NEW FIRE ALARM SYSTEM AT MANILA
A correspondent writes that the Gamewell fire alarm system has just been installed at Manila, P. I. It arrived in sections, at short intervals, and at this time (February 16) the two large switchboards and about all of the wires, fire and police boxes, and the small switchboard have been installed. It is impossible at the moment to give a complete and accurate description of the system because it is not yet in fighting trim. The system consists of two direct-acting lines, one for the police, the other for fire alarms. The police circuit has sixty boxes out of the 135 ordered, the balance being distributed judiciously throughout the city, being, perhaps, closer together in Binando, the Chino quarter, than elsewhere. In Manila the system is purely automatic, the alarm going direct from the call box to the engine, truck, or chemical engine company assigned to that particular district. When the company has gone out to the fire in question, the alarm is repeated to headquarters for its records. Thus no time is lost, and the possibility of mistakes on the part of operators at headquarters is completely eliminated. Such a system could not be used in New York; but for a town like Manila, where the wires are comparatively few, it is ideal. Each police call is also registered after going to the station for which it is intendedthus giving the authorities a double check on their policemen, both native and American. A small general electric motor-generator, 110 volts, direct-current, located at headquarters, supplies the energy for the line, being fed from the local electric light plant’s mains.