THE DAWSON FIRE DEPARTMENT

THE DAWSON FIRE DEPARTMENT

DAWSON, Y. T., February 14, 1909.

This far northwestern town of ours was very lucky during the year just passed, the total fire loss amounting to but $637. an average of $14 for each of 44 fires. This is the smallest loss in the history of the town. With the exception of two brick buildings and three with plastered interiors, every building in the town is of wooden construction. The interiors are finished with cheesecloth and paper. The bylaws require that all buildings shall be constructed, and those requiring repairs over a stated amount, be covered with corrugated iron and asbestos paper, their roofs to he covered with iron or other incombustible material. These bylaws are strictly enforced. Our immunity from fire is due to a great extent to the complete system of inspection, to which all risks are subjected, The class and condition of each is noted in the books of the inspection department, each risk being visited regularly. A reference to these books will show in what manner each building is heated and lighted, and the nature of the content. If this system were carried out in all towns, it is a certainty that the annual fire loss would be appreciably less Observation and experience go to show that, notwithstanding the great strides made in improvements and additions to firefighting appliances and the acknowledged efficiency of the men handling them, the fire waste is increasing every year by leaps and bounds. I have noted with some surprise the frequency with which fire departments in the East go up against the frozen hydrant proposition, more especially in places like Xew York and Chicago, where zero weather or worse is expected during the winter season. The average temperature in Dawson last month was 4:13° below zero. The coldest day was Sunday, January 24, when the minimum was fi;i° below zero. Eight days during the month it was 60° or more. Eight days it was in the 50’s below : nine days it was in the 40’s; five days it was in the 30 s. and one day in the 2()’s. All these are Fahrenheit registrations. We have pretty cold weather in this part of the world, as a glance at tlie above registrations will show ; but, fortunately, we have been able to avoid such an experience, up to the present. We have a system of wooden mains, with hydrants located at every street corner in the business section, and one for every two or three blocks, on the outskirts. The water is pumped from the Klondike river, by Reidler high duty pumps of a capacity tested to supply eight lyi-in. streams, at a pressure of 140 to 100 lb. at the hydrant. During cold weather—50° or more below zero—the temperature of the water is raised by passing it through a heater supplied with live steam from 500 horsepower boilers. By this arrangement the temperature of the water at the farthest point of delivery is kept at not less than 40° above freezing. In place of the regular hydrants, we use ordinary iron pipe, fitted with a T. and gate-valves for hose-connections. These hydrants are fitted with electric heaters, shaped like a collar, and clamped to the hydrant about midway between the main and the top of hydrant. A square box painted red and having a lid on hinges is placed over the hydrant. We have had hut one hydrant freeze on us since the installation of this system three years ago, and that was on a dead end, and caused by the blowing off the fuse in the line leading to this particular heater.

CHIEF J. A. LESTER, DAWSON, Y. T., CANADA.CENTRAL FIRE STATION, DAWSON, Y. T. CANADA.

J. A. LESTER,

Chief Eire Department,

Dawson, Y. T., Canada.

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