New Fire Alarm Plan on Governor’s Island.
Part of the plan of doubling the natural size of Governor’s Island and making it one of the best equipped army posts is to give it a sufficient fire lighting apparatus. Recently there was a test of a new system of “air alarm.” When reconstruction is completed there will be 125 new buildings. Old and new forts, officers’ quarters, barracks, warehouses, ammunition and powder magazines, along within the prison, old Castle William, now number about 98. When fire breaks out the “army regulation tire call” has been as follows:
Discoverer of a tire immediately to report its location to guard on duty.
Guard on duty will lire his rifle twice.
Musician of the guard hearing this w ill sound two blows through his trumpet.
Other musicians of each baud will repeat the two trumpet blows.
Musician of the guard will then proclaim location of fire a certain number of blows meaning certain location.
Other musicians will station themselves at different points to blow orders. If New York tireboat is required two cannon will he tired.
As soon as blaze is out musician of the guard will so proclaim, and the other widely separated musicians will repeat to all.
The recent experiment was with a system of alloy tubing running along ceilings. These terminate in two diaphragms in a box. Electric wires from the box ring gongs. The heat of the tire causes an expansion of air in the tubing. This expanded air rushing to the ends of the tubes hits the diaphragms, closes the electric circuit and there is a clamor of bells. General Grant saw the first test —a tire of alcohol in a warehouse. In sixteen seconds after the blaze started the gong rang. Another test rang the gong in seventeen seconds. The great test, which was to call out the island’s fire department, was arranged for the pier where the gasoline and other oils are stored. It was not fourteen feet away from these oil cases -two hundred yards from the ammunition house—that the match was touched to the pan of alcohol. Twenty seconds and the gong struck and kept striking. From the quartermaster’s headquarters (wires for the alarm not being up) the alarm was communicated when heard.