On the Hawaiian island of Oahu, fire safety measures appear to have been prioritized following last year's high-rise fire at the Marco Polo building in Honolulu. Killing four people and injuring others, the fire received international attention since it occurred soon after the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in London. Hawaiians impacted by the Marco Polo fire have taken action in some unique ways.
Earlier this year, the building's condo owners voted to install fire sprinklers in their units, a move praised by city officials. "Even if you upgrade everything--your elevators, your doors, your alarm system--and you get all the bells and whistles, but if you don't get a fire sprinkler system, when that building catches fire, it's still going to burn," Captain Scott Seguirant with the Honolulu Fire Department told Hawaii News Now. A paramedic interviewed for the story agreed, saying that any technology ensuring the safety of the public and emergency responders is a good thing.
A new Hawaiian law passed after the fire now offers financial incentives to condo associations for fire sprinklering their homes. It also requires fire safety evaluations to buildings 10 stories or higher within three years, reports Hawaii News Now.
The victims' families have also been busy, establishing the Community Kokua Foundation for Fire Prevention and Recovery. The nonprofit's mission is to push fire prevention and assist survivors emotionally or physically impacted by the Marco Polo fire.
Similar to what's occurring in Honolulu, all communities must work together to help solve its fire problem. Please read this commentary from NFPA President Jim Pauley on how breakdowns in the fire prevention and protection system contribute to the global fire problem.