INSPECTION TO PROTECT AGAINST FIRE.
State Fire Marshal H. D. Davis suggests to householders some useful points as to protection against fire. Among these are the following: Frequent inspection of paintless siding or outhouses, decaying shingles, birds’ nest at eaves— all of which may be fired by sparks. The height and condition of the chimneys should also be noted. If gas is used, the smell of the escaping fluid should be sniffed while the nose is still fresh from the outer air. The point at which the service pipe enters from the street should also be examined to see if it is properly inclosed, so as to prevent gas leaking from the street main entering alongside of it—one-sixth of the latter being set down as escaping continually. No electric wires should be installed in such a way as to touch gas pipes. Steam, hot air or smoke pipes should never be near enough to woodwork to char it, even superficially, and where hot air pipes pass through a ceiling, they should have a sleeve. Gas fixtures should be as much as two and a half feet below the ceiling, or have above them a shield of tin which does not rest flat against wood. The double-jointed, swinging gas fixture is the most common danger in cellars. Ashes should not be allowed to accumulate; if moist, or (as they often are) mixed with greasy refuse, they are liable to ignite spontaneously. A coal oil can should not he within fifteen feet of any fire, nor gasolene in a cellar having a furnace. Matches should be kept in iron, tin or stone receptacles having lids. Matches may ignite at any temperature above no° Fahr., and that degree of heat may be caused by the focusing of the sun’s rays by an irregular windowpane, a spherical paper weight, a pair of spectacles or a fish globe. Matches loose about the place may be ignited by concussion, or friction from falling bodies, or by being trodden upon, or they may be carried away and ignited by rats. Closets should be examined for greasy or paint-smeared rags, scraps of silk and other stuff liable to spontaneous combustion. This sort of rubbish is liable to be carried by rats or mice to a warm place for nest building, and there take fire spontaneously. A fire in a closet under a stair cuts off the avenue of escape. Rubber connections for gas stoves arc a constant source of serious danger. They may be slipped off the tube by moving the stove; by foot or broom, or by a playing child, and suffocate those near by, besides being liable to dry and drop off next the stove, firing the floor. Gas stoves are often dangerously near woodwork, and should always have metal under them. Swinging gas jets should have but one joint, and its movements should be limited by stops on each side, or it should have a globe or hood to protect the wall from it. Every householder should frequently inspect his own home, to see if these recommendations are carried out.