Yesterday 231 people were killed in Brazil, victims of a fire that turned a nightclub into a death trap. The incident is similar to the República Cromañón fire that killed 194 people in 2004 in Argentina or “The Station” fire in USA in 2003, where 100 people died. We’re talking about hundreds of people dead at a time. All three cases took place in nightclubs during concerts, and in all three cases fireworks and special effects used by the band started the fire. In less than a minute, these nightclubs become true deathtraps.
It is not the first time this topic has been covered in this blog. Here’s a previous post called “Surviving a Fire”, in which these recommendations where given. The first two tips would also help during a mass shooting when you want to leave a building ASAP.
Tips on what to do:
1)Always know two ways out of any room you enter. The obvious one is the one you entered through, get used to quickly picking up a second one, and keeping in mind which one is closest to you. In the case of “The Station” nightclub, people headed to the main entrance in spite of having emergency exits closer.
2) Be quick about it. Don’t be worried about looking silly or overreacting. Better to look dumb than dead. What if its nothing? Then there’s no problem, but at least you’ve exercised yourself into reacting, and whenever something does happen you will be moving instead of freezing up and losing valuable seconds.
3)Its almost impossible to avoid stomping and people causing human avalanches. Avoid them as much as you can. Remember the post on safety footware? This would be another example in which tough footware can protect you from people stepping on you, maybe injuring you or causing you to fall. When you fall, people will stomp you or fall over you forming a human plug in bottlenecks where several victims will be crushed to death. Safety footware is also rated to tolerate high temperatures better. That may be a key advantage when things heat up and you’re still looking for a way out.
4)Your hair can catch fire, soak it up if you can while hurrying away from danger, even with your drink if its not alcohol! A wet cloth, bandana or t-shirt can be used to protect your face and at least try to breathe better. Many times people die of suffocation in fires rather than burn alive.
Watch the video of “The Station” Nightclub fire in USA to see how in just a matter of seconds , 40 seconds to be precise, all hell just breaks lose.