Fire insurance marks

Fire insurance marks

Fire insurance marks were lead or copper plaques embossed with the sign of the insurance company, and placed on the front of the insured building as a guide to the insurance company's fire brigade. They are common in the older areas of Britain's and America's cities and larger towns. They were used on the eighteenth and nineteenth century in the days before municipal fire services were formed [G. V. Blackstone, "A history of the British Fire Service", 1957.] .The UK marks are called 'Fire insurance plaques' the first to use the mark was the Sun Fire Office before 1700. [ [ Rowland G. M. Baker, "Fire Insurance Wall Plaques" Walton & Weybridge Local History Society, Paper No 7, 1970] ]

American Fire Marks

Fire Insurance has over 200 years of history in America. Famous fires include the Chicago fire of 1871 and the San Francisco of 1906. The early fire marks of Benjamin Franklin's time can still be seen on some Philadelphia buildings as well as in other older American cities. Subscribers paid fire fighting companies in advance for fire protection and in exchange would receive a fire mark to attach to their building. The payments for the fire marks supported the fire fighting companies. If the protected building were to suffer a fire only their fire fighting company would attend the call to extinguish the fire. Even if competitor fire companies were closer to the fire they would not do anything to prevent further damage or extinguish the fire. This caused bad public relations for the fire mark system. Municipal and rural fire departments support by local taxation became a more logical solution.

ee Also

* Property insurance

External Links

* [ The Addis Collection]
* [ Fire Mark Circle of the Americas]


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