National Fire Prevention Congress Convention
GENERAL FEATURE ARTICLES
Many men of national, State and municipal prominence, leaders in civic and labor associations, and well-known officers of railroads and insurance corporations are in Philadelphia this week to attend the first session of the National Fire Prevention Congress, to which reference has heretofore been made in these columns. The convention opened Monday morning in the private reception room of Mayor Blackenburg at the city hall. Director Porter read the following call, which was followed by addresses of welcome by the mayor and Powell Evans, chairman of the Philadelphia fire prevention commission :
Whereas, American fire waste of life and property has for many years been a heavy burden on the whole people, and
Whereas, The cost of fire insurance and protection cannot materially decrease except as the fire waste falls, and
Whereas, A large proportion of this fire waste is admittedly preventable rnd controllable by concerted State and municipal regulation, and
Whereas, American States and municipalities now occupy no common ground and follow no common policy and have no clearing house for concerted uniform action to prevent and control fire waste, which is a common peril and expense,
Therefore, this National Fire Prevention Convention has been called for the following purposes :
1. To consider the physical, moral, legal, legislative and administrati e means to control and reduce fire danger to life and property in America, discussion of the fire insurance underwriting problem proper being limited to its effective relations to the above-defined program.
2. To initiate a completely developed movement to educate the public about fire danger and waste; and to study, prepa e, get enacted and continuously enforced everywhere throughout the country appropriate minimum legal requirements to protect life and property from fire—by organizing municipal branches and from them State associations, and front them a national agency, preferably through the National F’ire Protection Association—enlarged in purpose and membership, acting through its new committee on public information.
At the afternoon session at the Bellevue-Stratford Hot 1 there was discussed “Location,” or exposure hazard, and “Zones of Danger,” the speakers including William S. McDowell, of Pittsburgh, secretary of the commission tor the revision of building laws; W. C. Robinson, of Chicago, engineer of the underwriters’ laboratories ; Walter F. Ballinger, of Philadelphia; Charles H. Cole, fire commissioner of Boston, and Edwin Clark, chief of the Philadelphia bureau of building inspection. “Building Construction” and “Building Codes” was discussed Tuesday morning, among the speakers being H. F. J. Porter, secretary of the Efficiency Society oi New York; H. W. Forster, of Philadelphia, chief engineer Independence Inspection Bureau and agent of Underwriters’ Laboratories; John P. Jackson, Pennsylvania Commissioner of Labor and Industry; Rudolph P. Miller, Superintendent of Buildings of Manhattan; Francis M. Carroll, of Boston, member of fire prevention committee of National Chamber of Commerce; D. Knickerbocker Boyd, of Philadelphia, chairman of public committee of American Institute of Architects; W. L. Plack, of Philadelphia; Robert D. Kohn, of New York, president National hire Protection Association, and Vice-President Frank M. Drake, of Louisville. “Private and Public Protection” was discussed in the afternoon, with addresses by H. Q. Lacount, of the Associated Mutual Fire Insurance Companies of Boston ; F. J. T. Stewart, of the New York Board of Underwriters; R. H. Newburn, superintendent of insurance of the Pennsylvania Railroad; Assistant Director James Reed, Jr., of the Philadelphia Department of Public Works; F. A. Raymond, of New York, engineer of the National Board of Undewriters; Clayton W. Pike, chief of the Philadelphia Electrical Bureau; Fire Marshal J. S. Mallory, of Philadelphia, and Edward F. Croker, ex-chief of the New York Fire Department.
There were taken up as themes this Wednesday morning “Equipment” and “Compulsory Physical Standards.” No afternoon session will be held on account of the luncheon to be given by the city. Among the speakers will be Edward R. Hardy, assistant manager of the New York Fire Insurance Exchange; R. H. Morris, secretary of the Philadelphia Manufacturers’ Mutual Fire insurance Company; H. M. Wilson, of Pittsburgh, engineer ot experiment station United States Bureau of Mines; Chairman Powell Evans. S. W. Stratton, director bureau of standards of the United States Department of Commerce, and H. A. Fisks, insurance engineer ot New Fork.
“Occupancy” and “Annual Occupancy License” are the subjects scheduled for tile two sessions on Thursday, with addresses by Lawrence Veillier, of New York Charity Association Society; G. Albert Gasser, city inspector of combustibles and hre risks, oi Newark, N. J.; Edwin Clark, chief of the Philadelphia Bureau oi Building Inspection; C. A. Hexamer, secretary of Pmladelphia Fire Underwriters’ Association; Powell Evans, William Guerin, acting chief of New York Bureau of Fire Prevention; secretary of Commerce William C. Kedlield, A. Lindback, president of Fire Marshals’ Association of North America and Fire Commissioner for Manitoba, Can., and John R. Freeman, oi the Associated Factory Mutual Fire Insurance Companies. There were remarks on forest fire protection and fire protection of boats, ships and on railways.
The important topics of “Management,” “Legislation” and “Education” were discussed on Friday by Lewis T. Bryant, New Jersey Commissoiier of Labor; William li. Loiter, ex-president of the International Association of Fire Engineers; R. H. Morris, of Philadelphia, mutual insurance engineer; Powell Evans, H. L. Ekern, Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance; Franklin H. Wentworth, of Boston, secretary ot National Fire Prevention Association; E. H. Defenbaugh, Ohio State F’ire Marshal. and W. L. Stele, cnairman of Chicago committee on publicity and education. The closing day of the convention, Saturday, was taken up with discussions of “Insurance” and “Organization.” Those who spoke included Francis Kawle, of Philadelphia, ex-president of the American Bar Association; J. R. Young, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner; Joseph Baldwin, Pennsylvania Fire Marshal, and William Guerin, acting chief of the New York F’ire Prevention Bureau. There was only a morning session on Saturday.