Many commercial fires in the 20th and 21st centuries resulted in great loss of life and drove changes in local or national fire codes. These fires serve as examples to show how tragedy can bring about changes that improve public welfare.
In 1903 the Iroquois Theater Fire in Chicago resulted in the deaths of 602 people. As a result, federal and state codes added requirements for maximum seating capacity, exit signage, exit doors and the inclusion of sprinklers.
Acknowledgement: Assembly Fires, presented by Jim Dolan, NFPA, Sao Paolo, Brazil
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You don't have to look far to find examples of smoke detection systems saving lives. Here is just a sample:
Arizona Family.com, Phoenix, AZ
Chapel Hill, NC, Fire Department
Dothan Eagle, Dothan, AL
Manchester Evening News, Manchester, UK
The Dispatch, Columbus, M
WCPO TV, Cincinnati, OH
WOOD TV8, Grand Rapids, MI
WUPW TV Toledo, OH
Acknowledgement: James A. Milke, Ph.D., P.E., from the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland contributed content for this website.