PROTECT FACTORIES FROM FIRE.
The large number of explosions and fires that have occurred in plants used for the manufacture or storage of munitions in this country, etc., since the beginning of the war in Europe, renders fire prevention measures in private plants more than ever necessary and makes the series of instructions for protecting factories from fires by Chief William Guerin, now appearing in this journal, particularly timely as well as expert. The explosion at the munitions plant at Eddystone, Pa., recently, was the forty-third in the list of explosions that have occurred in connection with the making of munitions since the war began, according to records. Thirteen of the explosions are stated to have occurred in New Jersey, eleven in Pennsylvania, four in New York and two in Illinois, and one each in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington. This is exclusive of small flare-ups in powder factories in which destruction was not general. Four Canadian plants have been destroyed. Besides the very large property loss from munitions plant fires there has been loss of life. This list of explosions and fires with attendant loss of life speaks eloquently for the exercise of the greatest care in such plants and the adoption of adequate equipment and measures for preventing fires and for controlling them when they do occur. While incendiarism has been suspected in some instances it is also reasonable to assume that in some cases, due to the unusual activity in the manufacture of munitions, the rapid expansion of the business, increased working forces, etc,, there may have been some relaxation in carefulness and that precautions may have been overlooked by some individuals. The loss of life and the property damage should be a lesson to those in charge of all manufacturing plants of the dangers of any relaxation in carefulness because of increased business activity. In fact, the greater the business activity the greater the need for the exercise of great care as the interruption to business due to a fire can be less afforded than ever. Besides equipment and vigilance in factories the employees should be trained in fire prevention and fire drills and Chief Guerin in his instructions deals with all these phases of factory fire protection in such a practical way that they constitute a valuable manual which if adhered to can go far in reducing the fire losses and in. conserving manufacturing resources.