The article on fire prevention by Ross delved into the various methods that could cause a fire to occur and the preventive measures that can be implemented to stop them. In essence, the document is a generalized guide to various situations, locations, and issues that cause fires and what can be done when such a problem has been observed (Ross, 2011). Of particular significance was the section on fire suppression principles and the practices involving standardization of sprinkler installation, the use of appropriate fire extinguishers, as well as the need for establishing relationships with local fire departments to understand what methods and devices need to be installed in a building. The importance of following through with such practices can be seen in the case of the 1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire.
Considered to be one of the best entertainment venues in Kentucky at the time, the Supper Club was a vast complex of interconnected entertainment rooms, banquet halls, and service areas. However, on May 28, 1977, a fire broke out, resulting in the deaths of 165 people. Investigations into the reason behind the fire showed flagrant violations of fire safety protocols such as the non-standard installation of sprinkler systems, haphazard building additions, lack of illumination on the exit signs, as well as no fire doors being present on the top of the stairs.
Compounding the issue was the club’s use of highly flammable carpeting and seat cushions that emitted toxic smoke when they were burned. The lessons learned from the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire are seen in many of the opinions expressed by Ross and show the necessity of following proper fire safety protocols.
One of the most valuable lessons that can be gained from the article is that taking measures to get rid of flammable materials is not the only step you should take. The author mentioned that substances such as gasoline, matches, and paper are only the most common items that can start fires, but merely getting rid of them is not enough. As seen in the case of the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, even innocuous items such as carpeting and pillow covers can act as fuel if the conditions necessary for starting a fire are met. As such, prevention is only one part of the equation is stopping fires; the next aspect is implementing the appropriate protocols that can be enacted if a fire does occur. By combining both methods, can help to prevent fires from getting out of control, which can save lives and minimize property damage.
Increasing public awareness regarding the various circumstances that can lead to a fire can save lives and, as such, new methods to make people interested in learning more about the topic need to be devised. The problem with trying to teach the general public about proper fire safety is that most people think the information is boring or that they can simply use common sense. To resolve this type of problem, it would be necessary to appeal to them in a way that makes them want to learn more.
One possible method is to create an entertaining viral video that people would like to share on social media. By making it entertaining and informative, it is likely that people would share it, and this would lead to more people being aware of proper fire safety practices.
Ross, P. E. (2011). Fire Prevention a Guide to Protecting Employees & Property. Professional Safety, 56(10), 62-69.