TOO MUCH PROTECTION.
It seems there is such a thing as having too much protection against fire, There were two fires in this city last week, among the dry goods houses, in both of which the losses were greatly aggravated by the very means adopted to protect the establishments from the danger of fire. When the Firemen arrived on the ground, they found in each instance a fire raging within the building, and also that every door and window was securely barricaded with iron shutters. These were securely fastened from the inside, and for a long time defied the efforts of the Firemen to open them. Fully half an hour was consumed in one instance. Meantime the flames were playing sad havoc with the interior of the building, and gained such headway as to complete the destruction of the building and stock.
Iron shutters and doors are, undoubtedly, good things for keeping burglars out of buildings, and also for preventing fire from communicating from the outside. But they are also good for locking in a fire that originates within, and for preventing the Firemen from getting at the flames in time to subdue them. Iron shutters and doors, made to roll up and down, are especially difficult to get at, for they are usually locked with extraordinary precaution and the key carried away. Much time is necessarily lost by the Firemen in overcoming obstructions of this kind. If such fire protection is necessary to guard against the spread of fires from without, it would seem desirable that the Firemen, in the districts where such shutters are used, should be informed of some means by which access to such buildings may ho obtained in cases of emergency. Thousands of dollars would have been saved at the fires last week, if the Firemen could have got into the buildings when they first reached the scene. As at present managed, iron shutters appear to offer that kind of protection which is
warranted not to protect.