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Columbia, Mo.                                             A Monthly Supplement to the University Missourian                                                              November, 1914-      -

Fighting Fires Before They Start                                                                                                                                                                                            M
The Familiar "Origin                                                                                                                           Observance of a Few
  Unknown" May Cov-                                                  FIRE PREVENTION HINTS                                                      Simple Rules Would
  er a Multitude of Sins                                        By   Earl Kurtz, Chief of the Columbia Fire Departnunt.                                   Reduce Fire Hazard
   of Carelessness.                                            There are a million suggestions for preventing fires, buc the best                         to Minimum.                                                      m
                                                          two are: Be careful and be cleanly.
                                                               A spark neglected makes a mighty fire. All fires are the same
          prevention has received much                                                                                                        still read of   homen burning from
                                                          size when they start.
       attention in the last few years.                                                                                                       these causes.
       But most of the prevention has                          It has been said of fires as of births        two-thir-
                                                                                                                      of them occur
                                                          at night.                                                                              If the average person can not look                                   X-3

been on paper and on the one day in                                                                                                           at fire prevention in any other light,
                                                               In England beer has been used frequently to extinguish fires
the. year set aside as "Fire Prevention                   when water was scarce, but don't forget that Columbia is a dry town.                he should see it from the business
Day."                                                                                                                                         side. Manufacturers,    for instance,
   As Earl Kurtz, chief of the Colum-
                                                               It is not the great fires that account for the great loss of property,
                                                          but the moderate ones.                                                              realize that the installation of the
bia Fire Department, says, "It is no                           Many fires are caused by spontaneous combustion, and some few                  sprinkler system means lower in-
more logical to try to prevent all the                    by friction; for instance, rubbing a $50,000 insurance policy against               surance rates. Fire prevention Is
fires on one day than it would be to                      a $25,000 building.                                                                 good business.                                                               ;.SS
set aside one day on which all the                             Oily rags, waste, oil mops, etc., ignite spontaneously.                           AH the time a man tolerates fire
fires In one city would be fought"                             To prevent flues from burning out and setting fire to the roof,                hazards about his premises he raises
   It is through the simple application                   throw- a quart of coarse salt or zinc chips in the furnace at least once            the rate for his neighbors. When he
of simple means that real fire pre-                       a month during the winter season.                                                   cuts down the risks to the minimum
vention may be effected. Many "ifs"                            In permitting a child to handle matches or a gasoline or oil                   he lowers the rate on his own proper-
and "ands" and "don'ts" can be laid                       stove you risk the life of the child as well as your property.                      ty and also on that of his neighbors.
down for the householder, but com-                             Beware of alcohol stoves. They are all dangerous.
mon sense must play its part, too.                                                                                                               There was a time when Columbia
                                                               Electric irons should be handled with care. The current is. fre-               property was among the poorest risks
   The first step toward safety is fire
                                                          quently left on when they are not in use, and a fire results.                       in the state. Conditions have     im-
escapes.      In this respect Columbia
                                                               Never let light globes come in contact with any material highly                proved somewhat, but further im-
does not live up to the state laws.
                                                          inflammable.                                                                        provement is needed.
Hidden Fire Escapes.                                           Don't rely on your own judgment to locate fire hazards. Call                      Fire prevention is "safety first"                                         "rOE
   A few fraternity        and sorority                   the fire department.                                                                and the application of common sense.
houses in Columbia have rope fire                              Firemen are merely human beings like yourself and occasionally
escapes. Recently Chief Kurtz was                         make mistakes. Give them the benefit of the doubt                                                                                                                '3
on a tour of inspection of the Univer-                         Have your premises inspected once a year. The Columbia Fire                                FOR   NON-SMOKE-   RS

sity and fraternity buildings.        In                  Department gives this service free of charge.
one sorority house he asked the ma-                            Do you know how to turn in a fire alarm properly? If not, you                     John B. Powell, instructor in ad-
tron if they had fire escapes. She                        should be arrested. That is the treatment that is given in the Euro-                vertising, tells a story about a cloth-'In- g
                                                                                                                                                   merchant who used to be here;

assured him that they had, but she                        pean countries. Their fire loss is 33 cents per capita, compared with
did not know where they were. They                        $3 per capita in this country                                                       This merchant had never learned to
were there all right in an unused                                                                                                             smoke, and It was always a great sad-
room, heaped full of trunks.                                                                                                                  ness to him to have to refuse a good
    In another sorority house the matron                                                                                                      cigar.
                                                      of the             mysterious origins.          next morning an oil mop became ig-                                                                                         $'.,
said that she had no Idea what con-                        was talking to a furniture dealer          nited spontaneously in the home of         One day he had dined especially
dition the basement was in because                    one day about spontaneous combus-               a University professor.                 well with a salesman. The meal fin-
it was so dirty she hated to go into                  tion. The dealer was skeptical he                                                       ished, the customary cigar was being
it. In this house was a large           e,
                                     flre-p'rc-                                                       Rats and Matches.                       bought as they left the hotel.
                                                      didn't think there was any such thing.             Rats often gnaw matches. Thous-
          from which the ashes were                   A short time later one of the employes                                                     "I don't smoke," said the merchant.
dumped through a trap into the base-                  was polishing a table with an oiled
                                                                                                      ands of fires have started from this    Then he hastened to add:
ment. There was waste paper lying                     rag. He threw the rag aside when
                                                                                                      one cause, and yet people keep
                                                                                                                                                 "But if it's all the same to you,
all around where the ashes fell and                                                                   matches where rats can get at them.
                                                      he was through and it fell on an-                                                       I'll take a lead pencil."
 n the same room were many wooden                                                                     Mr. Kurtz has an exhibit of gnawed
                                                      other table. Soon the rag was burn-
boxes. Above the boxes were the stairs.               ing in the center of the table. The             matches in his ofllce. He has a hand-
Had a fire broken'out in this house                   owner saw and Relieved. ' Then he               ful of pine        "gnawings,"   from               THIS      IS       THE LIFE
all three flights of stairs would have                                                                matches, which rats have gnawed
                                                      told his employes it would be worth
been burned        in a few     minutes.              the job of any of them to leave an              right up to the heads. Even sqme          Frank G. Harris, state senator
Just a second's thought on fire pre-                  oily ag lying around. This busi-                of the heads a"re half gone.            elect tells of a Missouri farmer, who,              .

vention would have removed these                      ness man is now practicing fire    pre-w;nti-      Ashes and littered basements reap    In the distribution of patronage at
fire hazards.                                                                                         their harvest of fires. Ashes them-     the state capital last year, was given
   "Origin unknown." How many times                      Another man throws an oily rag               selves are not so dangerous as the      a position as house policeman.                                               '3S
we read this in the newspaper ac-                     in a closet In an hour or so he                 old boxes and waste paper found in        At home the farmer was a man of                                                  1
counts of fires! It covers a multi-                   smells smoke. After hunting for the             the average basement Coals are rak-     plain manners. When he returned af-
tude of sins. The owner of the                        fire several minutes he opens the               ed out of the furnace and a few roll    ter the weeks spent at Jefferson' City                                        m
building says the fire might have                     closet door and flames 'shoot out               farther than the rest The few roll      he greeted his friends with the ele-
been started by rats gnawing matches                     Mr. jKurtz says that one of the              on some paper; a blaze follows.         vated society handshake. They asked
or by spontaneous combustion, smok-                   worst fire hazards is the oil mop. Such         "Origin unknown."                       him where he acquired the habit
ing ashes, defective wiring or several                a mop should be kept where there is                Almost anyone knows better than        The farmer tried to explain the
other things.                                         no possible chance of combustion.               to fill a gasoline stove while it Is    "new life" to them: "I'll tell yoo,
  Sir. Kurtz can tell dozens of stories           .   Only a few days ago he was warning              lighted, and knows he should not        boys. When you're in Jerome you
about fires that.started from any one                 some friends of this danger.        The         start a fire with "kerosene. But we     have to do as Jerome does."

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