Fire doors and egress doors are critical for protecting life safety and property, and inspections can save lives.  The news reports speak for themselves:

26 killed in factory fire – 12/15/10 – The Daily Star

“Witnesses said four out of seven exit staircases were closed. Desperate to flee the heat and smoke, some workers jumped off the windows, while some fell trying to get to the ground using rolls of cloth.”

Searchers look for more victims of Bangladesh fire – 12/16/10 – The Associated Press

“The blaze broke out on the two upper floors during the lunch break, Monir Hossain, a local journalist at the scene, told The Associated Press. A gate on a stairwell was locked, trapping people inside the factory.”

Workers jump to their deaths as fire engulfs factory making clothes for Gap -12/14/10 – Guardian News & Media

“Abdur Rahim, who was injured, said most of the workers were having lunch when the fire broke out. ‘Heavy plumes of fire suffocated the area.’ He said two of the emergency exits were closed. Unable to walk down, many broke the windows to escape the fire and injured themselves.”

Bangladesh factory fire kills at least 20 – 12/14/10 – The New York Times

“Piles of clothes in garment factories are easily combustible. Fires can be very deadly because some factory owners lock exits to prevent workers from leaving their machines.”

Dhaka blaze adds to garment sector toll – 12/16/10 – Asia Times

“The blaze adds to an already grim death toll involving the garment industry; 414 garment workers lost their lives in at least 213 factory fires between 2006 and 2009, according to the government’s Fire Service and Civil Defence Department.”

At Least 28 More Garment Workers Die in Bangladeshi Factory Fire – 12/14/10 – Clean Clothes Campaign

“Measures proposed by the labour groups included a thorough review of all multi-story garment production facilities, expert fire safety inspections and ensuring that workers are allowed to report and challenge health and safety violations by supporting their right to organize.”

Thank you to David Lauzière of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies in Montreal for making me aware of this fire.

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