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Panic at the Disco

Hardware and Fire Safety Codes

Posted:  Jan 07, 2016
Unfortunately, it’s human nature to ignore a problem until tragedy inspires action – for example, boats never carried sufficient lifeboats until the Titanic hit the iceberg.

In 1903, 602 people died in a fire in the Iroquois theater because, while there were sufficient exits, the doors opened inward and contributed to the panic, exits were not lighted and couldn’t be located, and there were several false doors that trapped people in the smoke and flames.

In 1911, 146 people died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory because most of the exits were locked to keep employees from leaving or stealing, there was no fire alarm in place, and the only fire exit was flimsy and actually caused more harm than good. 

These are the two deadliest fires in fire code history, although there are a multitude of examples (going all the way up through 2003), but the point of this post is not to dwell on the morbid.

The point is to talk about fire and panic hardware that exists to keep tragedies from happening.

Did you know that double leaf doors with an exit device and mullion are actually the most efficient way to get people out of a building?  These doors are not any wider than a standard double leaf door, but the mullion in between the doors gives people a subconscious clue to make two lines to exit, and exit times can actually be cut in half.

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