To Push No Smoking Legislation—Investigation of School Hazards-Standardization Progress

Delegates to the New Jersey State Firemen's Convention in Session at Atlantic City. Seated in Center Aisle is Gen. Bird W. Spencer, Who Was Re-elected President for the Forty-fifth Consecutive Year.

THE annual meeting of the New Jersey State Fire Chiefs’ Association, held at Atlantic City, September 22nd, in conjunction with the State Firemen’s Convention, was marked by a lot of lively constructive discussion on timely fire protection matters that proved of unusual interest to the 200 or more chiefs present.

A proposed bill prohibiting smoking in factories was passed upon favorably and the legislative committee instructed to take whatever steps were necessary for its enactment by the State Legislature. The measure was opposed by some of the chiefs who felt that a no smoking law would be much on the same basis as the prohibition amendment and add impetus to a movement that might lead to a further curtailment of the peoples’ constitutional rights. It was suggested that smoking be permitted in certain restricted parts of a factory or foundry.

The Schools Committee reported that it was working with the State educational authorities toward the elimination of fire hazards in the schools. Questionnaires were sent to every fire chief in the state to report in detail through the committee on the conditions of every school house in his city or town. It was found in a good many cases the chief had no more authority than the ordinary citizen to order the rectification of a hazardous condition, the sole power resting with the school officials. Chief Ziegler, of Hackensack, said, however, he has a local ordinance empowering him to order any necessary changes.

Great headway in hose coupling standardization was reported by Chairman Fisher of the Standardization Committee. Ninety-nine cities and towns have adopted the standard thread since the work was started in the state eighteen months ago, and with four sets of standardization tools now being used, it is hoped eventually to make the change complete in every county. A movement has also been started to standardize Pennsylvania towns flanking New Jersey. The cost of the work is borne by the city or water works, and, according to Mr. Fisher, ranges from 15c. to 35c. per coupling.

Twenty-two life members have been added to the association, and the co-operation of the chiefs in a drive to add to this number was urged by Chairman Fischer of the special membership committee. It is the plan to use the life memlwrship fees, $50 each, for the establishment of a $50,000 endowment fund if possible, the proceeds to be spent for fire prevention propaganda, and, as one speaker said, to take New Jersey out of the highest per capita fire loss class.

A resolution providing that the association go on record as favoring a general old age pension, in support of a movement started by the Order of Eagles, was laid over until the next quarterly meeting.

The officers were all unanimously re-elected: Chas. W. Greenfield, Kearny, president; Chas. L. Nickerson, Wildwood, vice-president; Fred A. Trowbridge, Morristown, secretary; Geo. L. Mitchell, East Orange, treasurer.

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