Their Advantage In the Time When Immediate Help Is Most Needed.
The first few moments after the outbreak of a fire is the critical time in deciding whether or not it can be got under control, and upon the prompt arrival of the apparatus often depends the salvation or the destruction of the entire plant. While a watchman may be thoroughly conscientious and alert and do everything in his power under the trying circumstances which confront him the appliances at hand are necessarily limited, and one man is seldom enough for the emergency. If, after doing all he can, he finds the fire too much for him to handle and must then leave it to send in an alarm, much valuable time is lost, and when the apparatus finally arrives the blaze has obtained a vantage ground which often means the destruction of the property.
With the splendidly developed electric fire alarm systems which are on the market at the present day, affording every possible means of protection and at the same time reducing the insurance premiums very materially, it seems a decidedly short sighted policy to pass them by and still depend on the by no means infallible vigilance of a human machine, which, however good it may be, still has weaknesses which the other is not heir to.
The automatic fire alarm companies have made immense strides in the improvement of their systems during the past few years, and as their business has increased through the gradual appreciation of its merits they have kept abreast of the requirements presented and meet them at every point. The insurance companies have not been slow to recognize the additional protection to themselves as well as to the manufacturers, and have offered inducements in the shape of reduced premiums on plants so equipped.
The manufacturer whose plant is destroyed by fire, even though he be insured, suffers a loss which can hardly be estimated at the time, and from which it may take him years to recover, and though it is a peculiarity of human nature to look on such a contingency as applicable to everybody but himself the sensible man is the one who leaves no dangerous point unguarded, especially against so ruthless an enemy as fire. — Electrical Review.
Monday, September 8, 2008