Leadership

HIGH-RISE FIRE DISASTERS: WHEN WILL WE LEARN OUR LESSON?

Issue 4 and Volume 157.

BY SCOTT HOLLIDAY George Bernard Shaw said, “If history repeats itself and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.” When dealing with fires in high-rise buildings, this statement couldn’t be truer. The inability to learn from past high-rise disasters has cost hundreds of innocent lives and millions of dollars in property damage. The fire service must take the lead and compel local governments to bring building and life safety codes up to standards that will protect the public and their property through the use of modern automatic fire detection and protection systems. Local governments must learn from past tragedies and not succumb to the pressure of special-interest groups to grandfather existing buildings that do not meet modern codes. One hundred and forty-eight women and young girls lost their lives in the Triangle Shirt Waist Company fire in New York City in 1911. In 1988,…

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