INDUSTRIAL PLANT PROTECTION
Trained Fire Fighters*
The factory fire brigade fills the same place in an industrial plant that the public fire department fills in the community at large Each of these organizations has its value. In the protection of large industrial plants, the public fire department can never entirely replace the factory fire brigade, whose members are always on the scene when the plant is in operation and the danger from fire is greatest. An outstanding advantage of the private brigade is that it is not subject to the delays of the public fire department, which may be busy at other fires or may be held up In unavoidable traffic conditions. Knowing the plant and processes intimately, its members are also able to judge intelligently the nature of a fire and the manner in which it should be fought to keep the fire and water loss down to a minimum.
The private brigade, because of its particular knowledge of the plant and the layout of the protective system, can always be of great help to the public firemen when they arrive at a fire and take charge. Between the two bodies of fire fighters
there should be the fullest co-operation. An understanding should be fostered between the factory fire chief and the town fire chief, so that by mutual help and advice the greatest effectiveness can be obtained at the time of a fire. Just such relations with the public fire department have been established by the Singer Manufacturing Company at their Cairo, Illinois, plant. Recently a joint test was made by sounding an alarm, both units arrived and co-operated in laying hose lines from yard hydrants. Within the next two minutes, three streams were playing on a target which had been provided in the mill yard. Within eight minutes after the alarm, the city pumper had one stream on the imaginary fire; within fifteen minutes, a total of seven streams were in action. These admirable results show the value of organized co-operation, as many poorly managed fires have shown the need of it.
If the fullest effectiveness is to be obtained from any extensive system of private fire protection, men must be competent to maintain and supervise it. and they must be skilled in the handling of the equipment. This comes only from regular training, principally in the actual use of hose streams. At the Canadian Westinghouse plant in Hamilton, Ontario, this ability has been developed to a very high degree. At tests last summer, a team if fifteen men from the fire brigade pulled a hose reel one hundred yards, attached hose to hydrant and reeled off two hundred feet, attached a nozzle, and turned on the water, all in 26 3/5 seconds. It is apparent that these men are ready to act with little delay when fire comes.
Reprinted from Factory Mutual Record.
In Factory Mutual mills throughout the country there are well-trained private fire brigades similar to the representative few mentioned here. These brigades have proved their value not only in actual fire fighting, but also in the day-by-day work of preventing fires and eliminating hazards. They have proved themselves essential in the protection of valuable industrial properties.