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Public Assembly Locations Present Unique Risks for Fires

New York City, among other things, is world-famous for its second-to-none entertainment. In Manhattan, we offer concerts, theater, plays in the park, local bands in night clubs, Comic-Con - something for every entertainment interest. However, inherent with providing this level of entertainment are the risks that come with having so many people in one location. When hundreds and thousands of individuals are gathered in one spot, the ability to provide a safe atmosphere is an incredible challenge. One area specifically that must be addressed when the masses come together is fire safety.

 

While every business owner needs to make it his or her concern to provide for fire safety on their property, those who provide entertainment at large venues must do so on a more comprehensive and critical scale. When a business owner is just protecting his own office space, it's a lot different than someone who is responsible for protecting thousands. More than just 1 or 2 fire safety checks need to be in place; it's more like an entire strategy and intricate system of fire protection as well as a strong plan for worst-case scenarios. We are talking about multiple layers of protection and action.

Thanks to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), we have a lot of telling information at our fingertips. They recently did a study of several fires that have taken place in large public assembly gatherings, especially in night clubs, with a particular look towards the more recent Station Nightclub fire in Rhode Island that took place in 2003.

Because the risk of a horrific outcome from a fire is so much greater when you have hundreds or thousands of people in one place, there are special measures that need to be taken to ensure their safety in the event of a fire. After the NFPA looked at these fires, they made particular recommendations for public assembly locations and nightclubs. Here's what they put out there:

  1. State and local codes be modeled after national codes, with regular inspections to see that these codes are enforced
  2. Mandated sprinkler systems for occupancy greater than 100
  3. Finishing materials must be fire retardant
  4. Indoor use of pyrotechnics be prohibited
  5. Provisions for occupancy limits and emergency egress
  6. Portable fire extinguishers
  7. Emergency Response Standards for communication, mutual aid, staffing, and command structure
  8. Research on human behavior in emergency situations
  9. Research on fire spread and suppression
  10. Research computer-aided decision tools for fire response

While there's never a guaranteed outcome in the event of a fire, having standards like this in place can greatly reduce the opportunity for a fire to turn into a major catastrophe, where there are mass casualties, similar to the Station Nightclub fire. A business owner who is responsible for a venue where the public gathers must see to it that certain fire prevention and protection measures are in place.

At Manhattan Flameproofing, we know how devastating a fire can be in entertainment venues and places where the public gathers. We also know that the flameproofing of scenery, upholstery, fabric and decorative items has a far-reaching effect in saving both property and lives. An important step that owners of entertainment venues need to take is to see that required items have been flameproofed and treated with flame repellents so they are no longer a factor in the spread and severity of a fire, should one occur.

Manhattan Flameproofing exists to provide superior flameproofing services to all 5 boroughs of New York City as well as the greater Metro area including Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut. If your business has flameproofing needs, we are here to serve you and add you to our growing list of satisfied customers. Call today so we can answer your questions and provide you with a free, no-obligation estimate: 1-800-268-7993.

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