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R.I. NIGHTCLUB FIRE
Safety in nightclubs

In the wake of last night's fatal fire at a Rhode Island nightclub and a stampede earlier this week at a Chicago venue, safety measures at clubs nationwide will likely be reevaluated. What measures should be taken in Boston to ensure the safety of its nightspots? What lessons can be learned -- by venue owners and concertgoers alike -- in terms of safety at clubs? .

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Page 16


I've always been nervous when I go to crowded events, whether in a small or large venue. Anyplace that hosts large crowds should always be required to have sprinklers. Emergency floodlights should always be installed ABOVE exits so that they go on when the power fails (like it did last night). Having a strobe light on these units might help too so that you can find them in the event of thick smoke. It's not realistic to expect people to think rationally when something like this happens (I wouldn't if I had flames licking at my back). You need to make it as easy as possible to get out of these places.

rich, dover, nh


My heart goes out to all the victims and their families. This is a terrible tragedy that never should have happened. Let's hope it never happens again. Ways to prevent it from happening in the future: All exit light signs should have a backup system so that they remain on even when the electricity goes off. There should be auxiliary lighting (spot lights) run by batteries at each exit that go on when the electricity goes off. Sprinkler system and smoke detectors required in any commercial building, regardless of size.

Phil, Lexington


That tragedy should have been averted it is a senseless waste of Human life. I work as a roadie for DJ Chipper Hermiller and Grandmaster PJ and we use pyrotechnics. But we make sure to notify the local fire dept before each gig. If we don't get the OK we don't use the fireworks. It's that easy.

Joe, Chelmsford


given the chain of events last night the tragedy was unavoidable for two reasons. firstly, regardless of whether the band had permission or not, pyrotechnics were used in a very small room where they never should have been used, period. secondly, given the speed that the fire spread there were combustable materials on that ceiling. outlaw the use of indoor pyrotechnics and more importantly require that only non-combustable materials are used in public access buildings.

GJ, Boston


Regardless of size or age of building... if public gathers, sprinklers should be mandatory. Pyrotechnics indoors should be outlawed.

Paul, Arlington


I think overall safety is always taken for granted. This is very unfortunate. Also, sprinkler systems have to be "Mandatory". This would have saved many lives.

Bob , Salem


Building size shouldn't be the sole determinant for whether sprinklers should be required or not. The number of people in the building should also be considered. That fire engulfed the building in 3 minutes. I wonder how many of those people would be alive today if the club had a sprinkler system.

John, Boston, MA


I don't know about anyone else, but MY common sense would tell me that setting off fire works around obviously flammable suroundings in an enclosed space is idiotic at best. Regardless of whether the band or the owners knew these materials were going to used, SOMEONE had to set them up and should have known what they were capable of.

Dan, Wakefield


I remember being pleasantly surprised during this year's New Year's Eve parade in Boston about the presence of fire wardens with bright orange jackets on next to the performers doing fire juggling. And that was OUTDOORS! Pyrotechnics indoors with no planning, no sprinkler system, no one to oversee the fire--that is a recipe for disaster. My concern is that this probably isn't the first time sensible safety measures were ignored in return for a kick-ass fire show. But it only takes one inferno to remind everyone about SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY.

Maureen , South Boston


No matter what size the night club is, there should be overhead sprinklers installed. No venue is too small. Back-up generators to keep lights on in case of outage such as what happened last night. Better access to exits. Install automatic people counters at entrance of clubs. Once it reaches capacity - block off. Greed never takes a holiday and neither does stupidity!

Anna , Boston, MA


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