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Mike Larabel Chief of Fire Protection Amway Inc.

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1 Mike Larabel Chief of Fire Protection Amway Inc.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY OUT? Mike Larabel Chief of Fire Protection Amway Inc.



4 What is an emergency? An “emergency” is an event that jeopardizes
The occupants of a building The building The contents of the building Types of emergencies Natural Human based Name some events you would classify as an emergency.

5 Life Safety Code - 101 National Fire Protection Association – NFPA
1913 – Committee on Safety to Life 1927 – Building Exits Code 1966 – Code for Safety from Fire in Buildings and Structures 1981 – Organization of modern Code. Current edition consists of 43 Chapters plus Annexes – explanatory material

6 Means of Egress Exit Access – “That portion of a means of egress that leads to an exit.” (101) Exit – “That portion of a means of egress that is separated from all other spaces of a building or structure by construction or equipment as required to provide a protected way of travel to the exit discharge.” (101) Exit Discharge – “That portion of a means of egress between the termination of an exit and a public way.” (101)

7 Egress Components Doors Floors Locking mechanisms Turnstiles
Swinging Non-swinging – revolving, rolling, sliding Floors Level Sloped Locking mechanisms Turnstiles Force to Open Stairs

Iroquois Theatre – Chicago, IL 12/30/1903 – 602 – Deadliest bldg. fire Fire Proof – Mr. Blue Beard, Jr. Outward door swing in Assembly Triangle Shirtwaist Factory – NY, NY 3/25/1911 – 146 Workers (mostly women) Improved factory safety standards Int. Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union The Iroquois Theater Fire (December 30, 1903 in Chicago, Illinois) was the deadliest single-building fire in U.S. history. The blaze took 571 lives within 20 minutes, and including those who died in the hospital, the death count climbed to a total of 602. The Iroquois Theater, at West Randolph Street, on the north side between State and Dearborn Streets, was advertised as "Absolutely Fireproof" on its playbills. Yet the construction and opening of the theater had been rushed in six months to take advantage of the holiday crowds with much being incomplete.[1] The theatre opened on November 23 and burned 37 days later on December 30. Versus the 1,724 seating capacity, nearly 2,000 patrons, mostly women and children on the holidays school break, were in attendance at this Wednesday matinée showing of the popular musical Mr. Bluebeard starring Eddie Foy and and a performance troupe of 500.[2] The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the largest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York, causing the death of 146 garment workers who either died from the fire or jumped to their deaths. It was the worst workplace disaster in New York City until September 11, The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought for better and safer working conditions for sweatshop workers in that industry. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was located inside the Asch Building, now known as the Brown Building of Science. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark.[1]

Cocoanut Grove – Boston, MA 11/28/1942 – 492 Remote egress, Interior Finish Winecoff Hotel – Atlanta, GA 12/7/1946 – 119 Stairway enclosure Winecoff – One central staircase, no fire escapes, no sprinklers – Advertised as “fire proof.” 15 stories, many people died as the result of having to jump out windows. Guests tried to climb down sheets, lost grip, fell.

Barnum & Bailey Circus – Hartford, CT 7/6/1944 – 168 Lives Lost Flame retardant tents MGM Grand Hotel Fire – Las Vegas, NV November 21, 1980 – 85 Lives Lost Strengthened fire safety laws for sprinklers and interior finish Circus tents treated with paraffin to be water repellant


Hamlet Chicken Processing Plant – Hamlet, NC 9/3/1991 – 25 killed, 54 injured (Locked doors) Improved worker safety laws Station Nightclub Fire - West Warwick, NJ 2/19/2003 – 100 deaths TIA’s – Improved requirements for sprinklers

13 Station Nightclub Fire

14 Getting OUT!! Provide employee alarm system
Creatures of Habit – The Herd Effect Train evacuation assistants Review plan Initially When employee responsibility changes When plan changes Direct voice communication is acceptable for < 10.



17 Emergency Notification
What methods are used to alert occupants of an emergency? Fire alarm signal Audible Visual Voice instructions Alternate means of communications Telephone Runners

18 Why should I believe the alarm or emergency information message?
Emergency Messages What do the alarms mean? What actions are you expected to take? Who issues voice instructions? Why should I believe the alarm or emergency information message?


20 Perception What is the perception of the problem?
Do employees perceive there truly is a problem? Do we practice what we preach? Fire Wardens – arm band & helmet What do other employees think?

21 Occupant Protection Concepts
Evacuate Total Staged Relocation to safe area within the building Defend or protect in-place

22 Area of Refuge A temporary staging area that provides relative safety to its occupants while Potential emergencies are assessed Decisions are made Mitigating activities are begun A stage between egress from the immediately threatened area and the evacuation of the building .

23 Defend/Protect In Place

24 Principles of Exit Safety
At least two ways out Exits are within a reasonable travel distance Egress paths are Well marked Well lighted Unobstructed Evacuation training and drills provided

25 MEANS OF EGRESS Occupied Building Door Swing Open to the public
Open for general occupancy 10 or more employees present Door Swing Exterior Exit Doors swing outward – direction of egress Room doors may swing inward – unless occupant capacity of 50 or more

26 MEANS OF EGRESS Locking mechanisms Key operated locks
Only certain occupancies Signs indicating door to remain unlocked Main entrance only Single Motion – Non-locking against egress Knob, lever, panic hardware Delayed egress Security controlled – Card Access

27 MEANS OF EGRESS Self closing – automatic closing devices
Hold Open - electromagnetic Coordinators Astragals Powered Door Leaf Stairs 7 X 11 Change of direction Area of refuge Landings

28 MEANS OF EGRESS Capacity of Means of Egress Number of means of egress
Based on Occupant Load, # of exits, etc. Capacity factor – Health Care 0.3, 0.6, All others 0.2 Minimum width – 36 inches Number of means of egress Generally 2 minimum – remote Single exit allowed in certain conditions

29 MEANS OF EGRESS Arrangement “Readily accessible at all times”
Access to two different paths of travel Room to corridor Existing room to room to corridor/exit Dead ends Not permitted – except by chapter – may be 20 to 50 feet in length Not through kitchens, closets, storage, workroom, bedrooms, etc.

30 MEANS OF EGRESS Arrangement – con’t. Measurement of travel distance
Cannot obscure exit – curtains, hangings, art, mirrors, etc. Measurement of travel distance Based on occupancy requirement Measured along path of travel AGPH – 75’/125’ to guest room door 100’/200’ guest room to exit 100’/150’ exit enclosure to exterior door to public way

31 MEANS OF EGRESS Termination of exits Illumination of means of egress
Industrial - General 200 feet unsprinkled 250 feet sprinkled Termination of exits Public way Exit discharge that leads to public way Illumination of means of egress Illuminate access, exit, discharge Stairs 10 ft. candle Other 1 ft. candle Performances 0.2 ft. candle

32 MEANS OF EGRESS Emergency Lighting Minimum of 1 ½ hours 1 ft. candle
Automatic in the event of power loss Emergency generator or battery pack Testing on a regular basis Every 30 days Annually – 1 ½ hours Maintain records

33 MEANS OF EGRESS Exit signs required unless “obviously and clearly are identifiable as an exit.” Exit signs must be illuminated Internally or externally Tactile signage required in new construction Floor proximity egress path marking Along exit access – 100 feet Change in direction Photoluminescent/nuclear powered signs permitted

34 MEANS OF EGRESS NO Exit Exit Sign Testing
Doors that do not lead to exit or exit access must be labeled Exit Sign Testing

35 How long will it take? Complete evacuation may require a significant amount of time Evacuation from large buildings can be physically exhausting It could slow emergency responders who may need the stairs to reach the problem Research indicates that it takes a normal individual about 15 seconds per floor to travel down stairs in an evacuation. In a high rise structure this can result in relatively long travel times to reach the ground floor. Evacuations are slowed by individuals who are not physically capable of this effort, people falling or tripping and individuals who become confused within the stair. Large numbers of occupants filling the stairs can impede emergency responders attempting to reach the emergency using the stairways. Large buildings may use staged evacuations in an attempt to deal with this problem.

36 Reporting an Emergency
Time is critical Report emergencies rapidly Know the procedures for your building Use the best available means of communication

37 Your Responsibility Keep the exits clear
No storage or other use within the exit Do not compromise fire protection and alarm systems Promptly report problems with exits or systems to building management

38 Protecting Yourself Do you know how to react if you are faced with an emergency? Could you protect yourself and others around you in an extraordinary event? Self reliance – 72 Hr. response time When all else fails, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety!

39 Protecting Yourself 1,602,000 fires – 3,675 civilian deaths – 3,105 deaths in structures, majority in residential structures. Fire drills in our homes We tell ‘em good, but we don’t show them well. Holler at each other Conditioned to the same route


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