NOTES FROM NEW JERSEY.
Special Correspondence of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING
Mayor Doremus, in his annual message to the city council of Newark, adverts to the issue of the $1,000,000 bonds for the new storage reservoir as a contingency that must be met. The sum must be raised during the present year, He points out that the money which has been paid as the work on the new storage reservoir has progressed has been secured on temporary loan bonds, which must be replaced with permanent bonds with sinking fund provision. He expresses the wish that the council should consider the issue of bonds that shall run for a period of fifty years. The mayor’s opinion is that it would be much more convenient to provide a low rate of interest and low sinking fund charges, so that the life of the bonds might be extended over a greater period of time than under present conditions—giving Newarkers of the future who drink of the water which has been so judiciously provided for them, an opportunity of paying their percentage of the original cost. “We have no greater asset than this water plant (he adds). No other part of our municipal being must be so jealously guarded as this wonderful system of pure water. It is our most precious charge, for upon its continued purity depends the health of our people and our people’s children. While there may be little pollution at this time, it seems eminently proper that we should secure title to lands which may in the course of time be turned into places that might seriously menace the health of our entire city. A minimum rate for users of city water has been suggested. Let it be understood that the department of water is endeavoring to remain self-sustaining. that there is no desire for profits, and that the sums charged to individuals and to corporations have been fixed after a careful study of all conditions. I am in *favor of a simple schedule of rates, so that no one need be puzzled by methods employed by the department of water.”—Mayor Doremus also calls attention to the fire department, and especially to the proposed erection of a central fire station on property in the old burying ground, fronting on Halsey street, which has already been set aside. This station will be the headquarters for the chief and the commissioners. and will provide sleeping accommodations for thirty-five firemen. There will be room for a hook and ladder company, an engine company, a chemical company, a water tower, six or seven reserve apparatuses, a repair shop and stalls for fifteen horses. This will cause the abandonment of the present headquarters building and two of the existing fire stations. When the plans for the new City Hall were approved, the idea of a central fire station had not assumed definite proportions, and arrangements were made for the installation of a fire alarm telegraph system in the municipal building. This suggests the question: “Would it not be better to install the fire alarm telegraph system in the central fire station, instead of in the city hall?”—The Chicago theatre horror has determined the fire commissioners of Newark to minimise the possibility of such a catastrophe occurring in that city. Chief Kiersted sent to each theatre a fire captain, with injunctions to remain in each for a period of time, and report whether the aisles were kept clean, and whether other regulations for the protection of the public were duly observed. On every Saturday and holiday night at least a captain and other officer will be similarly detailed, and it is possible that two firemen instead of one will be in attendance at every per formance in each theatre. A uniformed policeman will also be stationed in each auditorium. The buildings themselves have been severally reported on, and particular attention has been paid to the exits, the providing of asbestos curtains, and of roof skylights which can easily be opened by a rope from the stage, and so act as flues for the escape of the flames.—The public schools have also come in for the attention of the authorities, especially with regard to the fire drill system, which has more than once been severely tested under fire and has worked most successfully. The system should lie adopted in the big stores and factories where large numbers of persons are employed. Some of these concerns in this city have a fire-fighting corps, the members of which are drilled in their work, but there should be a frequent drilling of all the employes in big buildings to accustom them to leave the building quickly and in order at the proper signal. Familiarity with this exercise would be the means of saving life in case of a fire. An extension of the system should be applied somehow or another to the city churches, many, if not all, of which are more or less of the firetrap order. Their system of exits from gallery and nave, as well as their possibilities and probabilities of catching fire, especially during crowded services when the aisles are often blocked up by chairs, which should be forbidden by law, as it is in theatres, and the means and methods (if any) of holding a fire down till the arrival of the fire department ought to be particularly seen to, and whatever evils, and these are many in number, corrected. Those charged with the administration of the churches ought to be held responsible for the safety of the worshipers.