TO TEACH FIRE PREVENTION IN ILLINOIS SCHOOLS.

TO TEACH FIRE PREVENTION IN ILLINOIS SCHOOLS.

With the opening of the fall school term fire prevention is to be taught in the public schools of Illinois, and in order that a uniform system of teaching may be adopted State Fire Marshal Walter H. Bennett is having a text book prepared. The co-operation of Francis G. Blair, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, has made the fire marshal’s plan possible, according to Mr. Bennett, in a statement recently issued. If the lessons embodied in the book are carefully learned Fire Marshal Bennett estimated they will result in an annual saving of $10,000,000. “Seventy-five per cent, of the fires in Illinois are preventable,” said the Fire Marshal. “If the people of the State do what we tell them T haven’t the slightest doubt but what the vast majority of these preventable fires would not occur.” Some of the lessons in the new school book will deal with the match, kerosene, gasoline, oil lamps, chimneys and flues. One of the lessons will deal with ways to avoid danger from lightning. According to the 1914 report of the fire marshal fifty-five children burned to death by having their clothes set on fire from bonfires. Lesson No. 8 in the new book will deal with bonfires and their dangers. Lesson No. 9 will deal with spontaneous combustion, explaining what makes it possible and how to avoid it. The children are to have explained to them just what chemical action occurs when greasy rags piled up in a closed closet burst into flames without the aid of an outside agency. “There are very few fires in Germany which might be classed preventable,” said F. R. Borgaridge, assistant State fire marshal, who is at work on the new text book. “The Germans do not consider a fire in their homes a misfortune, rather they consider it a disgrace—and a cause for punishment by the authorities. There are fewer fires in the towns of Columbia and Waterloo than in any other towns of that size in Illinois. The population is composed chiefly of Germans, or of people of German descent.”

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