National Fire Protection Association
Resolutions Annual Meeting, May 4, 1920.
THE National Fire Protection Association, assembled in Chicago for its twenty-fourth annual meeting, bespeaks the continued observance by the people of the United States and Canada, both privately and in their occupations, of all measures for conservation of our resources. The supreme need of the war impoverished European world for foodstuffs and the products of North America, imposes an obligation upon us to safeguard to the extent of our intelligence and ability every form of natural and created resource. The elimination of waste, at all times the duty of good citizenship, is at this moment our profoundest public and private responsibility.
In its warfare against the needless sacrifice of human life and property by fire the Association advocates the following measures:
- The adoption by municipalities of the Standard Building Code of the National Board of Fire Underwriters to the end that fire-resistive building construction may be encouraged, the use of inflammable roof coverings prohibited, adequate exit facilities from buildings assured, and interiors so designed and firestopped as to make easy the extinguishment of fires therein.
- The adoption by all states and provinces of minimum building requirements for the protection of State, Provincial and County Hospitals, schools, asylums and similar institutions outside city limits and of small communities in which the establishment and enforcement of a building code is neglected.
- The enactment by each state and province of the fire marshal law advocated by the Fire Marshals’ Association of North America to the end that official investigation may be made of the causes of all fires, preventable fires may be eliminated by public education, and the crime of arson stamped out.
- The adoption of the Association’s ordinances providing for the systematic inspection of all buildings by city fire marshals or local firemen to insure the vigorous enforcement of rules for cleanliness, good housekeeping, and the maintenance of safe and unobstructed exits, fire-fighting apparatus and other protective devices.
- The enactment of ordinances fixing the cost of extinguishing preventable fires upon citizens disregarding fire prevention orders, and a more general legal recognition of the common law principle of personal liability for damage resulting from fires due to carelessness or neglect.
- The wider general use of the automatic sprinkler as a fire extinguishing agent and life saver and the more general adoption of the fire division wall as an important life saving exit facility.
- A careful study of the technical surveys of cities made by the engineers of the Committee on Fire Prevention of the National Board of Fire Underwriters covering the items of water supplies, their adequacy and reliability, fire department efficiency, fire alarm systems and conflagration hazards, and of the possibility of co-operation among neighboring cities through mutual aid and the standardization of hose couplings.
- The universal adoption and use of the safety match and legislation prohibiting smoking in all parts of factories, industrial and mercantile buildings except in such fireproof rooms as may be especially approved for the purpose by authorities having jurisdiction.
- The education of children and the public generally in careful habits regarding the use of fire, and the general adoption by the schools of the United States of the fire prevention manual “Safeguarding the Home Against Fire,” prepared by the National Board of Fire Underwriters for the United States Bureau of Education.
- That the use of motion picture projection machines, without a standard booth ventilated to the outside of the building, in churches, schools, clubs, hospitals and homes, be prohibited unless the film used is of slow-moving type, and that state and municipal laws and ordinances be adopted regulating motion picture exchanges, tending toward the ultimate end that motion picture films of the nitro cellulose type be replaced when practicable by a slow-burning film.
- The co-ordination of all these activities through a central administrative officer or body of the province, state or city, having primary jurisdiction, for the purpose of promoting uniformity of action and efficient co-operation.
In the furtherance of these objects the Association appeals for the co-operation of all citizens. It asks them to help in the dissemination of its valuable literature and in the use of the standards of fire protection so carefully worked out by its committees to the end that the lives and substance of our people shall not continue to be dissipated by a reckless and easily preventable waste.