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February 2013: Lessons Not Learned

It disheartens us that even after the nightclub fires in Rhode Island, USA in February 2003 and in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December 2004, the lessons of those tragic events appear to have not been learned. In both cases, the entertainment for these venues involved pyrotechnics, and the interior walls and ceilings of the venues used expanded plastic facing. With fireworks as the ignition source, the plastic facings rapidly burned - resulting in 100 deaths in Rhode Island and 194 deaths in Buenos Aires. Contributing factors included insufficient doors, or doors being blocked to prevent from leaving without paying.

Late last month, history repeated itself when it shouldn't have. A fire at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil left 235 dead at the time of this writing. The cause and contributing factors were again pyrotechnics, exposed expanded plastic construction materials and exiting problems.

Some of the lessons that should have been learned from these events were:

Our hope is that these lessons will be taken to heart.

Risk Logic, Inc. can help identify hot work and construction material risks.