Old Fire Alarm System Called Peril to New York

Old Fire Alarm System Called Peril to New York

New York needs a new fire alarm system, “and needs it quick,” again urged the City Club last week in supporting Commissioner Johnson’s recent recommendations. The present system is liable at any time to such failure as to render it wholly useless to the fire department in the time of greatest need, says the report of the Club’s committee on fire protection, which was sent to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. Charles H. Strong, President of the Club, in transmitting the report wrote this letter to the members of the Board of Estimates and Apportionment :

Gentlemen : On the 23d of February we sent to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment a communication relating to the necessity of a new fire alarm system. We desire to supplement communication by adding that we regard the installation of a new system for fire alarm as a matter of gravest consequence to the city, and to urge upon the Board of Estimate and Apportionment the prompt appropriation for that purpose of such funds as are available. We understand that the city engineers have approved plans for the installation of such system after the most careful consideration. May we add what is probably in no sense necessary that before the board finally acts upon the precise plan to be adopted care should be taken to insure competition as the situation permits among those desiring to install the system, to the end that special interests, if here be any such, may not be subserved. We append hereto a copy of the carefully considered report of the club’s committee on fire protection, which the board of trustees has unanimously adopted.

Yours respectfully,


The committee’s report in part follows :

Whereas the present fire alarm system in the Borough of Manhattan is antiquated and thoroughl yinadequate to perform its important functions and by its liability to fail at a critical moment is a constant menace to the safety of several millions of people and untold values of property, as is evidenced by the reports of experts who have from time to time examined the system and in particular the report of the National Board of Fire Underwriters made after a most thorough examination of the fire alarm system of the Borough of Manhattan; now therefore be it

Resolved, That this committee does hereby recommend the City Club to apprise the board of the necessity for immediate action and the grave danger due to unnecessary delay and to respectfully request the board to take action at the earliest possible moment for the appropriation of funds for the entire reconstruction of the fire alarm system in the Borough of Manhattan along modern lines, as recommended by the city’s engineers.

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