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United States Railroad Administration.

A manual on fire protection for railroad properties for the use and information of fire protection inspectors; online

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UNITED STATES RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION
DIRECTOR GENERAL OF RAILROADS
A ^^^ Bulletin No 8

oH| A MANUAL ON

°li FIRE PROTECTION FOR
tm RAILROAD PROPERTIES



FOR THE USE AND INFORMATION OF
FIRE PROTECTION INSPECTORS




COMPILED BY

CHARLES N RAMBO. Manager

THE FIRE LOSS AND PROTECTION SECTION
DIVISION OF FINANCE AND PURCHASES

JOHN SKELTON WILLIAMS Director



washington
government printing office

191';



The Appeal to America



SAFEGUARDING INDUSTRY



PRESIDENT WILSON says:

"Preventable fire is more than a private
misfortune. It is a public dereliction.
At a time like this of emergency and of
manifest necessity for the conservation of
national resources, it is more than eVer
a matter of deep and pressing consequence
that every means should be taken to pre-
vent this evil."



SRL.F

URL



PREVENT FIRE LOSSES ON RAILROADS.

PREVENTING AND REDUCING THE FIRE WASTE OF THE NATION
WILL HELP TO PROVIDE FOR THE NATION'S NEEDS.



1. All officers and employees of railroads should be on guard at all times,
show their loyalty and cooperation, and through earnest efforts and constant
vigilance accept their responsibility toward the elimination of the unnecessary
fire loss to railroad properties.

2. Let each employee consider liimself a fire inspector or warden, as far as
his particular duties are concerned and in so far as any dangerous condition
may come to his notice; and let each one have in mind constantly that through
no act of his, or through no lack of action on his part, will he create a fire
hazard or allow one to pass unnoticed.

3. If you know of or see a fire danger or hazard, report it immediately to
your superior in charge of your department.

4. Keep in mind constantly that the first requisite in the preveution of fire
waste is good housekeeping — meaning cleanliness. Remove accumulations of
rubbish and waste, and guard inflammable property and materials from all
sources of danger by fire. Guard against not only physical defects but neglects
brougiit about through carelessness, indifference, ignorance, or willfulness on
the part of any i»er.son.. Smoking is a general habit; guard carefully against
hazards and careless practices incident to it.

5. Railroad operation is in its nature so continuous that destruction of prop-
erty u.sed in it leaves marked consequential lo.s.ses. The acceptance of indi-
vidual responslbHily will prevent not only large waste of property, whicli can
not be replaced to-day, but temporary loss of employment through the destruc-
tion of facilities and serious interference with ojjerations.

W. G. IMcAnoo,
DiiGotor Qeneral of Raihinnla.

a



CONTEXTS.



■*•• Page.

Access to fallroad terminals, shops, etc., by

public fire departments 67

Acetone 26

Alcohol 26

Amyl acetate 26

Ashes 14,23

Ashpans 96

Automatic sprinklers 45

B. - ^

Benzine 20, 77

Benzole 26

Bituminous coal 43

Blacksmith shops .• 76

Blower systems 29

BoilfT houses 24

settings 24

stacks 24

Braziers 15

Bridges 94

Brigades, fire 47

Buffing as'

C.

Cars, on sidings, in yards, and at terminals. . .34

camp 36

Car heating, freight 44

Car inspectors' houses 95

Carbon bisulphide 26

Carlson tetrachloride exthiguishcrs 65

Calcium carbide, storage of 95

chloride C4

Camp cars 36

Cans, safety • 76

Chemical Are extinguishers, carbonic acid

gas 64

carbon tetrachloride 65

Chimneys 21

Chloride, sodium 64

City fire dopartmenls, cooperation with.. 10,54

Clothes lockers 34

Coiil , bituminous 43

Coaling stations 27

Cold weather precautions i«h

Collfxl ion 2tl

lolunihliin spirlta 26

C'oiiccnirnllon of cars on sidings, in yards, or

lit Krminals .34

( onfirrii'-e of olliccrsand local committee 10

Constniotion 13

Conveyor systems, refuse and dust collect Ing. 29, .37
Cotton, handling, storage, and transporta-
tion 97

Cotton rubber-lined Arc hose 56

Couplings, boso 58



Page.

Culverts 16

Cupola 25

D.

Dip tanks 96

Disposing of shavings and sawdust 29

Doors, fire 14

Dope 15

Drills, fire 52

Drip pans 14

Drop cords from electric lamps 84

Dry powder extingui-shcrs 66

Dust collecting systems 37

Duties of fire inspectors 20

Dynamos 17

E.

Electrician 16

Electricity S2

Electric lamps 84

wiring S3

Employees' clothes lockers 34

Engines, stationary, gasoline, installation of 80

gas 80

Ether 26

Explosions of grain dust 37

Explosive compounds 27

Explosives 11, 15

Extinguishers, locomotive fire apparatus 66

chemical 64

carbon tetrachloride 65

dry powder 06

F.

Fighting Hre , 55

Fire-alarm system 54

Fire barrels 61

brigades 47

cars 67

chiefs 49

departments, city, cooperation with 10,54

doors 14

drills 52

hazards, of grain elevators 36

hose 56

hydrants 59

hydrant systems 59

losses, how to prevent ,. 13

marslials 10

palls 61

prevention committees 10

pumps 46

shutters 13

walls 13

Fire extlngiilshlrip apparatus on locomotives. 06

Flrliig-up locomotives 75

G



6



CONTENTS.



Page.
Flues "21

Foreword ''•^

Forges ^^

Foundry buildings 25, 76

Freezing, protection against f'^

Freight car heating ^^

Freight transfers ♦. 33

l^irnaces, gasoline 16

hot air 21

Fuel oil 3"

Fusees, storage '' ^

G.

General Rtiles 13-19

Gas fixtures 16

Gas engines 80

Gasoline 26, 87

Gasoline barrels ^8

Gasoline engines, stationary, installation of. . 80

Giass-tont lamps — 16

Grain elevators 36

driers 41

Gi^ss, weeds 16

Guarding and identification 94

H.
Handling, storage, and transportation of

cotton

Hazards paint stock

Heating

freight cars

couplings

Hose houses

Houses, car inspectors

How to prevent fire losses

Hydrants



IdentiQcation and guarding various properties

ignition, spontaneous

Illumination, grain elevators

piers

storage warehouses

terminals

Inspection of fire apparatus

locomotives

Inspector, duties of

Installation of stationary gasolaie engines —



Locomotive firing up .
Lumber



Page.
75
16



Macliiue-shop sweepings .

Matches

Motors



Jets, gas 16

steam 32, 78

K.

Kitchen ranges, setting of 81

Kerosene, oil lamps 85

Kerosene, for heating and lighting 86

L.

Lacquer 26, 77

Lacquering ^^

Lamps, kerosene oil -i

Large storage warehouses 94

Lighting 16

Lightning 90

Locker rooms . . . : ■ 14

Locomotives, fire-extinguishing apparatus ... 66

inspection of 96



itors



N.



Naphtha 26

National Standard hose couplings 58

Night watchmen 18, 68

No smoking, signs ''1



O.



Oily waste

Oil supply, storage and handling.
Oil, fuel

houses

kerosene

small supplies

Opeff^ame torches

P.



15,72
74
17
31
85
74
74



Packing material

Pails, water ,

Paints

Paint stock

Paper flies

Paper or pasteboard shades

Petroleum ether

Piers

Post indicator valves

Power

Prevent fire losses, poster

Private fire-alarm systems

Protection against freezing.

Public fire-alarm boxes

Public fire departments, access to

terminals, shops, etc •^.

Pumps, fire

Purchase, use, and careof firehose —



Iroatl



15
61
78
76
91
16
26
94
IS
17
3

10,18
63

18,55

67


56-



R,

Eecords, storage of 91

Refuse conveyor systems 29, 37

Responsibility of employees for preventing

fire losses 3

Rolling equipment 15, 34

Rubbish 14j23



Safety cans

lanterns.
Salt



Saud ^=

Sawdust, disposal of

Scoops IS

Self-inspection

Shavings, d isposal of

Shop practices

Sidings, storage of cars

Skylights

Smokiug

Snow fences

Sodium cliloride

Soot accumulations

Spark arrest ers

Spittoons



CONTEXTS.



Page.

Spontaneous ignition 92

Sprinklers, automatic -io

Stacks, boiler l', 24

Steam fire pumps '*6

jets 32,7.S

mains 2S

pipes 23

Stored cars 1 5 , 16 . 34

Storage of bituminous coal 43

calcium carbide 95

ears on sidings, in yards, and at

terminals 34

;otton 97

fusees and torpedoes 7S

records 91

small oil supplies 74

waste papers 71

warehouses 94

Stoves 21

gasolene 17

gas 22

oil 17

Sulphur bleachers 41

T.

Tanks , dip 96

Telegraph and telephone wires 15

Terminals 94

storage of cars 34

access by public fire departments 67

Timber 76

Toluol 2'i

Torches, open 74

Torpedoes, storage of 7S



Page.

Transfers, freight ;;:;

Trunsportation of explosives and dangerous

articles H

Trestles 94

Turpentine 20,77

U.

Underwriters' Laboratories U

Unlined linen fire hose 57

V.

Vapor carry-off ilues 82

Vapor-proof incandescent lamps 18 , 32

Varnishes 77

Varnish removers 77

Ventilating systems from kitchens 81

Volatileoils 77

W.

Warehouses, storage 94

V,"ash rooms 11

Waste cans 72

Waste, clean 15, 72

Waste papers, storage and handling 71

Watchman service 18, 68

Water barrels 61

mains 18

pails 61

Weeds 16

White-wash formula 76

Woodworking mills 29

Y.
Yards, storage of cars *. 34



FOEEWOED.
FIRE PROTECTION APPLIED TO RAILROAD PROPERTIES.



The large values invested in railroad property, aside from right of way, road-
beds, etc., and the large liabilities involving the carriers, can be readily eom-
pi-ehended. We are dealing with a problem affecting billions of dollars in
l»roperty value. When we glance at the enormous growth of the transportation
lines in this country in the last 25 years, and with the careful study now given
to all phases of safety and economy in operation, it can readily be seen that the
question of fire protection aiul prevention sliould play no small part, for, aside
from the destruction of values brought about by fire losses, there is always tlie
incidental and consequential interruption of operations. The nature of the
business of transportation requires that more than ordinary precautions be
ti'ken to safeguard against and keep free from the interruptions to their
operations which fire loss and damage cause. Such interruption naturally
varies with the importance of the property. As an illustration, we might cite
the destruction by fire of an interlocking tower, with the subsequent detention
or interruption in train service, on up to the large terminal and shop prop-
erties, dislocating the machinery of trauhportation and requiring readjust-
ment involving far-reaching consequential details.

One of the first demands in connection with the study of fire prevention is
that of good housekeeping, Involving enforcements tliat will insure it through
a large property as a matter of daily ('ity and through which means the
l>o.ssibility of fires may be largely avoided. This can be accomplished by the
appointment of employees in each portion of a property with such authority
as may be necessary to see that cleanliness is observed and through the posting
fif ofiiclal notices in prominent places requiring the carrying out of fire-
Iirotection rules .so pn-jtared as to meet conditions usually found in railroad
fin (pert ies.

Tiie protection of iiroportios again.st fire Is an imiiortant part of tlie (hity of
ovi-ry offlf-er and employee. Every fire in railroad property should be made the
I)frsonal responsibility of some employee. It must be remembered that the
majority of fire lo.sses are preventable and that they are jjirgely a matter, of
b-u-k of cleanliness and carefidness, and that the great study of prevention nuist
be along these lines.

This subject of flrc-e\tingu1shing apparatus Is necessarily one of great detail
.iiid brings out the study of the extent and character of the iiroperlies, the
niitiiral condith)ns surrounding them, and their use and oreuiK-uicy. Tlie class
of appliances will necessarily cover a wide range, starting, however, with the
idi-a of having an ample supply of water to meet the maxinnnn of conditions
that might arise. Careful study Is necessary to deterndne the specific character
of fire-extingnisbing devices rof|uired to meet the demands of each clas.s of
property. These imhide the use of a system <if automntie pmtection which is



10 FOEEWOBD.

the Iiest class that may be considered and which is recognized as the only
one producing the maximum of efficiency and success iu controlling fires; water
mains and fire-hydrant systems under ample volume and pressure from public
or private resei-voir or other source of supply, with incidental fire pumps,
elevated tanks, standpipes, fire hose, fire extinguishers, steam jets, sand pails,
water barrels and pails ; all of which must be studied and installed with a due
regard to their relative values. An important fire-fighting agency on railroad
properties is the locomotive or yard engine used at terminals and large yards
remote from public protection, so equipped for supplying water under pressure
with the aid of fire hose as to give good service in event of fires in rolling
equipment and its lading.

Fire-alarm systems are an important factor, particularly in large properties,
to obtain prompt use of fire appliances through the prompt summoning of drilled
employees and municipal departments.

The success of the fire-prevention idea must be 4ue entirely to well-organized
forces in all departments. Without system and organization through the lielp
and authority of executives or the general management, such matters can not
be made an important factor with tlie men. The prevention of the occuiTence
of those things which hinder or retard the progress of operation or which are
a menace to life and property is brought about or is enhanced by education
through instructions, rules, etc., issued under an executive order. In this way
cooperation is secured amongst the rank and file.

• Fires, like accidents, liappen at unexpected times. Continued vigilance is
therefore essential, and without a general cooperation and knowledge of dangers
we can not escape their consequences.

With the large values Involved and elaborate expenditures made for devices
and appliances for fire extinguishment, it is important that the furtherance of
the organization idea should be pushed for its intelligent and prompt use,
without which the expenditures are of no avail when manual use is required
of the equipment. Therefore, in order to have the appliances serve the good
purpose that was intended, it is necessary to so perfect the organization as to
get the greatest amount of value therefrom.

Rigid and systematic inspection of all fire apparatus sliould also be made
by specially delegated employees, preferably members of fire brigades, at least
once a week ; everything down to the smallest piece of apparatus should be in
its place and iu good order ready for use, and a report of such inspection
should be made to those in authority.

Fire-prevention committees, fire marshals, chiefs or captains of fire brigades,
are all necessary parts of an efficient organization, and the inspection of
buildings and their valuable contents for fire hazards by such committees or
members of fire departments are necessary. Members of fire departments,
possibly uniformed or otherwise designated with authority, should be especially
delegated to make at least weekly inspections and report to the authorities in
charge on the condTtions, and day and night watchmen should patrol all parts
of the property for the same purpose, having their tours properly recorded on
ajiproved devices to assure efficiency.

There should be monthly conferences of officers or local committees at which
matters of general interest might be considered with a view of continuing
efforts for substantial improvements, for with all reasonable precaution thei'e
is still the factor that relaxation may be fatal.

While many of the railroads of the country have issued rules and regulations
or instructions for the guidance of their employees in the proper care and man-
agement of their properties in respect to protection against loss by fire, we
believe a "manual" or "handbook" on " fire-preveatiou " subjects will give au



FOREWOKD. 11

opr'ortnnity to siich roads as have not adopted any rnles or regulations, of hav-
ing some avaihible suggestions vrhich may be adopted for general infor:n:ition,
education, and guidance throughout their proi^erties, and used as a melius of
study for the prevention of tire losses, in other words, recommended practices.

The details are compiled from recommendations of the National Fire Pro-
tection Association, Railway Fire Protection Association, and other agencies
dealiug with the specific classes of risks found in railroad properties.

Underweiteks' Labokatories and its Sekvice.

The Underwriters' Laboratories (incorporated under the laws of the State
of Illinois) operates under the direction of the National Board of Fire Un-
derwriters, a general testing station and laboratories at 207 East Ohio Street,
Chicago, and testing stations for electrical goods at New York and London,
At these plants facilities are provided for the testing under uniform and stand-
ard conditions of any device or material having a bearing on the fire hazard.
By means of these facilities manufacturers are able to 'secure expert authori-
tative opinions as to the merits of their wares, and property owners, archi-
tects, oflicials, uu.l inspectors have ready access to full and complete data con-
cerning appliances and materials wliich are proposed for use and which affect
the fire hazard either as possible sources of fire or as means of discovering,
retarding, or extinguishing fires.

Separate and individual pamphlets regarding regulations, rules, and require-
ments and standards prepared by the National Fire Protection Association,
and adopted and published by the National Board of Fire Underwriters, can
be secured from the nearest underwriters' bureaus or associations, in connec-
ti('ii with specific subjects.

Transpobtation of ExPi.osrvES and Other Dangerous Articles.

The Interstate Commerce Commission has issued under date -of July 15,
1018. revised regulations for the transportation of explosives and other dan-
gerous articles by freight and express. These regulations and the revised rules
of the American Railway Association, which have been approved by the Director
Clcneral of the United States Railroad Administration, have been publislied
and issue<l by the Bureau of Explosives, 30 Vesey Street, New York City,
September, 1918. ^

All fire inspectors, officers, and employees of raih'oads should be supidied with
;i copy of these revised regulations that tliny may study and be guided by the
regulations in connection with this important subject.



GENERAL INFORMATION.

GENERAL RULES FOR THE PREVENTION OF FIRE

LOSSES.

[Whore standard roauirpnipnts. rules, or specifications are mentioned the publications o(
the National Fire Trotection Association or Railway Fire Frotection Association nrc
referred to.]



Note.



-Where municipal or State ordinances or regulations may be in effect rc-^ardhiff
any hazard, they should be ascertained. "



CONSTRUCTION.

One of the greatest factors In rlctennining tlie extent of fire los.«.es and conse-
quent interference with operations is the method and character of building
construction. Wherever feasible, fireproof or fire-resisting materials should
enter into the construction of buildings. The height and area are important
factors to be considered.

Structures of large areas and those having sections used for varied pur-
poses, and all adjoining and connnunicating buildings, should ba divided by
brick walls of standard thickness running up through and above the roof
cutting off cornices, vith all door openings protected by standard automatic
closing fire doors. In all exposed buildings windows to be provided with
wired glass in metal sash and frames, or standard fire shutters, or both, or a
system of open or automatic dry pipe sprinklers, where conditions warrant
such an installation.

Wooden buildings should bo built in a nonexposing posUifai. Wooden lean-to
or small frame biiildiiigs slmuld not be connected to large valuable buildings
or atljacent thereto.

All openings through walls and floors, including elevator shafts, stairways,
bi'lt lioles, etc., should be protected by automatically closing doors or traps.

Fire walls, doors, and shutters should be made standard, according to sjjeci-
fl<ations of the National Fire Protection Association.

Fireproof oil and paint stock rooms and hou.ses located apart from and not
exposing valuable prt>iierty are recommended. (8ee special article.)

Flues, chlmnrys, and .-stadias: Pare should be used In their construftion so as
to insure safety, particular alffiitinn being given (o keep free of timbers.
(See special article.)

It Is recommended when diawing j.lans and specifications that provlsicm be
made fur wireways for rendering concealed wiring In buildings permanently
accessible. The channeling and pocketing of buildings for electric light or
power wires, teleiihotie, telegraiih, or signaling .'System wiring Is desirable;
all wiring to be according to latest edition of the "National Electrical Code.".

Provide substantial firewall cut-offs from .shaving vaults, dry kilns, bniler
houses, to adjoining planing mills or other buildings.

Skylights should be made of wired glass in metal frames in accordance with
standard requirements or protected from sparks by screen guards sui»ported on
iron frames.

13



14 FIRE PROTECTION FOR RAILROAD PROPERTIES.

Fireproof or fire-resistinj? roofing materials are recommended to be used.

The use of wooden unventilated closets for men's clothes Is not approved.
Well ventilated metal closets or lockers to be kept away from wood structural
material are i-ecommended for workmen's clothing and tools.

It is recommended that separate buildings be provided, wherever possible, at
shop plants for men's clothes lockers, wash rooms, etc., in order to keep this
linzni'd out of main shop buildings.

FiKE DOOKS.

Fire doors are used to protect openings in fire walls. They should be hung
on both sides of the wall and should be arranged to close automatically. Only
doors and hardware incidental thereto which are approved and bear the label
of the Underwriters' Laboratories should be used. Contracts should specifically
require this as unlabeled doors and hardware are seldom satisfactory either
from the fire-stopping standpoint or fi-om that of maintenance. Fire doors and
shutters should be constructed and installed in accordance with the National
Board rules.

In installing fire doors particular attention should be given to the lintels,
frames, and sills. There are a variety of methods and materials which may be
u.sed, depending on the circumstances, but it should be borne in mind that the
floor on one side of the wall may be destroyed, so no direct connection should
be made to the floor or supiwrting timbers.

Where the door opening is used for heavy trucking it is advisable to protect
the front edge of the door with sheet metal to prevent tearing the tin.

Fire doors should normally be kept closed but where conditions require the
frequent use of the opening they may be held open by a counterweight with one
or more fusible links or other device which will detach the weight when sub-
jected to heat allowing the door to close automatically. The link should be in
the door opening. Special approved automatic releases may be used. Home-
made links should not be used as they can not be depended on to fuse at the
proper temperature.



CARE OF PROPERTY.

BEING RULES FOR DIMINISHING FIRE HAZARDS.

In shops and other large properties or even single buildings a competent em-
ployee should be appointed, with authority, who sliould inspect all parts thor-
oughly and regularly to see that the premises are kept clean and free from any
feature which might cause fire.

Standard covered metal receptacles should be provided for ashes, rubbish,
greasy and oily rags and waste, torches and small oil supplies; and rubbish,
ashes, and sweepings should not be allowed to accumulate on property, but
should be disposed of daily. The use of wood boxes and barrels for these pur-
poses should be prohibited. Oily clothing should be kept hung up in metal
lockers.

All machinery, especially the journals, and space underneath should be kept
clean; di;ip pans should be provided for all journals and gear wheels; never
use sawdust for absorbing oil; drip pans should be cleaned frequently, espe-
cially in woodworking mills, as "the dust saturated with some kinds of oil is
subject to spontaneous ignition; all belts should be examined to prevent fric-
tion, especially against combustible materials; all bearings should be watched
for heating; the babbitt in loose pulleys should not be allowed to show sigus


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Online LibraryUnited States Railroad AdministrationA manual on fire protection for railroad properties for the use and information of fire protection inspectors; → online text (page 1 of 13)