THE FIRE MARSHAL.
What the chief of the fire department is to the municipality, the fire marshal is to the State. He stands in very much the same relationship to the commonwealth as does the chief to the city, but perhaps his duties cover comparatively a wider field. Not only must he protect the people of the State from dangerous fire hazards that exist in his jurisdiction and see that these menaces are removed, but the prosecution and conviction of the offenders devolves very largely upon him and his subordinates. An interesting paper on this subject by one who is a recognized authority on this subject, and whom the Fire Marshals’ Association of North America has recently honored by electing as its president, appears in another column. It is entitled “The Enlarged Sphere of the. Fire Marshal’s Activity,” ard in it Mr. Fleming points ou that, since the entry of America into the war, the duties of the fire marshal’s office have greatly broadened and extended. “Starting,” says the fire marshal, “as an advance against the salients of arson, our lines have progressed until the columns are spreading fan-like, into many direction, each column having a definite objective, and each objective being an important, dominant factor in the reduction of our needless, heedless, enormous fire losses. When we have a standard law that will reach the firebug or careless person equally in Canada. Oklahoma, Florida, or Ohio, and when we have a personal liability law that will put caution, carefulness and conservation into the hearts of our people, we have not only gone over the top, but we have arrived! With the firebug out of the way, and with the people knowing that their carelessness is going to make them liable for a neighbor’s loss, we can turn our attention to matters of building construction, fire, prevention and protection equipment, and to pushing our campaign of education still further away from the bases—which are the schoolroom and the home.” Mr. Fleming particularly emphasizes the necessity of standard laws on arson and raises the question as to the disposition of the pyromaniac. He suggests as a solution of the problem that the parent or guardian of the person so afflicted should be held responsible for his or her acts, and furthermore that through the agency of the Association, the pyromaniac should be prevented from passing from one State to another.