Thanks to the admirable method of inspection pursued by the National Board of Unnderwriters and the uncompromisingly strict reports showing up the weak points in the system of fire protection in many of the cities of the United States, these communities are waking up to the fact that they lack more than one thing to guarantee them against the ravages of fire. In one city it may be that the apparatus is out of date, insufficient, or altogether wanting, that the uniformed force is poorly disciplined, too few in number, or volunteer or call, when it should be entirely paid, or at least part paid and part call. In another the fire department may be everything it should be, while its usefulness is handicapped, if not nullified by the lack of due water facilities, without which the best fire department in the world is as a battery of artillery without ammunition. It is for the National and local boards of underwriters, the various firemen’s associations, international and local, and the three waterworks associations, to keep the ball rolling, and in time every desirable reform in the line of fire protection will be effectcd. Then and only then the proportions of the national ashheap. which at present loom up so formidably every year, will assume normal shape, and confidence will take the place of the present feeling of insecurity.