search   index   by subject   by year   biographies   books  SF Activities  shop museum   contact

Bombs - What to do and When to Do it:
Information for the Householder

This pamphlet was published by the Board of Fire Underwriters of the Pacific in 1941, shortly after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor.

It was for distribution along the entire Pacific Coast, and its contents approved by the Pacific Coast Association of Fire Chiefs, Washington State Civil Defense Council, Oregon State Defense Council, and the Civil Protection Committee of the California State Council of Civil Defense.

The pamphlet is divided into five sections:

  • Preparation and Maintenance of Buildings
  • Incendiary Bombs
  • Demolition Bombs
  • Gas Attacks
  • List of Equipment
  • Summary
  • Page 1 is the cover of the leaflet, and includes the seal of the Board of Fire Underwriters of the Pacific.

    Page 2 discusses preparation and maintenance of buildings against incendiary bomb attack, and urges householders to remove all waste materials, paper and rubbish.

    Page 3 describes thermite bombs, and gives recommendations for putting out fires caused by such devices. Magnesium or electron bombs are described as the type used by the Germans on London. The leaflet gives recommended fire fighting actions.

    Page 4 continues the description of incendiary bombs, and explains the dangers of phosphorous and oil bombs. The leaflet says that magnesium bombs probably would not be used during an attack "...unless the Japanese are insufficiently supplied with magnesium in which case phosphorous or thermite bombs may be expected. Phosphorus and thermite bombs are less effective than magnesium bombs. It is reported that the Japanese have used phosphorous bombs in China."

    Page 5 describes the dangers of demolition bombs, and gives instructions to be followed during an attack.

    Page 6 tells of lethal gases which may be used during a Japanese attack, and describes the smell of mustard gas, lewisite gas, phosgene, tear gas and Chlorpicrin.

    Page 7 is a list of equipment necessary for the household to put out small fires following a bomb attack.

    Page 8 is the back page of the leaflet, and contains five points that should be remembered by householders.

    Return to the top of the page.