Lesson From the Newark horror.
In connection with a review and discussion of the High street factory fire in Newark, N. J., Insurance Engineering calls attention to the fact that the business of refilling incandescent lamps, which was responsible for the disaster that cost twenty-six lives, is carried on in other loft buildings in Newark by two other companies. The necessity for better regulation of such an industry is pointed out in the magazine, and the authorities and the manufacturers are urged to co-operate in better safeguarding the lives of employes. An investigation begun by Insurance Engineering proved that the carbonizing of filaments for incandescent lamps could be done without having liquid gasoline in the factory building. It was the taking of only a small quantity of this dangerous substance into the High street building that brought about the horror. The discovery was made that the General Electric Company allowed no liquid gasoline for carbonizing in any of its factory buildings. That company, though loath to reveal its methods, finally consented, in the interest of protecting workmen from injury and death, to tell how it solved the gasoline safety problem. The liquid gasoline is vaporized in a small building outside of the factory, and the vapor is conducted to the carbonizing room through a small iron pipe, along which runs a steam pipe so as to prevent the vapor from condensing after it leaves the vaporizing house. “In view of the improved methods for handling gasoline,” says Insurance Engineering, “which provide a reasonable degree of safety to life and property, the careless handling of this dangerous liquid should be made a criminal offense everywhere, punishable by law.”