagons, 3; hose (cotton, 3-in., 500 ft., cotton, 2^-in., 50,950 ft.; cotton, 214-in., in reserve, 2,250 ft.), 52,700 ft.; chemical hose (in service, 4,900 ft., in reserve, 500 ft.), 5,400 ft.; Siamese connections (2 into 1, 7, 1 into 2, 3, 3 into 1, 2), 12; chemical extinguishers, 30; fire-alarm (Gamcwell) boxes (fire, 310; police, 131), 441; miles of line in service, 348.