The application must be accompanied by plans of the different floors showing each outlet, and the number of burners to each outlet; a statement must also be made of the quality of the pipes and fittings, all of which are to be tested by the inspector. In London there are no such laws; the gas companies control a small portion of the work as regards the connexion to meters, while the insurance companies require gas jets to be covered with a wire guard where liable to come in contact with inflammable goods. As to water, the various water companies in England have each their own set of regulations as to the kind of fittings and thickness and quality of pipe to be used, whether for service, wastes or main.

The importance of fire-resisting construction is being more fully recognized now by all countries. In France the regulations Fire-resisting construction. for factories, shops and workshops relating to "exits" require that all doors should open outwardly when they open on to courts, vestibules, staircases or interior passages. When they give access to the open air, outward opening is not obligatory unless it has been judged necessary in the interests of safety. If the doors open on to a passage or staircase they must be fixed in such a manner as not to project into the passage or staircase when open. The exits must be numerous, and signs indicating the quickest way out are to be placed in conspicuous positions. The windows are to open outwardly. Staircases in offices or other buildings serving as places for work shall be constructed in incombustible materials, or shall be walled in fully in plaster. The number of staircases shall be in proportion to the number of employees, etc. It is prohibited to use any liquid emitting vapours inflammable under 35° C. for the purpose of lighting or heating, unless the apparatus containing the liquid is solidly closed during work, that part of the apparatus containing the liquid being so closed as to avoid any oozing out of the liquid, etc. etc.

Instructions are added as to precautions to be taken in case of fire.

In London fire-resisting construction is dealt with in the London Building Act, and its second schedule, and in London County Council Theatre and Factory Acts, etc. In New York the building code (parts 19, 20 and 21) deals with fire appliances, escapes, and fire-proof shutters and doors, fire-proof buildings and fire-proof floors, and requires that all tenement houses shall have an iron ladder for escape. A section somewhat similar to the last came into force in London in 1907 under the London Building Act, being framed with a view to require all existing projecting one-storey shops to have a fire-resisting roof, and all existing buildings over 50 ft. in height to have means of escape to and from the roof in case of fire.

There are several patents now in use with which it would be possible to erect a fire-proof dwelling at small cost with walls 3 to 5 in. in thickness. One of these has been used where the building act does not apply, as in the case of the Newgate prison cells, London, where the outside walls were from 3 to 4 in. thick only, and were absolutely fire and burglar proof. This method consists in using steel dovetailed sheets fixed between small steel stanchions and plastered in cement on both sides. This form of construction was also used at the British pavilion, Paris Exhibition 1900, and has been employed in numerous other buildings in England, and also in South Africa, Venezuela, and India (Delhi durbar). The use of many of these convenient and sound forms of building construction for ordinary buildings in London, and in districts of England where the model by-laws are in force, is prohibited because they do not comply with some one or other of the various clauses relating to materials, or to the thickness of a wall.

The various details of construction are described and illustrated under separate headings. See Brickwork, Carpentry, Foundations, Glazing, Joinery, Masonry, Painter-Work, Plastering, Roofs, Scaffold, Shoring, Staircase, Steel Construction, Stone, Timber, Wall-Coverings, etc.

The principal publications for reference in connexion with this subject are: The Building and Health Laws of the City of New York, Brooklyn Eagle Library, No. 85; Rules and Regulations affecting Building Operations in the administrative County of London, compiled by Ellis Marsland; Annotated By-Laws as to House Drainage, etc., by Jensen; Metropolitan Sanitation, by Herbert Daw.

(J. Bt.)

[1] The verb "to build" (O.E. byldan) is apparently connected with O.E. bold, a dwelling, of Scandinavian origin; cf. Danish bol, a farm, Icelandic ból, farm, abode. Skeat traces it eventually to Sanskrit bhu, to be, build meaning "to construct a place in which to be or dwell."

[2] Building and Health Laws and Regulations affecting the City of New York, including the Building Code of New York City as amended to 1st May 1903.