The Conflagration-Hazard.

The Conflagration-Hazard.

E. H. A. Correa, vicepresident of the Home Insurance company sees “in the general conditions that surround the construction and occupancy of the majority of our larger cities a certain danger that we must all be alive to. and one which naturally will lead to the possibilities from time to time of a recurrence of conflagrations. as the word is now used in insurance vocabulary. I11 our large mercantile centres we have two things to contend with. One is large area-risks as to flat surface, and the other large risks brought about by height. Both of these conditions I consider most dangerous. The expansion of business requires for the storage and display of merchandise large floor-space, and, when under the cld construction—which we all know is not of the very best in the majority of our cities, the walls being inadequate to resist the severe heat from a very combustible lot of contents—it is found necessary to create more space, there is no restriction placed upon openings between buildings making a single fire-hazard, and the snace thus created develoos a condition with which even our extremelv well equiped New York fire department quite often finds it difficult to cope in cases of fire. Added to the general mercantile congestion, when we take the severe hazards sometimes brought about by manufacturing establishments promiscuously interspersed between our high-valued risks in congested centres, we look, naturally, for a hazard from exposure that is most severe, and which we have found in the last few years almost impossible to cope with when a fire has been able to obtain a fairly good headway.”

The Conflagration-Hazard.

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The Conflagration-Hazard.

President J. L. Cunningham, of the Glens Falls Insurance company, speaking of the conflagrationhazard said recently: “The conditions which made the Chelsea conflagration a $10,000,000 loss were not unusual or exceptional. Just an ordinary, everyday fire, quickly fanned by a high wind into a conflagration which would have prevailed against better construction and better firefighting facilities. The two chief factors seem to have been the wind and a considerable combustible area—a combination easily possible in scores of localities in this country. Indeed, there are few of our towns or cities which have not quite similar construction largely or in parts and these parts menace better constructed portions. The superintense heat of a well-started conflagration forced by a natural wind, or such as is created by the conflagration itself, against even good construction material, is nearly irresistible. This latest conflagration ought not to be so much a wonder as that we have had so few like it. The danger of conflagrations can be, is very slowly being reduced by best modern construction and more general use of the most complete appliances for preventing and extinguishing lire; but who can prophesy when this new country will approach the non-conflagration conditions of the old countries of Europe? With reference to improvement in firefighting facilities, it is plain enough that every invention, contrivance, plan or suggestion which will give quicker fire-alarm and more sudden arrival of apparatus, or the bringing into more general use the best along these lines now known, will be in the direction of doing the most good at the right time.”