Reports of the Texas Fire Marshal

Reports of the Texas Fire Marshal

The Texas State Fire Marshal, S. W. Inglish, has issued a statement showing that reports of fires and their causes, filed with the Insurance Board during the past fourteen months, give a total of 81.3 per cent, preventable fires in the dwelling class and 65 per cent, of preventable fires of other classes. The principal causes of these fires, the percentage of each and a statement urging fire marshals and chiefs to abate common Eazards, were added by Mr. Inglish as follows:

The percentage of preventable fires in all other classes than dwellings is found to be 65 per cent., the principal causes of which are as follows:

Causes.

Particular attention is directed to these figures in order to emphasize the necessity for activity in applying the remedies that will at least have a tendency to tetter conditions responsible therefor, if not entirely eliminate the causes, many of which are present to-day through carelessness alone, not far removed from criminality. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and eternal vigilance only, on the part of officials charged with the labor of looking after the public’s interests along the lines of fire prevention, as well as on the part of the itul-vioual citizen himself, can eradicate these causes of fires. It will be noted that 15.5 per cent, of all dwelling fires resulted from flues The question that naturally follows is: What is the condition of the flues in homes in your city, and when were the last flue inspections made? Fires caused by stoves and heating devices cover 10 per cent, of all dwelling fires, as shown by the figures above given. Have inspections been made for the purpose of ascertaining defects in the installation of stoves, ranges, furnaces and heating svstems. and have such defects or improper installation been remedied? What are the conditions as relates to ranges and stoves in the kitchens of hotels, restaurants and eating houses? What steps have been taken to regulate the storage of gasoline and volatiles and explosives? In what condition is electric wiring? What steps are taken daily to clear out accumulations of rubbish, such as boxes, barrels, waste paper and the many other fire-breeding hazards so commonly found in back yards? Has your city an official backed by the provisions of adequate ordinances, whose duty it is to see to it that fire dangers are minimized ? Ashes, candles and carelessness, indiscriminate burning of grass and refuse materials, spontaneous combustion caused by oily cloth or rags and waste improperly dumped aside and out of buildings, loose or inflammable receptacles and the parlor match with its ever-present menace, are responsible for a large percentage of fires. Are there ordinances regulating these matters and are there local officials to enforce them? This office will cheerfully furnish draft of measures to any city or town in the state not having already fully covered the subject by ordinance, upon receipt of advice that such advisory measures arc desired, to the end that the loss by fire in I’exas, already astounding in its proportions, may be substantially decreased. This office would urge upon all city fire marshals and chiefs of fire departments and local municipal authorities throughout the state the need for ac‘ivity in the prompt abatement of all of the common fire hazards set out above, and bespeaks for the local authorities the hearty and active cooperation of every citizen interested in the public welfare.

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