Report of Kansas State Fire Marshal
State Fire Marshal Harrison Parkman, of Kansas, in his annual report for 1914, states that during the year there were 75 people burned to death and the property loss in 2,974 fires was $3,411,224. The 1913 life loss was 117. The average daily fire loss was $9,346, as compared to $11,612 average daily loss in 1913. The report says: “That most fires are caused by carelessness is an undisputable fact and statistics prove it. An appreciation of the evil of carelessness and effort to eliminate the conditions and prevent the acts that cause fires, is the only practical course in Fire Prevention. Teaching the subject of Fire Prevention in the public schools is the surest and quickest way to impress upon the young people and also their parents the fact that fires are usually the result of carelessness and in most instances are wholly preventable. The past year has been one of great progress in municipal fire protection. The State Fire Marshal department has actively encouraged paid fire departments, the principle of civil service in the employment of fire chiefs, attendance of fire chiefs at the New Orleans convention, systematic and persistent efforts in inspection, improvement in water supply and the purchase of motor equipment. In visiting fire departments the hearty co-operation of chiefs in the State’s campaign of Fire Prevention has been secured in almost every instance. Overinsurance is the direct cause of every incendiary fire, except those few set for revenge or by a pyromaniac. I suggest the passage of a law that would permit a review in court when overinsurance is charged, the insurance company to pay the face of the policy to the court, the actual loss to be paid the insured by the court and the balance turned over to the general revenue fund of the State. In this way, the persons overinsuring would gain nothing by a fire, the company would lose the face value of the policy and consequently place the blame where it rightly belongs, with the local agent. I believe that such a law would do much to eliminaate overinsurance.” In Kansas 334 towns out of 497 observed Fire Prevention Day. The report further says: Most of the towns and cities of Che State have adopted a sane Fourth of July ordinance and as a result there was practically no fire loss on July Fourth, 1914, due to fireworks. The great increase in the number of motion picture theatres in the past few years has introduced a new hazard that should receive careful attention from the Legislature. Constant changes in the construcstruction of the picture projecting machines soon make laws for their governance cumbersome or useless, often within a few months after they are passed. The power to make and change the rules and regulations applicable to theatres or motion picture theatres should be given some official.