I guess it is human nature to try to prevent the fire that has already devastated, to fight the last war, to fix the shuttle after it has crashed. I am certain something like this is going on in your town as well:
- Workers from the Cleveland fire marshal’s office are going to nightclubs throughout the city, giving the owners or managers a letter they believe can save lives.
….Club owners are being reminded that all of their employees should be trained in what to do in the case of fire, panic or other emergencies.
They also must make sure lighted exit signs and emergency lighting units work, and that access to exit doors is not restricted.
Although it would have been easier to have mailed the letters, said Fire Chief Kevin Gerrity, “We wanted to make sure that the Fire Prevention Bureau was able to put this into the hands of people at these establishments.”
There are no specific ordinances requiring regular inspections, but most clubs are inspected several times a years, especially when crowds are expected, Gerrity said. Last weekend, battalion chiefs checked several clubs. None were forced to close because of major violations. [Cleveland.com]
The incineration of almost 100 people seems to have made even some shady characters sit up and take notice, if only from the liability standpoint:
- An Akron club owner didn’t wait for fire officials to show up. He called them instead to admit his establishment had violations.
“He is telling us where to look,” said fire inspector Terry Harriman. “He is confessing that things were done without permits, but now he is concerned about liability.”
Harriman declined to name the owner or the club.
It’s all about percentages: play with fire enough times and you will get burned. That’s what happened in RI, the percentages caught up with the club and the band, and the price is vast loss of life. The contributing factors of dangerous pyrotechnics in an ill-suited environment, poor crowd control, highly flammable sound proofing, and poorly marked exits led to a “perfect storm”-like disaster.
It’s too late for the dead and injured of RI, but do not fail to act now while you have the chance, club owners. Say a prayer for the lost and thank your lucky stars it wasn’t your club, because an awful lot of you know it easily could have been. And check the wiring too.
Howard Owens had some similar cautions here.