The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #149313 Message #3473739
Posted By: Rapparee
30-Jan-13 - 10:04 PM
Thread Name: BS: Death Trap Schoolrooms
Subject: RE: BS: Death Trap Schoolrooms
You know, there really isn't a good answer to this problem and never has been. You need to find a proportion between cost, usage, safety, and a host of other things. Think of your own home -- do you have a secondary escape route you can use in case of fire, especially if your bedroom is not on the ground floor? Are there windowless rooms, such as a toilet or a laundry room, where you could be trapped? Do you even have a fire extinguisher, and if so, have you checked it recently?
I worked for years in public buildings (libraries). We were required by law to have fire suppression systems, emergency evacuation routes posted, fire doors, fire escapes, and other safety features. Yet if fire escapes are blocked, as in Brazil just a couple days ago....
A fire and a shooting situation have many similar characteristics. Both involve immediate danger, both have the potential to take many lives, and both require effective pre-planning AND continued oversight to prevent the "blocked fire escape."
This is true of ALL public buildings -- theaters, malls, schools, restaurants, nightclubs, churches, court houses -- ALL public buildings.
The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire broke out shortly before classes were to be dismissed on December 1, 1958, at the foot of a stairway in the Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago, Illinois. The elementary school was operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. A total of 92 pupils and 3 nuns lost their lives when smoke, heat, and fire cut off their normal means of escape through corridors and stairways. Many more were injured when they jumped from second-floor windows (which were as high as a third floor would be on level ground). (Wikipedia)
This school was, for the time, in complete compliance with all fire codes. Today, by far and away the single greatest cause for school fires is arson (according to the US Fire Administration of FEMA). Fortunately school fires today rarely cause injuries or fatalities.
Schools are in many ways safer than your home....