News accounts are reporting that more than 200 people have died
in an early morning fire in a nightclub in southern Brazil. According to CNN, at least 245 people were
killed in the Kiss Nightclub in Santa Maria.
[NFPA provides a number of resources and information on this topic on its website. | http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp?categoryID=633&URL=Safety%20Information/For%20consumers/Occupancies/Nightclubs/assembly%20occupancies]
News reports are
comparing the Kiss nightclub fire to the 2003 fire
at The Station nightclub in W. Warwick, RI, on February 20, 2003 that claimed
100 lives. Prior to the Kiss nightclub, the Station Nightclub was the fourth-deadliest public assembly and nightclub fire in U.S.
history. Five of these fires were in nightclubs. Since that
fire, NFPA has enacted tough new code provisions for fire sprinklers and
crowd management in nightclub-type venues. Those provisions mark sweeping
changes to the codes and standards governing safety in assembly occupancies.
public assembly and nightclub fires
- [Ten deadliest fires in U.S. history | http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=851&itemID=21090&URL=Research%20&%20Reports/Fact%20sheets/Nightclubs/assembly%20occupancies/Public%20assembly%20and%20nightclub%20fires]
- [Ten deadliest fires outside the U.S. since 1970 | http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=851&itemID=21090&URL=Research%20&%20Reports/Fact%20sheets/Nightclubs/assembly%20occupancies/Public%20assembly%20and%20nightclub%20fires#outside]
NFPA also offers safety tips for the public when in an assembly occupancy.
- *Have a communication plan
relative or friend to contact in case of emergency and you are separated
from family or friends.
- *Plan a meeting place
*Pick a meeting
place outside to meet family or friends with whom you are attending the
function. If there is an emergency, be sure to meet them there.
When you enter
- *Locate exits immediately
*When you enter a
building you should look for all available exits. Some exits may be in
front and some in back of you. Be prepared to use your closest exit. You
may not be able to use the main exit.
- *Check for clear exit paths
*Make sure aisles
are wide enough and not obstructed by chairs or furniture. Check to make
sure your exit door is not blocked or chained. If there are not at least
two exits or exit paths are blocked, report the violation to management
and leave the building if it is not immediately addressed. Call the local
fire marshal to register a complaint.
- *Do you feel safe?
building appear to be overcrowded? Are there fire sources such as candles
burning, cigarettes or cigars burning, pyrotechnics, or other heat sources
that may make you feel unsafe? Are there safety systems in place such as
alternative exits, sprinklers, and smoke alarms? Ask the management for
clarification on your concerns. If you do not feel safe in the building,
During an emergency
- *React immediately
*If an alarm
sounds, you see smoke or fire, or other unusual disturbance immediately
exit the building in an orderly fashion.
- *Get out, stay out!
*Once you have
escaped, stay out. Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a
burning building. Let trained firefighters conduct rescue operations.