Transits for Detecting the Location of Fires

Transits for Detecting the Location of Fires

The Defense Council of the City of Paterson, N. J., recently put into operation a new fire detection system devised by a member of the council’s advisory committee, James M. Dunn.

At seven locations, six within the city and one without, there have been set up transits which, during a blackout, can be used to establish compass bearings of a fire or other incident. These seven transits have been permanently established on the top of strategic buildings. The base of the transit is made up of a piece of tempered pressed wood, twentyfour inches in diameter. It is divided on the periphery into segments of five degrees. An indicator at the base provides for quick and accurate reading.

The watcher looks through the telescope of the transit, sights his objective, takes his reading and reports by direct phone to Control Center. At least three watchers will be in a position to sight the objective and establish the compass bearings. These readings, when telephoned to the Control Center, will be located on the master map.

On the master map there have been entered the location of transits, together with a circle for each, carrying the fifteen degree numbered divisions that are on the base of the transit. The master map and the transits have been oriented for true north by the city engineer.

In the case of a fire or other disaster the point of intersection that results from the bearings given enable the officials at Control Center to locate the spot involved immediately.

It is anticipated that this innovation will be of great value at the time of total blackout. In addition it will be serviceable in cases of attempted sabotage at spots not easily discernable by fire watchers or wardens.

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