Recent tragedies reignite discussions on stadium safety

Blog Post created by freddurso Employee on Sep 4, 2012

A college football game turned tragic last week, when a 20-year-old man fell to his death at the Georgia Dome Stadium on Friday. The Houston Chronicle reports that Isaac Grubb of Tennessee was apparently intoxicated when he fell over a 33-inch railing and plummeted to the stadium's lower level, landing on another fan, who suffered minor injuries from the impact.

A day prior at Reliant Stadium in Houston, a 25-year-old fan died after tumbling nearly 60 feet from a fifth-floor escalator. Media outlets, including the Chronicle, are comparing the incident to the death last year of firefighter Shannon Stone, who died from injuries he sustained when he fell over a railing while trying to catch a baseball at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

As discussed in a recent NFPA Journal feature story on improvements to Boston's Fenway Park and ballparks nationwide, these deadly falls have raised questions on whether these venues are safe as is, since the railing heights did comply with provisions in NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®. The story's author, Steven A. Adelman, poses the question: If falling fans are a reasonably foreseeable problem that should be addressed, what should be done? View his response.

Another Journal feature highlights efforts under way to expand a component of the Life Safety Code, called the Life Safety Evaluation, to address non-fire emergencies and non emergency situations in assembly and non-assembly occupancies. Read about these endeavors today.