LONDON OPINION AS TO SKYSCRAPERS.

LONDON OPINION AS TO SKYSCRAPERS.

The underwriters of Great Britain are showing considerable interest in the means adopted in New vention of fire in skyscrapers:

CATAWBA DAM AS IT APPEARED ON DECEMBER 31, 1902.

“It is obviously better to reduce fire hazards, and so simultaneously reduce the insurance rate, than it is to struggle, often vainly, in the desperate endeavor to suppress and extinguish a conflagration, or, after all, to be called upon to bear unaided ruinous losses consequent on the destruction of property and goods uncovered by insurance. The necessity of adopting every precaution likely to lessen hazards is surely obvious enough without argument. It is, we know, recognised by all insurance men, and also by a good many business men in this country as well as in the United States, but we think it will be generally admitted, this necessity is recognised on the other side of the Atlantic with a more active energy and keener appreciation of its vital urgency and the vast interests involved. It may be there is some truth in the explanation sometimes assigned for this disparity of precautionary energy, that we in the old country are too conservative and slow to wake up. But a stronger reason, we suspect, is to be found in the fact that America is emphatically the home of the skyscraper, that fires there are more frequent, and, as a rule, like most things in that land of mammoth objects and enterprises, fires are on a scale positively staggering in their largeness and destructiveness. In all the great cities of America there is going on one of the most wonderful transformations that the world has ever seen in the way of building since the creation of the Tower of Babel and the Pyramids—the pushing-up of buildings reaching twenty to twenty-five stories towards the sky, and in many cases five stories under ground. Witn these changes in construction have come conditions and problems which must be met. And it must be conceded that our Yankee friends are doing their best to meet them. Tt is in the interest alike of the insurer and the insured that this should be so, but mainly, as we contend, in that of the insured, who must eventually find any well-advised outlay in reduction of hazard recouped by reduction of premiums on insurances. The underwriter, who sees his direct interests intimately concerned in this matter, is ever eager to welcome any device or feature of building construction that will tend to reduce the fire hazard, and is ever ready to take such into favorable con sideration in fixing rates.”

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