Managing a business is hard work. To save yourself time and headache, you need to learn how to manage it smartly. That includes maintaining your establishment’s needs.
For example, if you’re living in Utah, when was the last time you worked with an electrician? Do you know you need to have it checked every two to three years? It could be more for commercial and industrial buildings because of the complexity of the wiring, equipment that uses it, and the demand.
Paying attention to these matters since fires can happen anytime. If you need more push to do it this summer, then you better read the following cases:
1. Iroquois Theater Fire
The Iroquois Fire Theater in Chicago is the deadliest of its kind in the United States. It killed over 600 people and injured hundreds.
The incident occurred on December 30, 1903. The theater, which could accommodate over 2,000 people, had more guests on this day than the previous ones. All were eager to catch the matinee of the Mr. Blue Beard, a musical.
As customary on theater performance, even today, scenes started and ended with the movements of the curtains. Spotlights also drew attention to the characters, captivating the audience. Sadly, this proved to be a deadly combination.
An arc light probably because of a short circuit caused one lamp to light and then touch the curtain made from muslin cloth. As the fire raged, people panicked and scrambled for dear life.
The theater, though, also had a poor design with designating the same stairway as the exit. People trampled and stepped on one another, while others never made it outside.
2. Joelma Building Fire
Disaster after disaster ultimately led to the infamous 25-story Joelma Building Fire in Brazil. After the smoke and fire disappeared, it left nearly 200 people dead.
The problem began on a Friday morning, February 1, 1974. A short circuit occurred in a faulty air-conditioning unit. When the fire broke out, over 700 people were already in the building.
Firefighters arrived only after 20 minutes since they needed to get through the heavy traffic of Sau Paulo. But even when they reached the scene, they couldn’t put down the fire immediately. Their ladders could reach only up to 14 stories, while the fire raged on across many upper floors.
Worse, while the exterior was fire resistant, almost everything inside wasn’t, from furniture to ceiling. The building didn’t even have a clear exit, and only a stairway was the source of freedom for the trapped ones.
3. Asch Building Fire
History has one of the most comprehensive accounts of the horrific Asch Building Fire that occurred in New York. On the night of March 25, 1911, just when the women working for the Triangle Shirtwaist factory were about to go home, flames emerged from a rag bin probably because of a thrown cigarette butt.
The manager tried to kill it with a fire hose, but the valves were defective. Since fabrics surrounded the area, the flames caught on fast. However, the tragedy had only begun.
The building had only one working elevator that could carry 12 people at a time. It eventually broke down because of the flames. Some women, desperate to save their lives, jumped from the windows and even elevator shafts.
Many managed to descend through the stairs only to find out that the doors opened inward and that they were locked. The fire escape also broke down later.
Building fires can kill not only businesses but most especially people. It’s not enough to have a preparedness plan in place. Prevent it by covering all the common causes.