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Columbia Fire Department (South Carolina)
Tuesday August 24th, 2010 :: 03:33 p.m. EDT


Columbia Fire Department

Night Club Fire Safety

Many of the largest fire related deaths in the Unites States occurred in places of public assembly such as hotels, nightclubs and theaters. The following are just a few of the tragic examples:

• April 23, 1940: Rhythm Nightclub, Natchez, Miss, 207 dead
• November 28, 1942: Coconut Grove Nightclub, Boston, Mass, 492 dead
• May 28, 1977: Beverly Hills Supper Club, Southgate, KY, 165 dead
• November 21, 1980: MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, 87 dead
• February 21, 2003: The Station Nightclub, Providence, RI, 100

Most of these fires were found to have several things in common that contributed to the high numbers of people killed:

• Overcrowding.
• Locked or blocked exits.
• Flammable decorations or interior finishes.
• Lack of or inoperable sprinkler systems.
• People trying to get out the same way they entered, not using the nearest exit.
• Failure to follow existing fire codes.
• Failure to exit promptly after the fire started.

Protect Yourself:

• Refuse to sleep, eat or attend events in establishments and hotels that don't have fire sprinklers.
• Always locate at least to fire exits when you enter so you can quickly find your way out in an emergency.
• If the event is overcrowded, leave and contact the local fire department to report it.
• Contact the fire department if you find locked or blocked fire exits or other fire code violations.
• Quickly and calmly leave the building immediately in the event of an emergency.
• Never use the elevator in a fire, it may stop and trap you on the floor where the fire is, always use the stairways.
• If trapped by fire in a hotel or office, keep the door closed, stuff towels around door cracks and use the phone to contact 911 and report your location to the fire department.

Take responsibility for your own safety by becoming aware of your surroundings, learn to recognize and avoid dangerous situations, and report them to the Columbia Fire Department.

Columbia Fire Department (South Carolina)
1800 Laurel St
Columbia, SC 29201

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 803-545-3700

Michael Thomas
Fire Prevention

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