The Celluloid Hazard.

The Celluloid Hazard.

A public hearing was held in New York last week by the Municipal Explosives Commission relative to regulations governing the manufacture and storage of celluloid, fiberoid, collodion and other nitro substitution compounds, and the articles made or produced therefrom. Deputy Fire Commissioner Patrick A. Whitney, who is chairman of the commission, presided. Representatives of the celluloid trade who attended the hearing spoke of the conditions prevailing in factories and salesrooms where celluloid goods are stored. At the present time a concern is obliged to get out a permit from the fire department if it carries in stock over 500 pounds of celluloid or its products. The. speakers declared this rule rather stringent and suggested that the quantity be reduced. It was also asserted that the regulations of the fire department ought to distinguish between manufacturers and dealers. Only a few small factories of this character are located in this city, while most of the large plants are in Jersey. Marshal C. Lefferts, president of the Celluloid Company, was the principal speaker. He gave a detailed description of the manufacture of celluloid articles, and said that he did not consider the business hazardous from a fire standpoint. After hearing the testimony of various representatives of the industry, who were almost unanimous it) asserting the harmless nature of the business and the non-combustibility of the product. Chairman Whitney instructed the celluloid people to prepare regulations suitable to themselves and present them for revision to the commission.

The proposition for installation of a complete tire alarm system in Ilion, N. Y., which has been much discussed during the past few weeks, and which met defeat at a prior election, was carried at a second election by a majority of 249. A total of 496 ballots were cast.

THE CELLULOID HAZARD.

THE CELLULOID HAZARD.

In commenting on the subject of the hazard of celluloid stocks the Financial Chronicle says: “A recent disastrous fire at St. Petersburg further emphasises the serious danger caused by the presence of celluloid goods in stocks, even when restricted to quite moderate quantities. One evening shortly before Easter a fire broke out in a basket of celluloid goods on the ground floor of a large fancy goods establishment, while business was in full swing, and spread with incredible rapidity throughout the building, resulting in loss and injury to life, as well as the total destruction of buildings and stock of the value of over $500,000. It has been clearly established that this fire occurred through the carelessness of a customer, who placed a lighted cigar on the edge of the counter, whence it fell into the basket of celluloid goods. The building was very massive, of so-called fireproof construction, the floors being of concrete and iron. As a result, however, (1) of the combustible contents, (2) of openings for stairs, etc., and (3) of unprotected ironwork, the whole building became rapidly involved, and partly collapsed, leaving nothing above the level of the ground but dangerous walls, which prevented any timely recovery of salvage from the flooded cellars. This disaster follows closely upon the fatal fire in the Boulevard de Sebastopol, Paris. Although in the latter case the fire apparently originated through a gas explosion in the floor under the celluloid comb workshop, the cause of the dangerous rapidity and intensity of the fire was clearly due to the inflammable character of the celluloid goods, which rendered it impossible for the workpeople on this floor and the occupants of the residential flats on the fifth and sixth stories to escape. The same lightning-like rapidity in the spread of a fire where celluloid goods are involved was also demonstrated in the fatal fire in Queen Victoria street, of London, in June, 1902.”