DCEA Course 9A

Lesson 1 Introduction and Overview

Other historical codes

When the Pilgrims came to America, it didn't take them long to figure out that they needed some rules. The original Boston Fire Code was the result.

There were three basic rules.

No thatched roofs were allowed.  Thatched roofs were cheap and easy to construct.  But, they had the disadvantage of easily catching fire and then spreading fire to the next building

No wooden chimneys were allowed. A wooden chimney sounds funny, but in that era, fires in the fire places were smaller than what we would expect today.  A small fire was kept burning to keep food warm or slowly cook.  It was common to use a hollow log as a chimney to vent the smoke.  However, as the log dried out and fire became larger, the logs tended to catch on fire thus creating a real chimney fire.

No more than 60 pounds of gun powder could be stored in a building or home.

If you owned more than 60 pounds of gun powder, you had to store it in the village armory.  For those of you who are not familiar with gun powder, 60 pounds is a lot!  There rule worked OK until the wooden chimney caught fire, which caught the thatched roof on fire which spread to the armory. That is when the term "Fire Separation Distance" came into play as you will learn in later lessons.