Part of emergency preparedness is not letting your death become a headline somewhere. Probably not all of those people who died in that nightclub fire in Brazil had to die. If some of them had been prepared for such an emergency, they might have lived.
Every so often there is a horrible fire in a crowded place and there it is in the headlines. You can do a few things to lessen your chances of being in one of those headlines.
One of the things you need to know to be prepared for a fire in a crowded place is that when there is a fire you don't have very long to get out safely. Here is an article about the fire in Brazil and how to be prepared for that kind of emergency:
Here is an important quote from the article: "In most nightclub fires you
only have a few minutes to find a way
out," Glenn Corbett, an associate
professor of fire sciences at John Jay
College, said Sunday. "In Rhode
Island, it was 90 seconds."
He is talking about a fire in Rhode
Island in 2003. People got out of that fire
by finding other entrances besides the
main one and breaking out windows to
leave that way.
Surprise, Corbett says there are two main
things to get you through such an
emergency - one is PREPAREDNESS.
The other is reacting quickly.
The National Fire Protection Association
has a list of safety tips on its site. It starts
with how to decide whether to go in that
place at all.
It is a good idea to check to see whether
you think the place looks safe from fire
and you can get out if you need to. Are
the exits clear and easy to exit? It is safer
if the exits open outward. If there is a
stampede, inward opening doors may
become a death trap.
Here is a link to the NFPA's fire safety
tips for assembly places:
They are kind enough to have a printer friendly page that you can print out for reference and to share.
Here is another site for fire safety in assembly areas from the police in Hyderabad India: http://www.hyderabadpolice.gov.in/CrowdSafety/FireSafety.htm
I like this site because they don't assume people know anything and cover the basics very well. Not all countries have a large staff of paid government fire inspectors checking everything that is built and opened for business. I would like for my readers to be safe everywhere.