Slight Reduction in March Fire Losses
The total fire losses for March, as recorded in the offices of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, show a slight falling off from those of February, but a large increase over January’s losses. The total for March is $33,593,909 as against $38,855,650 for February and $26,276,300 for January. The fire losses for March, 1922, were $20,684,950, which is about $12,000,000 less than last month’s figure.
There were also fewer fires in March than in February, the number of fires equalling or exceeding $10,000 in loss in March being 456 against 474 in February and 439 in January, making a total of 1,369 so far this year. The fires occurring in March with losses which equalled or exceeded $10,000 were as follows: $200,000 and over, 24; $100,000 to $200,000, 46; $75,000 to $100,000, 22; $50,000 to $75,000, 31; $40,000 to $50,000, 35; $30,000 to $40,000, 30; $20,000 to $30,000, 57; $10,000 to $20,000, 211.
Of the fires equalling or exceeding $200,000 and less than $300,000 there were 12; $300,000, 5; $400,000, 2; $500,000, 1. There were four fires of $1,000,000 and over, three of these being of $1,000,000, which were as follows: The Shepard Department Stores in Providence, R. I.; the Lister Block in Hamilton, Ont., and the Home for Incurables in Montreal, Que., the latter being one of the numerous fires in Roman Catholic institutions in the Dominion. The fourth fire, with a loss of approximately $4,000,000 was a conflagration in the forests of the Sierra Madres Mountains in Pasadena, Cal., with heavy damage to the watershed.
The slight reduction in the number of fires—18— and the corresponding reduction in the loss of some five million dollars in March as compared with February, contains some comfort to those interested in hire Prevention, especially as the extreme cold in March was even more severe than that of February and in consequence, the hazard of over-heated furnaces, chimneys and flues was fully as great, if not greater. Also February was a shorter month than March, which should have had a tendency to increase rather than decrease the latter’s record. It is hoped that these improvements will continue with milder weather and brighter business prospects and that the reduction will offset the very poor beginning that 1923 has so far made as regards decreasing the country’s fire loss.