Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/885

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Popular Science Monfhh/


��ly safe from the flames whose prog- ress in that direction is arrested. The principle involved is similar to that of the cyclone cellar of the western home, or the collision bulkhead of the ocean steamer. The fire wall develops a "bi-sec- tional building," offering a hori- zontal instead of a vertical escape, making the fire drill unnecessary-.

There is nothing new about the fire wall. It already exists in buildings every^vhere, in one form or another, and its value as a fire stop to protect property has long been known. Its availability as a fire-escape has not, however, been recognized, and it is this feature which Mr. Porter has advanced as affording the only means of safe escape from fire to the occupants of crowded floors. He has shown that the idea is as applicable to department stores, schools, theaters, hotels, hospitals and resi- dences as to factories.

Besides being a safe and effec- tive means of protecting life, the fire wall is equally desirable from the standpoint of preventing large property losses, and for that rea- son it is advocated by the insur- ance and underwriting interests. In one hundred and fifty-nine buildings, fire walls were fourfd in thirty-five, and where used and understood, engendered a feeling of se- curity and safety. Mr. Porter recom- mends that fire walls be com- p u 1 sor y in

every future factory building over seven stories or eighty-five feet in height which is occupied by more than fifty persons above the first floor.

In no direction is the necessity for the sectional building greater than in the hospital field. It seems incredible, but it is nevertheless true, that hospitals, asy- lums, and similar institutions housing bed patients, cripples, the blind, the insane, and infants, have too few attendants to help them. Thus, in case of fire, these helpless inmates must inevitably perish.

����Diagram showing how fire walls are utilized in New York city hospital buildings. Heavy lines indicate the fire walls

��Fire in a loft building equipped with the fire wall. The occupants pass through the doors of the fire wall and are immediately out of reach of the flames

In the section- alized hospital, the attendants are called from wherever they may be to the endan gered section. Here they wheel the bed patients in their beds and assist the others the short distance neces- sary to the adjoining sections where, with a minimum of disturbance and of time, they are rendered perfectly safe. Mr. Por- ter has introduced this system in all the hospital and institutional buildings of the Department of Public Charities of New York city, and in others elsewhere. He has offered his services free through the Mayor's Committee on Defense of New York city, to plan and supervise the sec- tionalizing of any hospital which tenders its facilities to the nation in the present crisis.

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