THE NEW SCHOOL OF FIRE MARSHALS.

THE NEW SCHOOL OF FIRE MARSHALS.

The newer school of fire marshals is proving more energetic and practical than that which preceded it. That is to say: So far as regards evincing a real disposition towards enforcing the laws and enlightening outsiders as to what precautions to take against fire, the fire marshals of today are doing more than those who have filled the same office in years past. This is more clearly evidenced in those officials who have recently been appointed for the first time, and, if these can only keep up the attitude they have adopted and continue, not only to look up the causes of fires with a view to putting down incendiarism, but, also, to publish for general circulation practical information on the subject of fire-prevention and fire-extinguishment, they will show to a somewhat unbelieving world that their positions have been created, not merely to make provision fi r the hangers-on of some political party, but for a certain, definite end and aim—namely, the prevention of the destruction of property by fire and putting down of incendiarism—a prime factor of lire waste, especially in the rural districts. As the last is one of the principal reasons for the appointment of State marshals, it is clear that, in order to fulfil that end, the law with regard to the immediate reporting of fires to the State fire m.v-hal should be carried out to the letter, irre spectivt of the fact that no fee may be attached to tlu making of such reports. The man whose duty it is to do so holds a salaried office subject to that condition: it is. therefore, hts part to do what is required of him in that line, jnst as it is that of the fire marshal to see that tile law is obeyed by those who come under its purview in that particular. In the State of Wisconsin, if the newly created fire marshal can have his own way, the provisions of the act just passed by the local legislature will be strictly enforced, and now fire chiefs, mayors and township clerks must report fires to the State fire marshal or pay a fine of from $25 to $200, if they neglect to do so. The report must be made in the case of every lire in which the loss is said to be more than $25, or, if the cause is unknown, an investigation must be begun within two days. If that duty falls on the township clerk, he receives a fee of $2 and is also paid ten cents a mile to and by tire chiefs, mayors or city clerks, these are from the place of the fire, if the report is made paid no fee, if they receive fixed salaries of more than $50 a year. Furthermore, such reports are to be kept absolutely secret by the fire marshal and all concerned, in order that no enemies may he made by giving the information. The Wisconsin law seems to be conceived in a spirit of greater liberality than most others of the same class. As a rule, custom seems to prescribe for the fire marshal conditions difficult to be carried out in consequence of the lack of an adequate appropriation. But making bricks without straw is even more impossible in the twentieth century than in the days of Israel in Egypt.

B. BOSCH. American-La France Fire Engine Co.

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