NFPA Journal examines deadly prison fire in Honduras

Blog Post created by ryan.quinn Employee on Sep 10, 2012

ThumbnailLast February, a prison fire in Comayagua, Honduras, killed 361 people. It was the deadliest such fire in memory and raised new concerns over the safety of Latin American prisons. In his article “Lessons of Comayagua” in the September/October issue of NFPA Journal, Jaime A. Moncada takes a detailed look at the fire and discusses how NFPA codes and standards can be used to improve fire safety in prisons and other occupancies throughout Latin America. Since 2000, most of the largest loss-of-life fires worldwide have occurred in Latin American countries and other developing nations, and this trend is likely to continue, as ever-larger buildings are built in without adequate concern for fire safety. In 2004, for example, 428 people died in a fire at the Ycua Bolaños supermarket in Asunción, Paraguay. And just last May, a fire at the Villagio Shopping Mall in Doha, Qatar, built in 2006, claimed the lives of 19 people, most of them children. For many developing countries, Moncada says, adoption of NFPA codes and standards, as well as readily available training seminars and a local fire safety industry well-versed in NFPA requirements, can provide the start to a solution that local authorities may find impossible to ignore.