Benjamin Franklin: Firefighter

firefighter benfirefighter ben“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” -Ben Franklin

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -Ben Franklin

“In the first Place, as an Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure, I would advise 'em to take care how they suffer living Coals in a full Shovel, to be carried out of one Room into another, or up or down Stairs, unless in a Warmingpan shut; for Scraps of Fire may fall into Chinks and make no Appearance until Midnight; when your Stairs being in Flames, you may be forced, (as I once was) to leap out of your Windows, and hazard your Necks to avoid being oven-roasted.”--Ben Franklin.

In the 18th century, fire prevention was a serious issue. Fire codes as we know them now didn’t exist and many buildings were made of wood. In a visit to Washington DC, Franklin realized that DC was far more prepared for a fire than his home, Philadelphia. A man of action, Franklin began to investigate what improvements could be made in Philadelphia. As a part of his plan, Franklin undertook efforts to raise public awareness of how fires were being fought in Philadelphia. At the time, volunteers fought fires. Franklin insisted that this was not enough, and made the public aware of the measures cities such as Boston were taking to fight fighting fire. In December of 1736, the Union Fire Company was formed. As more men became interested in joining the fire company, they were encouraged to form their own organizations, increasing the fire coverage in Philadelphia. Thanks to Franklin’s initiative, Philadelphia became one of the safest cities in the world in terms of fire prevention.

Comments

I never knew about this. Ben Franklin did a lot for our country.


I didn't know that either until very recently :). He was a fascinating man.


It's sort of mind-boggling to me to imagine a time when police and firefighters weren't just considered public services. Historically, it kind of makes sense, but then again, you look at wood-based architecture and it's crazy no one realized there was a serious public interest in fire prevention/fighting, or at least enough of one to support public departments.


It is amazing how much of an impact he has had in society


Is Philadelphia still one of the safest cities?