Big fires in small towns have been quite numerous during the past few weeks. In many instances the fires might have been extinguished,had the boroughs or villages some apparatus for fighting the fires; but, with only a bucket brigade for relief, the flames were permitted to work out complete destruction.

Chief Miles Humphreys, of the Pittsburgh department believes that the small towns might save much property from destruction by adopting a few of the modern devices now on the market for extinguishing fires. He refers particularly to towns like Grove City, Spartansburg. and Youngsville, Pa., which are a few of the places recently visited by big fires. Tnese towns are in no manner prepared for big fires.

There is no known element he says so deadly to the progress of a Areas a good supply of water. In the first place all towns should have an abundance of water for extinguishing fires. In Braddock and McKeesport the Holly system is in use, and very effectively. These small towns have no fire engines. By a gravity system the water is always at a strong pressure in the pipes, and from the reservoir can be made even stronger in case of fire. The buildings of these places not being very high a sufficient force of water is always available when necessary. In small towns bordering on a creek or stream of water an engine should be owned. With a fire once having a good start, all the bucket brigades of the State would prove insufficient. A steady flow of water is absolutely necessary, and an engine is the quickest and surest way of getting it. In the absence of a water supply, however, I should recommend that all small manufacturing houses and private dwellings be supplied with chemical hand extinguishers. In our city th losses are kept down very considerably by the use o chemical and hand apparatus. The tank contains about t gallons of water with the solution of bichloride of soda sulphuric acid. This supplies a strong pressure and a temporary stream. The contents of the apparatus are sure to extinguish a small fire. These hand extinguishers should be owned by every property owner. They can be purchased for from $15 to $30 apiece. Where the extinguishers fail, water, and a plentiful supply, is needed. Then, by all means, I would recommend that a fire engine be purchased, with plenty of hose and a small volunteer company in readiness all the time and willing to work. Many of the smaller towns, like Bridgeville, which was recently visited by a fire, are making provisions for the future. It has been discovered that money spent for the protection of property is never wasted, no matter how small the town or how costly the apparatus.



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