STANDARDIZING FIRE LAWS FOR THE MOTION PICTURE INDUSTRY.
A campaign to bring about the standardization of fire protection laws relative to the motion picture industry in this country has been inaugurated by the National Association of the Motion Picture Industry, representing every branch of the business. The movement was well set in motion recently when Fire Commissioner Adamson of New York City addressed the Fire Prevention Regulations and Insurance Committee on the co-operation he received from motion picture exhibitors and others to make safe the manufacture, storage, transportation and exhibition of films. Undoubtedly this movement will receive hearty support from those cities whose aim it is to safeguard their taxpayers during their recreation hours as well as at employment. One progressive city, Newark, N. J., has been noticeably active in this respect, and it is now the claim of the Newark Municipal Safety Committee that motion picture theatres in that city have been made as safe as it is possible to make them, and that they are fireproof and panic proof. Not only arc the operators’ booths made fireproof and the films stored in metal containers, but the storage of films in film exchanges is also regulated. The action of Newark in this respect is commendable for, while celluloid is not explosive and cannot be classed with the substances which come under that head, it is highly combustible and presents a serious hazard. Although a high temperature is required to ignite celluloid, when once alight, it burns with extreme rapidity with a bright, fierce flame; if plentifully supplied with oxygen no harmful gases are produced. If, however, the celluloid becomes overheated and the air supply is limited, it smoulders and evolves large quantities of poisonous smoke. It is evident, therefore, that confined or unconfined, celluloid films are a source of great danger. In view of this fact it may well be said that the National Association of the Motion Picture Industry has instituted a movement which is certain to result in greater safety in lines connected with this particular industry, and which movement they are logically equipped to carry on to completion.