The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is advocating stronger safety fire standards for nightclubs due to the fatal fire in Rhode Island that took 100 lives in February. Fire codes are being revamped and many existing nightclubs and other public venues will be looking at additional costs in order to meet proposed regulations.
The recommendations include that nightclubs or any public assembly which accommodates 100 people or more, will need to install sprinkler systems, have a crowd manager for any indoor assembly of 50 or more, and conduct safety evaluations for all entertainment events that allow 250 or more to stand in front of a stage. Studies of The Station fire, the nightclub that burned because of indoor pyrotechnics and flammable stage material, stated that had there been sprinkler systems in the building, everyone would have exited unharmed.
NFPA is also advocating restrictions on the use of festival seating and requiring additional inspections of assembly occupancies prior to each opening of the building. These restrictions and all codes will need to be considered and voted on by NFPA's Technical Committees that review standards on building construction and safety codes. Final vote will be taken in the upcoming weeks.
For more information on NFPA's code development system or the Standard for the Use of Pyrotechnics Before An Audience, visit www.nfpa.org.