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Fire Injuries in Commercial, Community & Industrial Spaces
While fire safety measures like overhead sprinklers and fire stairwells have gone far in reducing deaths and injuries from fires in business buildings, poor building management, hazardous work practices, non-compliance with municipal fire codes, and improper action from emergency response personnel can still place lives at risk.
Commercial Office Building Fires
Though most multi-story office buildings are equipped with fire exits, blocked or locked exits have led to deaths and injuries in fire emergencies. In a Chicago office-building 2 dozen victims we ordered to evacuate the building during an October 17, 2003 blaze but were trapped in smoke-filled stairwells with self-locking doors and were unable to escape.
Music Venue & Night Club Fires
In 2003, a deadly fire in a West Warwick, Rhode Island nightclub was widely publicized because hundreds of people were killed or injured. This tragic fire showed the gaps in fire safety at nightclubs and other small venues has led to reevaluate of fire safety regulations.
While nightclub fires in the United States are less common than other structure fires, over-capacity or maximum capacity crowds at popular nightclubs create the potential for high numbers of casualties when there is a fire. Small clubs are also exempted from installing sprinkler systems, which also increases the potential for a fatal nightclub fire.
Another problem with music venues and other nightclubs involve regulation. In some cases, local jurisdictions do not routinely inspect nightclubs or are lax in enforcing existing safety regulations. One of the most common safety violations at nightclubs are locked or blocked exits.
The most common causes of fire at nightclubs and bars are incendiary, electrical, cooking, and smoking. Incendiary fires at nightclubs are nearly twice as frequent as those in all structures.