By Ray McCormack
The attack on the United States embassy in Libya that killed four Americans, including the ambassador, is being examined by a congressional committee from a failed security standpoint. From the photos and videos (CLICK HERE for one by Esam Al-Fetori), it would seem that fire protection at the Benghazi embassy was lacking. In the charred ruins, there is no evidence of a fire suppression system–sprinklers!
Firefighters are not automatically given access to foreign embassies. You must be allowed in. To rely on local fire protection in underdeveloped countries and hostile nation states is risky. The lack of sprinklers to protect our embassies is a failure in fire security and needs to be fixed.
The United States Fire Administration needs to work with its federal partners so that this year’s fire prevention message, “Have Two Ways Out” is realized throughout the world.
RAY McCORMACK is a 30-year veteran and a lieutenant with FDNY. He is the publisher and editor of Urban Firefighter Magazine. He delivered the keynote address at FDIC in 2009 and he is on the Editorial Board of Fire Engineering Magazine.