Report on Norwood Fire Protection.
The population of Norwood, Ohio, a manufacturing suburb of Cincinnati, is about 18,000. Its fire losses are low, which may be accounted for particularly thus: Although its streets are in poor condition, they are mainly level and, therefore, such as render it easy for the department to make good time when running to a fire. The Underwriters’ committee in its report states that the waterworks are owned by the municipality; but their management is only fair. The supply is derived from driven wells of unknown, but possibly deficient capacity, which is further limited by the inadequate capacity of the air-compressors. The supply is pumped directly into the main of the equaliser. Pumps and boilers are too small to furnish both fire protection and domestic supply. The pumping station is not fireproof and contains severe internal hazards: protection, poor. Standard capacity too small to be considered as a reserve for fire protection. Pressures good, but poorly maintained at times of heavy draught. Distribution system weak, 75 per cent, of mains lieing 6-in. and less. Gate-valves in poor condition and lacking at many points. Hydrant spacing poor. The fire department is full paid, under satisfactory supervision; but financial support is not sufficient for an adequate force. Chief competent and progressive. Personnel and discipline good. Method of appointment, under civil service rules, satisfactory. The one combination hose and ladder company is well manned ; apparatus is new. Engine in reserve attends second alarms. Good supply of hose and minor equipment, but no cellar-pipe, turret-pipe or Deluge set. Drills arc excellent: but the response to alarms is insufficient, owing to the small amount of apparatus available. Fire methods and building inspections are good. Force efficient, but entirely too small for the proper protection of the city. Fire alarm system is automatic and a part of the fire department, maintained by the fire chief. Suitable headquarters. Operating apparatus new, and of good quality, but batteries poorly installed. Protection will be sufficient with proposed improvements. Station apparatus good, and well installed. Telephone service good. Boxes all of plain interfering brush-break type, and two-thirds lack cutouts. All have keys attached; many are dingy. Suitable box-map provided. Distribution only fair. Circuits new and well constructed, but of bare wire, on pedes with electric light wires in one locality. Underground duct is available on the main street, but is not yet utilised. Tests frequent and regular. Few line or box-troubles. Headquarters apparatus, circuits and one-third of boxes are new. System reliable and well maintained. More boxes needed. As to the fire department auxiliaries; The chief acts as fire marshal ; makes inspections and keeps records No recent incendiary fires. Police department cooperates properly with the fire department; but public service corporations do not. Telephone service prompt, extensive and much used for transmitting alarms. Central-station watch-service poorly installed; valuable principally to insure vigilance of watchmen. Two concerns have private brigades regularly drilled. Considerable private fire apparatus; of value to the individual lisks. Powerful aid securahle from Cincinnati after some delay. With respect to structural conditions and hazards, the report says that the building laws properly restrict frame construction, except for area; but the provisions covering brick construction are inadequate. Small fire limits specified; noncombustihle roof limits cover the entire city. Laws apparently enforced. The storage of explosives, except drugs, is covered by the State law. The State-firc-marshal law impowers the chief of the fire department to order any conditions dangerous to life or property to be remedied. Semi-annual inspections made by the chief. There is no municipal electrical department; good insurance control over inside wiring. Telephone wires on the principal street to be placed underground; otherwise, all outside wiring is overhead; but obstruction to fire apparatus is small. The conflagration-hazard is small, except for liability of group-fires; fire department and water supply inadequate for coping with large fires. Dwellings are mainly frame; hut they are generally detached 12 or more feet, and most have noncombustible roof covering.
Near Vineland, N. J., has been a destructive forest fire, which swept through several thousand acres of pine timber, the property of R. D. Wood & Co., of Millville. The wind, being very high, carried the flames through the tops of the trees. Another fire, just north of Cossaboontown, east of Vineland, destroyed much oak timber.