Beer Commission Changes Tavern Rules
A solution nearer to the beer tavern problem, which has confronted the members of the Connecticut State Firemen’s Association for some time past, was effected recently when officers of the association held a conference with the three members of the Connecticut Liquor Control Commission and discussed the subject of the Liquor Commission’s ruling which forces all holders of tavern permits to bolt or bar the back doors at all times.
When the Liquor Act was passed in Connecticut, the Commission ruled that only one door or exit could be opened. Several complaints against this ruling were filed with the Commission by Fire Department officials, Chiefs and Marshals. It was pointed out that the barring of a rear door of a tavern created a dangerous fire hazard and would prevent firemen from making a quick entrance to a building if the doors were nailed and barred.
The immediate danger, it was shown to the Commission, would be in the event of a fire in the front of a crowded tavern with the only possible escape being through the front door. With this exit cut off by fire and smoke the patrons would be trapped in the building.
Lieut. Charles H. Brundage of New Haven, Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the firemen’s association, and Eugene J. Mulligan of New Haven, President of the association, were the spokesmen for the firemen. Members of the Commission were in favor of Lieut. Brundage’s suggestion that all rear doors of taverns be equipped with panic bolts, in the same manner as are theatres, with an added wired seed which would protect the interests of the state and at the same time prevent a fire hazard.
The firemen’s committee which met with the Liquor Commission was composed of Capt. E. J. Mulligan, New Haven; Chief James Downey, Wallingford; Lieut. C. H. Brundage, New Haven; Roy Enquist, Branford; Thomas F. Magner, Bridgeport; George Maloney, Norwich; John E. Graham. Waterbury; D. W. Harford, South Norwalk and Michael T. Souney, New Britain.