Neglect Blamed for Fire Loss Increase
The growing menace of fire on the American farm is pointed out in the nature of a general warning, issued by the Agriculture Committee of the National Fire Council, sponsored by the Insurance Department of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States.
Farm fire losses in 1925, the committee survey discloses, showed an increase of 65 per cent over fire losses in 1920, the annual total now running approximately $150,000,000. Over a period of years up to 1923 lightning was the chief cause of farm fires, being responsible for 13.5 per cent of the total Then followed in order defective chimneys and flues, thirteen per cent, and sparks on roofs, nearly seven per cent.
In 1924 defective flues headed the list of fire causes being responsible for fourteen per cent of the losses that year. Sparks on roofs increased to ten per cent.. The conclusion is drawn from these percentages that maintenance has been neglected, old roofs have become a source of danger and chimneys and flues have not been inspected and repaired.
The Agriculture Committee is planning to give the farmers the benefit of the experience of the leading fire protection and fire prevention engineers of the country eliminating fire hazards and assisting them in protecting adequately their property. Subcommittes are now being appointed to study various phases of the problem.