Inspection by Firemen
The question as to who should perform the fire inspections has many phases. It requires a certain amount of knowledge and a certain amount of tact to do this work successfully. This is especially true of the inspection of business premises. To understand all of the fire hazards that accompany the various types of manufacture would perhaps be beyond one individual, but the inspector should have at least a working knowledge of the danger that beset the fireman in his work in the different classes of risks. And this requires special training.
For this reason the inspection bureau or squad is a practical necessity in a city which has a large manufacturing section. The men of this unit are fitted by study and training to understand all of the conditions which they are apt to encounter and to visualize the dangers from a fire standpoint which must be guarded against.
But there is another very important viewpoint of the question of inspections and that is the necessity for the firemen to know the character and layout of all the buildings in which he may be called upon to fight fires. Only by visiting such buildings and going through them carefully can he obtain the knowledge which he must have to successfully meet the crisis of fire. This know lege requires not only quick thinking and quick action, but also must be predicated upon a thorough understanding of conditions.
So that, whether there be a specially trained squad of inspectors in the department or not, the schooling of all the men in the art—for it is an art—of inspection is a necessity, and the chief who sees to it that his men know how to do this work well is wise and is laying the foundation of an efficient fire department.