Manhattan Subways and Fire Risks
The agitations against the demands of the insurance companies as to extra fire-protective precautions to be taken while Brooklyn Rapid Transit’s subway is being built in Manhattan, New York City, continues to gain strength. At a recent meeting of the Brooklyn Improvement Association one speaker, who would be seriously affected if the insurance people were allowed to have their own way, showed that, as soon as the subway construction got under way and the contractors cut through the outer walls of the vaults, by the rules of the Fire Insurance Exchange the insurance rates would be raised. The contractor was required, in the present form of contracts, to put in cast-iron sheathed walls, hut the insurance companies demand walls of terra cotta, which must be erected at the expense of the property owners. He attacked the Fire Insurance Exchange as an arbitrary body, which was not under the supervision of any authority whatever, and suggested that the construction contracts should be so modified as to lay on the contractors the burden of such construction as the insurance companies demanded. These companies had. it was true, relaxed their regulations somewhat as to the cellars, but not as to the sub-cellars. The matter was referred to the executive committee.