Private Fire Prevention

Here’s an interesting story:

In Idaho, when the Castle Rock wildfire started with a lightning
strike, broke out and started to rapidly spread, hundreds of high-end
homes were immediately evacuated. At that point a national insurance
company which caters to America’s wealthy decided that it needed to act
quickly. The insurance company sent a private crew of firefighters to
Wood River Valley, near Castle Rock, to protect 22 homes that it has
insured for millions of dollars.

…The insurance company
provided a fire truck and two man team to douse the insured homes with
Phos-Chek, the same fire retardant dropped from U.S. Forest Service
aircraft.      

Insurance services like this have a long history not just in fire fighting but also in crime-fighting.  In 18th and 19th century Britain long before the advent of government police, members of the public organized themselves into prosecution associations – essentially insurance clubs that would pay for the investigation, detection and prosecution of crime.  You can still see a faint imprint of this lost system today when insurance companies hire detectives to investigate large property crimes.  See The Voluntary City for more.

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