Prevention of Fire.

Prevention of Fire.

CIRCULAR rdcently issued by the Fire Underwriters of Missouri, under the above title has already been referred to by us. We quote here a few of the hints which will be found to be not only plausible, but eminently practical.

Electric trolley railroads should not be permitted to furnish light or power to any building, as it is highly dangerous, being almost certain to cause a fire in every instance.

Elevators, staircases, etc., should be in fireproof or fireresisting shafts or in hallways cut off from the main structure by brick walls, with self-closing doors at each story, which latter would be improved if covered with metal on both sides. Where elevators and staircases are not cut of! by brick walls, they may be cut off at small expense by metallic lath or plaster partitionsof patent plaster blocks.

Dumbwaiters, ventilating shafts, and all other openings from floor to floor throughout the buildings, if necessary (and they seldom are) should be of fire-resisting material through out ; at best they are likely to serve as flues, and convey fires throughout the structure. Wooden-chutes, wooden dumbwaiter shafts, etc., are inexcusable, and well-holes, while frequently found in mercantile buildings, ought notto be allowed anywhere.

Electric wires should be run through strong tubes of brass or other metal, with hard leather insulation. Where not soprotected, the driving of a nail by some careless mechanic, breaking the insulation and cutting the wire or combustible material may cause a short circuit and a serious fire. A small inexpensive fire-extinguisher kept on the premises may be the means of saving your property in case of fire.

Prevention of Fire.

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Prevention of Fire.

Empty boxes, barrels and rubbish in rear yards or alleys, or in the recess for windows below grade, or in area, or in cellar opening under sidewalk gratings, are dangerous. Falling sparks from neighboring fires, or a cigar or a cigarette carelessly thrown away, may cause a fire, destroying not merely the building of the owner who is at fault, but perhaps an entire city, as was lately the case in the West.

The top of a brick furnace should not be less than four inches below any wooden beams or plastered ceiling in the cellar; there should be a hanging metallic shield above the furnace.

Hot air pipes should never pass in the space between the floor and ceiling below, nor should they pass in hollow, wooden lath partitions ; in constructing a building, they should always be run through the brick wails.

Cold air boxes which supply cold air to furnaces in the cellar should be of metal ; when of wood, as is generally the case, there is great danger of fire. It may be added that wooden cold air boxes also endanger life, as they are frequently full of cracks and holes and suck the foul air of the cellar, from wet coal, decaying vegetables, sewer gas, etc., into the furnace, which then forces it throughout the living rooms of the house.

Steam pipes should not be in contact with the wood-work; they should be protected by metal sleeves and an air space of at least a quarter of an inch left around the pipe.

Roof spaces, blind attics, cock-lofts, etc.,are objectionable, as fire getting into such places is not easily discovered and is seldom extinguished. The danger is increased if the elevator shaft or staircase openings communicate with such space, as in such event, a fire in the lower stories of a building would rapidly spread to the most inaccessible portions of the building. The latter fault can easily be corrected at small expense.

Chimneys should be built from the ground, and where this is not possible, they should be corbeled out of brick wall; in no case should they rest upon wooden floor beams, which are liable to settle and open cracks. Flue walls should not be less than eight inches in thickness, and the inside or throat should be lined with cast iron or burnt clay pipes, which can be easily procured for the purpose. They should in all cases be of sufficient size to perform the service expected of them, and when connected with a steam boiler there should not be less than sixty-four square inches throat capacity. Only the best brick and mortar should be used in constructing flues. Chimneys only four inches or half a brick in thickness are dangerous.