Brazil Nightclub Fire TragedyCategory: Health & Safety | Bryan Richards | Published on: Jan 31, 2013 | Updated: Dec 12, 2016 Read more: Health & Safety
The majority of deaths in the Kiss Nightclub fire in southern Brazil are being blamed on asphyxiation, as people tried to escape the building, according to the BBC News.
At least 230 people died when a band on stage started a fireworks display at the Kiss nightclub in the city of Santa Maria, in Rio Grande do Sul state.
Reports suggest there was only one exit and that a fire extinguisher given to the band by a security guard did not work. 50 young people were found dead in the cloakrooms as they confused the door with the fire exit.
Closer to home, a New Year’s Eve fire in the Netherlands in 2001 (Volendam New Years Fire) lead to the death of 14 people, and twenty years before that 48 young people perished in the Stardust night club fire in Dublin (Stardust Fire). As in the Brazil tragedy poor signage and barred windows lead to multiple deaths in the cloakroom.
What makes each of these disasters worse, especially for the victim’s families, is that all the fire club related deaths throughout history could have been prevented if basic fire safety measures had been followed.
In the United Kingdom we have legislation and regulations that, if followed, should prevent similar tragedies happening here. And the common elements in each of these fires – poor signage and lighting, blocked windows, too few exit doors, overcrowding –provide a timely reminder of our own responsibilities in maintaining a safe working environment for our own people.
So, are the fire safety arrangements in your workplace good enough? If you wait for you first fire, it could be too late to put things right, as the owners of the Kiss Nightclub and other venues sadly found out.
If you are not sure if you are complying with fire safety arrangements, or you have any queries about general health and safety matters, don’t hesitate to get in touch.Contact us
If you need to call upon our expert assistance, or just for an informal chat, please call me on: mobile 0780 361 2948, office 0207 947 9581, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bryan Richards 28th January 2013
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