49 Fire Department Drill
Although we are protected by the city fire department as is every business institution in the City of Chicago, our plant is so extensive, it covers such a wide territory and there are so many acres of floor space in the several buildings comprising the institution that we have installed special fire fighting apparatus, with an independent water supply of our own. We maintain a fire department under the direction of one of the ablest fire chiefs in the west, and in every department certain employes are members of volunteer fire companies and are given daily drills, so that in case of emergency they will understand just what to do and how to do it. In the great power plant three high pressure pumps are under steam day and night and maintain the required volume of water in the reservoirs and tanks in the tower, and the requisite pressure on all our private water mains. Each of these pumps is capable of discharging one thousand gallons of water per minute and repeated fire drills, called unexpectedly from day to day, show that we have among our volunteer fire companies exceptionally capable fire fighters, and that in any emergency we could depend upon them to do all that it is possible to do in fighting fire. Supplementing the regular fire fighti~ apparatus, and as a special protection, particularly against small local fires, we have mstalled an elaborate system of sprinklers- water pipes running through the ceilings of all the buildings with sprinkler heads every few feet. These sprinkler heads work automatically. If fire should break out in any section of the Merchandise Building, for instance, these sprinkler heads would open and a heavy rainfall would result, sufficient in a great many cases to entirely extinguish the fire. There are 60,000 of these sprinkler heads throughout the plant. The picture on the otner side of this card was taken when one of the volunteer companies was drilling in answer to a call to the Administration Building. The hose cart was taken from its place, connection made and the hose carried up the fire escape to the third story window in 46 seconds. Because of the completeness of our fire fighting apparatus and the excellence of our fire fighting crews we enjoy the lowest insurance rate accorded any mercantile institution.