Massachusetts Fire Prevention Bureau
Fire Prevention Commissioner John A. O’Keefe, of Massachusetts, recently appointed from civic life, has held consultation with numerous chiefs of fire departments relative to details of the fire service, and is to hold a onference on October 29, at the State House, Boston, of the municipal authorities of all the 22 cities and towns within the Boston metropolitan district, with the intent to start legislation against the wooden shingle. Mr. O’Keefe regards the wooden shingled roof as the greatest peril to cities and towns in the sweep of a conflagration like that at Salem. He will have a practical demonstration at this meeting by a series of tests of the different fireproof shingles, and out of this movement he hopes to obtain united support of the cities and towns for a State-wide bill, to be introduced early in the next session of the Legislature, requiring that all roofs within the thickly settled portions of cities and towns at least throughout the Commonwealth shall be made non-inflammable. The commissioner has made several appointments from outside of the fire service. The Lynn Item says: “The commissioner wants an expert fire department man for an inspector, whose duty it will be to thoroughly acquaint himself with every city and town department in the metropolitan fire hazard district and be able to report to the fire prevention commissioner whether each city or town is keeping up its fire department, apparatus, hose and fire protection as it should, and if not, why not.” Section 26 of Chapter 795 of the Acts of 1904, approved July 7, which established the State Fire Prevention Bureau, reads as follows: “The provision of this act shall apply and extend to any and all such cities and towns in this Commonwealth as, in the case of a city, by a two-thirds vote of its City Council present and voting, and in the case of a town at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose, by a majority of its voters present and voting, may vote to accept the provisions hereof; and the words ‘metropolitan district,’ wherever they may occur in this act. shall apply to and include every such city and town so voting.” This act applies to only such cities and towns as accept the act in accordance with the above section. The act gives the Fire Prevention Bureau no control over fire departments, except so far as fire inspection and other fire prevention duties are concerned, through the chief of the department.