THE CHICAGO DEPARTMENT.
The following extracts are from the annual report of Superintendent]. B. Barrett, of the Chicago Fire Alarm Telegraph:
M. BENNER, Fire Marshal and Chief of Brigade:
This, my third annual report (the same being the fourteenth since the introduction of the Fire Alarm and Police Telegraph system), presents the condition and gives the precise information and operations of tne Fire Alarm Telegraph of Chicago, for the year ending Dec. 31, 1878:
Our Department at present his in operation—312 miles of wire, 3032 telegraph poles, 471 fire alarm boxes, 1100 jars of battery. 13 striking appara’us, 13 bells, 43 fire alarm gongs, 32 automatic register. (“Jokers ’ 15 police dials.
In my last annml report, your especial auention was called to the absolute necessity of procuring some suitable device that would overcome the loss of such valuable time in procuring a key to the alarm boxes, for the purpose of communicating an alarm of fire. After making examination, we concluded to adopt the device krown as the “ Tooker Keyless Door,” and located thirty of them in the business district of the city ; they have been so placed for seven months, and proved to be just what was required. The arrangement of these doors is such that any person can open the door of the box, and communicate with the Department. At the same time the opening of the door sounds a local alarm, so as to notify the immediate neighborhood of the fact that the fire alarm box is tampered with. I would therefore recommend that said door be placed on all boxes as soon as possible.
I renew my recommendation of last year, that the bells on Engine Houses Nos. 2. 9 and 12 be placed on substantial towers.
The rebuilding and refitting of the lines and machinery of our system, in the two preceding years, have shown conclusively that the system is in first-class condition ; at.d has given perfect satisfaction in receiving and transmitting alarms, and owing to the perfect manner in which the chief operator and his assistants have performed their du’ies, we have not a mistake or failure.
The Superintendent recommends that a fire alarm box be placed in a conspicuous position in the public schools, churches, colleges, theatres and public halls.
During the year we have received and transmitted 489 alarms of fires from our fire alarm boxes, and 165 still alarms were given on our “ Joker ” lines by apparatus receiving still alarms, and repeated to all apparatus in the Department trom the fire alarm office.
In the accompanying tables it shows that, during the year, 489 alarms of fire were given. The hours of 1 to 12, inclusive, P. M., furnishing 309 of them. The favorite hours for the fire fiend to make himt-elf known, were 6 P. M., 7 P. M., and 9 P. M., each contributing 33 alarms; 8 P. M., 32 alarms. ‘The smallest number occurred at 6 A. M., which during the year sent in only four alarms. The favorite month was July, 55 alarms ; the lowest, February, 31 alarms ; the average, 40K. 1 he day of the week which carries off the palm appears to be Wedesday,
with 85 alarms Sunday, the least number, 58. The boxes that were “ pulled,” (not always bv the police) the greatest number of times, were No. 288, located c rner Des Plaines and Randolph streets, and No. 431, corner Throop and Twelftn streets, each sending eight alarms. Many of course were not used at all.
THE REPAIR SHOPS.
The following is the report of Assistant Marshal Petrie, in charge of the repair shops:
M. Benner. Fire Marshal and Chief of Brigade :
I have the honor to make the following report, as the work performed by this branch of the service for the past fiscal year; also the cost of each apparatus since my last report, and the condition of the same up to date :
The brass foundry, started in connection with the repair shop, has proved very beneficial to the Department, thereby saving a great expense; 3740 pounds of casting were made in the same in the past year; there was also a great amount of work done in the same for the Fire Alarm Telegraph, in making Battery Supplies, which is not included in the above.
The following named apparatus received general repairs and have been rebuilt during the past year :
Propeller Engine No. 10 changed to horse Engine No. 14. New fire-box and flues
New fire-box and flues Nos. 19, 20, 22, 23 and 27.
Hose Carriages and Reels Nos. 7, 8, 13, 15, 18 and 23.
Hook and Ladder Trucks Nos. 2, 4 and 6.
Batallion Wagons rebuilt, 4.
All of which arc now in first-class condition and as good as new.
The following Engines are in very poor condition especially the boilers, which are in an unsafe condition and liable to give out at any time; and I would recommend that they be replaced as soon as possible by new ones : Nos. 2, 7. 16 and 20.
I would recommend that the following Engines be rebuilt: Nos 9. 13,15. 24 and old substitute Engines Nos. x and 8 ; and that the propeller Engines Nos. 1 17 be changed to horse Engines.
Hook and Ladder Trucks Nos. 1 and 3 also require a general overhauling. The Hose Carriages of Engine Companies Nos. 4,6, 9andi2should also be rebuilt, and those of Engine Companies Nos. 16 ard 26 should be replaced by new ones, as they have become old and worn out by long service.
Below you will find an itemized account of the cost of each apparatus for the past year.
In conclusion I wish to return my sincere thanks to yourself, the Committee on Fire and Water, and the chief officers and members of the Fire Department for the earnest support given to this branch of the Service for the past year.
CHARI.ES S. PETRIE,
Second Assistant Fire Marshal in charge of Repair Shop.
Expenses for Repairs to Machinery during the Year.
The following statement exhibits the expenses for repairs to the machinery of the Department for the past year, in comparison with that of the eight years previous :
† Including cost of rebuilding old Engines Nos. 5, 6, 12 and r8.
E’irst Assi-tant Marshal D. J. Sweenie, Inspector of the Department, reports 18 Engines in good condition, 7 fair and 4 poor ; Hook and Ladder Trucks, 5 good, 1 fair, 2 poor; two-wheel Hose Carts, 12 gojd, 5 fair, 4 poor; four wheel Hose Carriages, 7 good, 1 poor. The following shows the amount and condition of hose on hand .