Poor Protection in Buildings Outside Limits
It is a strangely shortsighted policy that is so often brought to light when fires occur in factories and other business establishments Situated outside the limits of a city whose department will be called upon to respond in a case of an alarm. This is the carelessness as regards the means provided—or more correctly not provided—to fight a possible blaze that is apt to occur at any time. This inexplainable indifference to the fire hazard is manifest, not only in the lack of actual fire fighting appliances provided by the plant authorities but also in the utter absence of means by which the firemen when they arrive with their apparatus can cope with the blaze. A case in point is that reported by Chief A. S. Brownewell, the efficient head of the Wichita, Texas, fire department. In this instance the department was called to a fire in a large motor car plant situated beyond the Wichita fire limits. In spite of the fact that this establishment was over the city line and therefore could not count on the regular water supply, the-only two hydrants available had only twoinch connections, and consequently the fire department apparatus could not couple up as the hose connections did not fit. This left but two available hydrant streams from the two-inch, cotton unlined hose provided by the company. The engine streams which should have been used to fight the fire were never thrown, so there was no way for the department to couple up the hose. It is needless to add that the buildings involved when the firemen arrived were a total loss. By admirable work under such adverse conditions the department was able to save the rest of the plant.
A lesson to be learned from this fire is that, especially beyond the limits of the regular water supply, a manufacturing plant should see to it that there are plenty of hydrants available with good pressure and that all hose connections are standard, so that the fire department of the city can take advantage of them in the event of a fire. It would be excellent fire prevention work in the cases of large manufacturing establishments situated outside the limits of cities, if the chiefs of fire departments should make it a point to visit these plants every so often, impress upon the authorities the necessity of providing proper means to fight fire when it occurs and see to it that these recommendations are carried out. Work of this kind would avoid the contingency of a department arriving at a fire only to find themselves and their apparatus helpless through lack of means provided to fight the blaze.