Fire inspections without enforcement do not effect change

Issue 4 and Volume 162.

Mike Love’s “Chief Must Advocate Building Fire Safety” (Fire Engineering, January 2009) made some excellent points and was thought-provoking. However, it did not go far enough. Click here to enlarge image Inspections without enforcement do not get a great deal of change accomplished. Engine companies that may only be on duty every third day are not terribly well-suited to motivating business owners to spend money to comply with fire codes. In the case of the Charleston, S.C., Sofa Super Store tragedy, do we really think that the owner would have voluntarily committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to a fire sprinkler retrofit installation if a local engine company had walked through the store and mentioned it in the months before the fire occurred? Business owners may unlock chained exit doors at the request of the visiting engine company, but will that exit door remain unlocked day after day unless the…

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