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View Diary: How Regulation came to be:  The Cocoanut Grove (63 comments)

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  •  It would be interesting... (3+ / 0-)

    ...to know the reason they were able to operate without sprinklers.  In a lot of jurisdictions they're altogether to accommodating to "small business" and exempt them from a lot of requirements that, IMO, put the public in danger as a consequence.  Other times its something as base as corruption.  I'd love to know the story in this case.

    People with advantages are loath to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages. --C. Wright Mills

    by dsteffen on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 05:46:58 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure, but (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sberel, dsteffen, Dirtandiron

      the following quote is taken from here.

      Until the 1940s and 1950s, sprinklers were installed almost exclusively for the protection of
      buildings – especially warehouses and factories. Insurance savings, which could pay back the
      cost of the system in a few years time, were the major incentives.
      Following fires with large losses of life (Coconut Grove Nightclub, Boston, 1942 – 492 dead;
      LaSalle Hotel, Chicago, 1946 – 61 dead; Winecoff Hotel, Atlanta, 1946 – 119 dead) fire and
      building officials searched for a means to provide life safety for building occupants. They found
      that factories and other buildings equipped with automatic sprinklers had an amazingly good life
      safety record compared with similar unsprinklered buildings.

      I have not researched specific building codes and requirements in Boston, but I suspect that, if they were required, they did not make requirements retroactive for old buildings or they allowed fire extinguishers or other substitute methods.

      You notice that Binnie's did not have fire insurance either. Good thing the fire occurred early in the morning. It could have turned out worse than the Grove fire.

      Oh Barry, they are turning Health Care into an Actuary's wet dream.

      by fredlonsdale on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 06:47:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "did not make requirements retroactive" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sberel, tidalwave1

        Right.  A good point.  "Grandfathering" has played a role in many instances of buildings not being brought up to code, resulting in tragedy.  The Our Lady of the Angels School fire in Chicago in 1958 was an excellent example of that.  The school was built in 1908, IIRC, and was only required to meet the fire code in effect at the time it was built!  I wrote a diary on it a couple of years ago but plan to update it for this series some time.

        People with advantages are loath to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages. --C. Wright Mills

        by dsteffen on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 06:57:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I remember hearing about this one ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard, marina, dsteffen

          from the nuns in Ohio in 1958 ... every time that there was a fire drill. That sounds like I'm making a joke: I am not. I have always been very cautious about fire and easy access to an exit just about anywhere I am. I have taught this to my daughter also. Movies, concerts, meeting halls, hotels, anywhere where I am -- I look for the easy way out. Again, I am not making a joke. Plus, now that I live in California, I want to be aware of where I am because of earthquakes.

          Thanks for this bit of history that may actually save someone's life.

          The Our Lady of the Angels School fire in Chicago in 1958 was an excellent example of that

          Especially about inward opening exterior doors.

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