Photography in Fire Prevention

Photography in Fire Prevention

As part of the fire prevention program of Schenectady, N. Y., the bureau of fire of the department of public safety has adopted a new plan by which photography is to be employed in gathering evidence to enforce the abolition of fire traps. Cameras and a full developing and printing outfit has been secured and the fire marshal’s division will take pictures of bad conditions in yards, cellars and buildings. These pictures are to be developed and used to cause proper changes to take place. When it is found impossible for the department to have these conditions remedied, slides will be made from the photographs and exhibited at various theatres about the city. Exposures will also be made of suspicious places at either day or night fires, and even during the fire to secure clear, convincing evidence should any cases come into the courts. Commissioner of Public Safety John K. Alexander has installed this equipment and all pictures taken will be filed at the office of Chief Henry R. Yates. This will be without expense to the city, as the work will be carried on by members of the fire marshal’s bureau. It is considered that the work of the department in “fire prevention” is as important and essential to the city as the apparatus for putting it out. It is the intention of the department to keep records and copies of pictures of unsafe places, of which copies will be handed to the police court justice, as well as full records and pictures of such places as are found untidy. There are many cellars in the city where merchants and others are careless with inflammable materials and rubbish. These persons have been respectfully invited to take a look at the cellars of the various fire stations in the city for an idea of how things may be kept. It is believed the photography idea will prove a great aid in keeping conditions in this city more safe and clean in the future than in the past. Schenectady stands among the highest in this respect of the cities of the state.

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