The History of Firehouses

From the time firehouses were first built to the modern firehouse of today,many things have changed.

Firehouses have been around since 1640. At that time, firehouses were just big tool sheds which held all the new equipment. Of course firefighters didn't have big electric sirens like we have today. They had to use wooden rattles, bells, and drums to warn people if there was a fire. Firehouses also had towers that the firefighters could look out of to see if there was any trouble going on. After a few years, things changed.

One thing that changed is the style of firehouses. After the Revolutionary War, better and many different styles of firehouses were built. The classic old firehouse holds a lot of older equipment. The new and improved firehouse contains all the new equipment and computers. They have to buy a new computer every month or so to have the most modern kind. Firefighters could even pick what kind of style they wanted the firehouse to be. Most were made out of granite, marble, wood, stucco, and/or brick. Firehouses used to be two stories tall or more.

Old firehouses are still around today. Old firehouses were very sturdy. Many of them still stand today. Many of these firehouses aren't used today for two reasons. Either they are too small to keep modern equipment or too big to heat and cool. Some are restored and used for museums or sold to the public. Firehouses had to be and still need to be sturdier than other buildings. That way if a disaster hits, the firefighters would be safe so they could still help people.

Some of the things that have been modernized can't be seen from the front of the firehouse. Today's firehouses have kitchens, dining rooms, and cubbies for each firefighter to sleep in. Firehouses also have closet like rooms with sliding poles for emergency calls. Firefighters also need to keep in shape so some firehouses have weight lifting rooms. On a firefighter's break they can go to the lounge to watch TV or go outside and play some basketball.

That is some of the history of firehouses. If you want to find out more information on this topic you can ask a local firefighter or read the book: The American Firehouse An Architectural and Social History written by Rebecia Zurier.


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