To Ask for Safer Factory Conditions.
Following is a set of resolutions adopted at a meeting of citizens in the Metropolitan Opera House last Sunday to take action that will prevent a recurrence of the Asch building disaster. The resolutions have the old familiar ring of the song of “locking the barn door after the horse is stolen,” and will soon be only a thing of memory:
Whereas, It should be realized that the Washington place disaster was due to neglect on the part of the whole community; and whereas a repetition of the calamity can be prevented only by the citizens doing their part in securing the enactment of effective laws and their stringent en forcemcnts;
Therefore be it resolved, That while we call upon the city officials to exercise immediately all their powers under the building code to require that all factory and loft buildings be put into a safe condition, and to make an adequate increase in the number of inspectors, invoking, if necessary, the peremptory power of the Board of Health;
That we call upon the Legislature immediately to create the Bureau of Fire Prevention, recommended by the fire commissioner;
That we petition the Board of Estimate to make sufficient appropriation to enable the fire department to develop immediately the work of fire prevention;
That we ask the Board of Aldermen not to relax the fire rules against overcrowding and standing in rear aisles in theaters and moving picture shows, and to adopt similar rules requiring sufficient aisle space for access to fire exits in stores, factories and work shops;
That we reconnizc as fundamental the following safeguards: Compulsory fire drills, adequate fireproof exits, unlocked doors opening outward, fire alarms, automatic sprinklers, regular inspection and testing of apparatus;
That we commend to employers and employes the plan now in operation in the cloakmaking industry, giving power to a joint board to inspect factories and to enforce the standards of safety;
That we favor as the most effective means of preventing accidents to working people the plan which invokes the self-interest of employers by a system of workmen’s compensation, such as is in force in other civilized countries;
That the Mayor of New York be asked to cal! a conference on fire prevention, extending invitations to mayors, fire chiefs and fire experts throughout the country;
That the chairman of this meeting appoint a committee of five with power to co-operate with other organizations and committees to appoint a permanent committee to the end that there may be a continued effort to secure these vital requirements.