SEVEN CAUSES OF FIRE IN NEW YORK

SEVEN CAUSES OF FIRE IN NEW YORK

Fire Commissioner F. J. Lantry, of New York city, has set down the following as the principal causes of fires in the metropolis: (I) Mice and matches, as has been shown when floors have been torn up and matches found in the nests of mice. (2) Awning fires, caused by the carelessness of smokers, who throw burning cigarettes or cigar butts from the windows. These lodge on the awnings and start fires. (3) Carelessness in handling rubbish, which has accumulated in the cellars in business buildings and houses, in defiance of the law. (4) Oldfashioned shafts (elevator and dumbwaiter), serving as flues, up which the flames rush as when ordinary chimneys furnish draughts for furnaces and stoves. Modern building laws have somewhat reduced this hazard; but through carelessness the metal doors of the shafts in the cellar or basement, ordered by law. to be kept closed, are left open, with disastrous results. (5) Lace curtains, blown by the wind or draught against gas jets or naked lights, catch fire, the flames run along the curtain pole, set fire to the surrounding woodwork, generally very dry, and a serious fire results. Last year in the boroughs of Manhattan, Richmond and The Bronx, 216 fires originated from this cause alone. (6) Matches caused 887 fires, and with a child attachment, 288 more—a total of 1,175. In the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens 732 fires arose from matches igniting awnings, bed clothing, rubbish, straw, etc. (7) Throwing away lighted cigars and cigarette stubs (the cigarette being the more dangerous of the two because a cigar-end soon burns out, whereas a cigarette burns on to the end) is another fruitful source of danger. Yet nothing is easier than to stamp out end or stub when thrown away. For all these causes of fire caution intelligently applied and impressed on employer and employed men, women and children, is the great remedy.

W. H. Riker, William Hendershott and Edward S. Smith are respectively chief, first and second assistant chief of the Chatham. N. J.. firedepartment.

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