Using community risk reduction to help prevent disasters like the fireworks explosion in Tultepec, Mexico

Blog Post created by ctuttle Employee on Dec 23, 2016

On Wednesday our Division Manager of International Programs, Olga Calendonia, wrote an excellent blog post about the devastating fireworks explosion in Tultepec, Mexico this week, which has now claimed 35 lives and injured dozens more. The video below gives viewers a sense of just how catastrophic this explosion was. Did you know that this is the third fire-related disaster at this very market since 2005?! While the NFPA standards surrounding fireworks manufacturing and display are the obvious go-to standards in a time like this, the new NFPA 1300 also came to my mind. 


Video courtesy of CNN


What stood out to me was the frequency of similar incidents in the same location, and the perceived risk of storing and selling consumer fireworks at a market where many people, food, and other merchandise vendors all cohabitate. NFPA 1300, Standard on Community Risk Assessment and Community Risk Reduction Plan Development, could play a role here. For instance, a risk assessment matrix could reveal both high frequency and high impact for the hazard that is the sale/storage of consumer fireworks in this highly trafficked holiday market. Identifying the risk level is one of the first steps to reducing risks in any given community. It's also important to note that a "community" doesn't have to be a country, state, or city. A community can also refer to an area, event, or building; as big or small as the need demands. 


Risk Assessment Matrix from NFPA 1300


How do you think a community risk assessment (CRA) or community risk reduction (CRR) plan could play a role in a scenario like this one?


My heart goes out to those affected by this explosion, and I know that NFPA will continue to work towards preventing tragedies like this one.