The fire that destroyed a dance party location last Friday in Oakland, California, has many people thinking about the necessity of fire codes and laws. And while the reason behind these codes and laws may seem somewhat random to the average citizen, most fired codes and laws are the result of years of research of fire protection engineering companies, fire marshals, city officials, arson experts, and the fire sites of unfortunate events like the one in Oakland.
The fact that 36 people died in this tragedy increases the level of concern for everyone involved. As fire protection engineering companies and other concerned and informed individuals and agencies spend the next days, weeks, and months analyzing data from this site, many California residents wonder if new fire codes will be put into place, or if more manpower will be invested in the enforcement of the current codes.
Placing blame in a tragic event like this warehouse fire is never pleasant. But as the families who lost loved ones in the fire look for answers it is likely that several people and agencies will have to face the responsibility of not following through on current codes and regulations. From the residents who were illegally residing in the building, to the landlord who owned the building, to the city officials who evidently were in the middle of deciding what to do about the fire code violations, to the anyone who had a part in hosting or organizing the dance party that brought so many people to the building, it appears there may be enough blame to spread around.
Are You Getting Ready to Update or Replace the Fire Alarms in Your Home?
The importance of both commercial and residential fire alarm installation comes to the forefront any time a tragic fires takes lives. A tragic fire like the one in Oakland may, in fact, make every warehouse owner in the country remember the importance of having your fire sprinkler inspected, perhaps even more often than is required by law. For investors or buyers purchasing a new home or business, relying on the research and advice of trusted fire protection engineering companies can help you feel more confident in any new building or renovation decisions.
Following the guidelines provided by fire protection engineering companies is the best way to attempt to keep your family safe from the dangers of fire, smoke, and the consequences of a building collapsing from the flames. Consider some of these statistics about fire and fire prevention in America:
- 55% of all fires that occur in medical facility fires are caused by confined cooking fires.
- 19% of all fires that occur in hospitals are caused by electrical malfunction, the leading cause.
- 15 deaths every year are a result of hotel and motel fires.
- 150 injuries every year are a result of hotel and motel fires.
- In the year 2010 U.S. fire departments responded to 1,200 fires in hospitals.
- $76 million in property loss is caused every year by hotel and motel fires.
- Between the years 2006 and 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 6,240 structure fires in or on health care properties a year.
It should not take a large warehouse fire killing 36 people to make people more careful about the required fire and safety hazards. Yearly fire inspections and practice fire drills are intended to make sure that the proper safety measures are in place. There is an intentional designation for buildings that are zoned for residences. Open fires or overloaded electrical outlets in a building that is not zoned for residents can be dangerous, and in some cases deadly. It will likely take months before the exact cause of the deadly Oakland, California, warehouse fire. Evidence will be collected. Reports will be written. And, hopefully, laws and regulations will be enforced.
And while it may take months to determine the exact cause, the nation will hopefully be filled with building owners and fire inspection teams that will hold renters accountable for following designated zoning laws, fire safety standards, and proper testing. Fire safety is a process that can never be ignored. Have you done everything within your power to make sure that your home and businesses are safe and up to code?