WEAK POINTS IN THE PROTECTION OF KANSAS CITY.
The report of the fire-protective facilities of Kansas City, Mo., as sent in to the National Board of Fire Underwriters by the engineers of its committee on fire-prevention, shows that the city is fairly well protected; but that it has its weak points. The conflagration-hazard, however, is confined to two sections and, on the whole, is moderate. “The features contributing to, and most seriously affecting the conflagration-hazard in the congested-value district are—The presence of many centres of high combustibility, with numerous structural weaknesses in vulnerable surroundings, large areas, many weak party-walls low parapets, narrow streets, a fire department hardly adequate to cope with two large simultaneous fires and dependence for fire alarms on a telephone system which is not readily accessible at night and on Sunday, especially in the highvalue districts. On the other hand, the water supply is excellent, except for reliance on a single intake and a slight danger of the river changing its course; the fire department is efficient, and many of the buildings of largest area, highest combustibility and most hazardous occupancy arc sprinklered, so that, while the potential hazard is high, the probability of serious conflagrations occurring is comparatively small.” Regarding the fire-protective facilities of the city the engineers found the following conditions: “Water Supply.—Works owned and operated by the raunicipality. Organisation and management good. Supply pumped from Missouri river to city pumping stations, and then pumped direct to high and low service distribution systems. Small reservoir on low-service system. Pumping capacity at city station insufficient. Consumption not excessive. Pressure in high-value districts good. Main arteries hardly adequate. Distributing mains in high value district good; other districts fair. Gate valves in good condition, but spacing too wide. Hydrants in good condition, spacing exceptionally good; type in congestedvalue district good. Fire Department.—Full paid and under a capable chief. Supervision and appointments under the control of a committee of the common council. F’orce inadequate and poorly distributed. Engines in service and reserve too few in number, but generally in fair condition. Chemical service weak. Supply of hose sufficient, considering the close spacing of hydrants, and is to be increased. Minor equip ment good. Discipline and training fair. Response to alarms and fire methods are good. Service, as a whole, fairly efficient. Fire-Alarm System.—No fire-alarm telegraph system. A telephone system depended upon. Several defects, the most important being lack of duplicate circuits to houses. Important districts left unprotected at night and on Sunday. Service good, but type of system unreliable; as an auxiliary to a fire-alarm telegraph system it would be of great value.”