PERFECTING THE YOUNG IDEA IN PRINCIPLES OF FIRE PREVENTION
System Adopted in the Conneaut Fire Department to Teach Care in Such Matters to the Public School Pupils-Form Used
THE head of the Conneaut fire department believes in starling Fire Prevention teaching with the youngsters, as will be seen by the “Home Inspection Blank for Conneaut School Children,” which accompanies the interesting article herewith. Chief Gough is an ardent Fire Preventionist.
If you were to go to the bank and draw out all your saving in brand new bills, and then if you were to take the money and stand in the middle of the main street of this city and set fire to the bills, one at a time, you would find yourself in the hands of a policeman before you could say Jack Robinson. There is no quesb tion about the ownership of the money. It is yours to do as you please with. You can spend it foolishly, you can give it away or you can invest it wisely. But if you burn it up, it is immediately assumed that you are crazy, or at least temporarily mentally unbalanced, and the public feels that it has a right to restrain you.
Neglect First Principles of Fire Prevention
Despite this fact, we go on serenely from year to year burning up our property without taking the slightest thought, apparently, of what we are doing. We erect costly structures and then sit dow,n and wait for them to burn because we neglect the first principle of fire prevention. Gasoline, which is more deadly than dynamite, we handle as if it was so much water. We leave matches around for children to play with. We hang our lace curtains close to the gas jet and then leave the window open when we go to bed so that the wind can blow that lace curtain into the flame.
Statistics for the year 1921 show better than words the reckless way in which the American people handle their property. There were in 1921 no less than 3,152 individual fires, which, in each instance, caused an estimated property damage of more than $10,000.
Idea of Personal Responsibility Spreading
The idea of personal responsibility is spreading fast. Pennsylvania has passed laws on the subject. The principle has been adopted in New York City, where the city has collected damages in several cases from owners of buildings that have caught fire. Owners have been compelled to pay the cost of extinguishing the fire, for the water, the men’s salaries, and the rental for the apparatus. One of these days we will wake up to the fact that fire loss is a needless waste. The people of Europe have long ago discovered it.
Home Inspection Blank for Conneaut School Children
Ordered By the Fire Chief. T. J. Gough
The teacher is requested to give one of these sheets to each of her pupils to take home. The questions should be answered by the pupil with the help of the parents and returned to the teacher on the following day. The teacher should take up the sheets when properly filled out and turn them over to the fire chief: they are not intended for the insurance companies.
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Perfecting Young Idea in Fire Prevention
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I do not think I can do better than to quote the description of a joint drill which my department held with that of the Nickel Plate Railroad fire department, appearing in the Conneaut Herald, of June 29. The drills have proved an unqualified success and have tended to the increase of efficiency in both fire departments.
“The city and the Nickel Plate railroad fire department participated in a united fire drill this morning. Promptly at ten o’clock the shop whistle sounded the alarm of fire at the shops. Chief Gough of the city department was on the scene by an invitation from T. C. Baldwin of the Nickel Plate shops.
“In exactly two minutes and forty seconds from the time the whistle blew, the Nickel Plate department under the direction of Captain Kelley had laid a line of three hundred feet of regulation fire hose, attached a nozzle to the line, placed ladders against the machine shops and had the stream of water playing on the roof of the shop building. This time was taken by Chief Gough and several others.
“Chief Gough, of the city department then turned in an alarm from Box 82 at the Nickel Plate and timed the city department from the time he turned in the alarm until the department arrived beside hydrant number four which was the one used in the drill. The department made the distance from fire headquarters to the Nickel Plate hydrant in exactly two minutes and fifty seconds, which is considered pretty fair time.
“These drills are being conducted to familiarize the men of the two departments with each other, to enable them to work together in case of emergency, with a high degree of efficiency. Officials of both the city and the Nickel Plate now realize that the two departments can successfully co-operate with one another should the occasion ever arise.
“It is planned to hold drills like the one this morning throughout the summer months. The drills will be held at least once each month. Last year the two departments succesfully drilled together, but the drill this morning marked the first one this year.”