Ordinances Proposed by Fire Marshal Bennett, of Illinois
State Fire Marshal Walter H. Bennett, of Illinois, is making special efforts to obtain the passage in every city of the State, outside Chicago, of six ordinances designed to cut down the fire loss of the State which amounts to more than $15,000,000 annually. The first of the ordinances provides for fire escapes on all buildings three or more stories high, except private residences, the city to build the escapes at the expense of any owner who objects to do so, the owner to be subject to a fine in addition. Another ordinance makes the safe and sane Fourth of July idea compulsory, with penalties for the retail of fireworks and other combustibles. The monthly inspection of all buildings and premises in the closely built sections of the city, except the interiors of private residences, is the substance of another of the ordinances, which also confers upon the fire chief the authority to order fire trap buildings which endanger other property destroyed. Next comes a regulation on the storage and handling of crude petroleum, benzine, benzol, gasoline, naphtha, ether and other volatile combustibles. This ordinance would make it a misdemeanor for any excess over ten gallons of any of the listed substances to be kept within city limits unless in specially constructed storage tanks buried beneath the surface of the earth. The fifth ordinance would regulate automobile garages and a sixth would provide for the supervision of the stringing of all electric light and power wires, and telegraph and telephone wires. Fire Marshal Bennett believes that if his suggestions are made laws they will materially decrease the fire loss.