When living in a high-rise, fire safety should be at the top of your list of priorities. Having all of the proper safety precautions set up in your building will help prevent disaster. Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, and SkySavers, just to mention a few. But when a building has neglected one of these life-saving devices/installations, many can be put in serious danger.
Being on the 50th floor of a building can be a scary thing in an emergency situation. On November 21st, Saturday afternoon, a fire broke out in the iconic John Hancock Center. Hundreds of people looked in astonishment, as more than 100 firefighters and six ambulances were at the scene. Five people had minor injuries, and amazingly no one was killed, in a building which had smoke detectors, however did not have fire sprinklers installed. This goes in accordance with Chicago’s fire ordinance which does not require building owners to install fire sprinklers in high rises built before 1975. Out of the 74 tallest buildings in Chicago, NINETEEN were built before 1975. That means that over 25% of Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers are not required to have fire sprinklers installed. Crazy.
“This fire is the perfect example of the flaws in Chicago’s Life Safety Evacuation System which was engineered to allow as many buildings to pass the evaluation without requiring fire sprinklers.” – Tom Lia (Executive Director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board)
Always be conscious of the fire safety precautions which have been taken where you live or work. Don’t be caught unaware. When fire safety standards are neglected or overlooked, will you be prepared?