INTERNATIONAL FIRE-PREVENTION.

INTERNATIONAL FIRE-PREVENTION.

On Monday, July 6, the International Fire Prevention congress was opened by the lord mayor in the Empress theatre, Earl’s Court, South Kensington, London. The city dignitaries were present in state, and the British government was represented by Lord Windsor, First Commissioner of Works, and the Hon. Thomas Cochrane, M. P. The lord mayor in his opening address spoke of the work of fire prevention as one of international importance and one into which no jealousy entered. It was a work in which engineers, architects, municipal authorities, and fire brigade officers could heartily co-operate. He adverted to the advance in scientific knowledge, which had rendered it possible to utilise fire-resisting building materials. At the same time however, so long as the contents of buildings were inflammable, firemen would be needed, for which reason the utmost care was necessary in selecting fit men to serve and, above all, proper men to act as officers. Lord Windsor followed in a similar strain, and the Hon. Thomas Cochrane, in extending a welcome on the part of the government to the foreign official delegates attending the congress, com gratulated them on the noble work in which they were engaged. Mr. E. O. Sachs outlined the work and objects of the congress, which, he said, was attended by 800 members, representing fifteen governments and 150 municipalities. Nearly every important British municipality had sent a representative. Sir L. Lepine, representing France, Prince Lvoff, Russia, Councillor von Meister, Prussia, and Chevalier Goldoni, Italy, made brief replies. Mr. Chas. llexamer, president of the National Fire Protection Association of the United States, spoke to the business aspect of fire prevention, describing in particular what had been done by the fire insurance officers with a view to improving the fire protection of property in the United States. Sir W. H. Preece, K. C. B., F. R. S., chairman of the Society of Arts, added his testimony to the advantage of congresses. Privy Councillor Stiibben, late city architect, Cologne, expressed the hope that the congress would have a good and lasting effect, and that architects, engineers, and firemen would work together to achieve this object. Count Szechenyi conveyed the best wishes of the Hungarian fire brigades for the success of the congress, and extended an invitation to all the delegates to meet them at Buda-Pesth in 1894. M. Metax, the Greek minister, moved, and Mr. E. O. Sachs seconded a vote of thanks to the lord mayor for presiding at the opening of the congress. The lord mayor then entertained at luncheon the official delegates of governments and the sectional chairmen and vice chairmen. In the afternoon there was a special performance in the Empress theatre, and in the evening a reception in Caxton hall, Westminster. On the following day papers were read and discussed. Among these were papers by Edward Atkinson, of Boston, on “The prevention of fire in the United States,” read in the absence of the author through illness by Mr. Gray, of Boston, on “Fire losses and insurance,” by Mr. U. Alexander, and “The care of private fire appliances from an American insurance point of view,” by Mr Gorham Dana, of Boston. (The last appeared in FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING of August 8.) The discussion which followed Mr. Atkinson’s paper turned principally upon the danger or safety of electric wire installations. Mr. Gray, in replying, stated that the fire loss from electricity was not a serious one in America. In the “Mutual” factories there, the electric plants were mostly local in their character, and the wires did not run outside. There was not, therefore, the danger of a heavier current than the wires were designed to carry being accidentally brought in. Again, it was customary there, in the factories, not to inclose the wires in culverts, so that there was no hidden danger. Answering a question as to the preservation of the lives of persons living in “skyscrapers,” Mr. Gray is reported to have confessed that that subject was one that had never had proper attention. Narrow, high staircases were relied upon, and it was practically impossible to provide these tall buildings with outside staircases. Mr. llexamer, speaking with regard to the fire loss from electricity, stated that in America about two per cent, of the fires were attributed to this cause. In closing the discussion, Mr. E. O. Sachs moved a resolution approving the Factories Mutual Insurance system adopted in the United States as materially tending to the prevention of fire and the reduction of the fire loss. At the congress and banquet the United States and Canada were represented as follows: Professor Ira H. Woolson, Columbia University. New York, vicechairman building construction and equipment section; W. IT. Stratton, chairman National Fire Protection association, vicechairman fire survey and fire patrols section; C. H. Hexamer, president National Fire Protection association, chairman fire loss and insurance section; J. P. Gray, vicepresident Boston Mutual Insurance company, vicechairman fire losses and insurance section: Alcide Chausse, superintending architect, Montreal. Que., sectional chairman fire tests and standardisation; F. M. Griswold, National Board of Fire Underwriters, sectional vicechairman of fire tests and standardisation section; Charles E. Goad, M. A. M., S. C. E., Toronto, Out., and W. Bennet Gough, president Fire Insurance Society. Philadelphia, two of the sectional honorary secretaries of the fire tests and standardisation section; and Messrs. Salzman (delesratc from the International Association of Fire Engineers), Dana, Curtis, and Dunn. At the banquet, presided over by the Duke of Marlborough, 1’rof. Woolson. in behalf of the United States returned thanks in reply to the toast of “ The colonial and foreign delegates.” Mr. C. llexamer, to whom was allotted the toast of “‘The fire prevention committee and the congress,” expressed the hope that in a few years time they would he able to invite the delegates of European countries to a congress in the United States. A farewell conversazione given by the exhi hit ion committee at Earl’s Court wound up the proceedings. It was preceded by a reception by the lord mayor at the Mansion House. T he meeting of the congress afforded the National hire Brigades Union the opportunity to hold its annual tournament at Earl’s Court, which was attended by some 500 firemen and thirty officers. One feature in the tournament was striking a target in the shortcut time with water thrown from three lengths fifty-foot canvas hose (spring couplings), suction attached.

CHEMICAL MOTOR AND FIRE ESCAPE (EXTENDED) TOTENHAM ENGLAND.

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