Fire Prevention & Protection

HAVE WE LEARNED THE EVACUATION LESSONS? A COMMENTARY

Issue 10 and Volume 155.

BY JAKE PAULS Despite its long history as a fire safety measure in buildings, evacuation did not become a prominent topic of discussion until the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC). Even with the events of September 11, widespread calls for reconsidering evacuation procedures for large high-rise buildings came mainly from advocacy groups such as the Skyscraper Safety Campaign (SSC) (www.skyscrapersafety.org). This particular group of families, who lost loved ones in the WTC attacks, started gaining public prominence in December 2001 with calls for a comprehensive inquiry into all aspects of the incident. Within several months, SSC representatives used their considerable influence with the Congressional (House of Representatives) Science Committee and other organizations to include evacuation as an important area for inquiry and change. The World Trade Center Evacuation Study Initiative (www.peopleandfire.com/wtcesi/), a less visible coalition, also aided in the efforts to have evacuation issues included…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now