Protection for School Children.
“Speaking of school protection,” said an old member of the Detroit Fire Department recently to a reporter, “if each school was provided with a male janitor whose duty, in connection with his regular work, should be at all times during school hours, to keep a vigilant and close lookout for fire, accidents, etc., have under his charge a system of electric bells and signals, and have each room provided with a heavy woolen blanket rolled so that it could be instantly shaken out, placed where teachers or scholars could at once get it in case of any clothing of the pupils catching fire, there would be fewer serious accidents. A handy blanket would have saved all the lives of the children sacrificed at the Tilden school. Let each room be provided with a small electric bell and have it connected with the signal button in charge of the janitor. Instruct each teacher to teach his or her pupils upon the ringing of the signal bell to immediately rise from their seats and stand ready for instant dismissal. The teacher then can march them in regular order to the door and out into the hall, and await the order or report of the janitor.
“Each school should also be provided with a sufficient number of Babcock fire extinguishers to enable the janitor to reach them without delay. Also, if schools have a hall on each side, let each side be provided with an auxiliary fire alarm box, so that immediate notice can be sent to the fire department without the janitor leaving his post of duty.
“Such a system would give pupils and teachers the most efficient remedy of extinguishing fire on the person by wrapping in the handy blanket and not having to run into the clothes room. It would upon a signal arouse the whole school and insure their readiness for instant dismissal in an orderly manner should it be found necessary upon investigation. It would provide a man who in a short time would become trained to his work, with a proper fire apparatus to extinguish or hold in check any fire until the arrival of the city apparatus. It would provide a means of communication with the city fire department without going out of the building, which in most cases would involve the delay of traveling blocks and looking up keyholders to the street fire alarm boxes.
“One main feature of this system would be to always have a man constantly on hand during the time the school is filled with teachers and pupils, whose great duty during that time would be to look after their welfare. The great objection to such a system would be its cost, but without a properly trained person to handle it a Chemical extinguisher would only be a detriment.