NFPA Journal - March/April 2013 - (Page 9)

>> in a flash NEWS FROM NFPA + BEYOND Outside the Boate Kiss nightclub on January 27. So far the fire has claimed 239 lives, making it the deadliest fire in Brazil in more than 50 years. From Tragedy, Opportunity INTERNATIONAL In the wake of a deadly nightclub fire, NFPA discusses possible code adoption with fire officals in Brazil by SCOTT SUTHERLAND T he front of the Boate Kiss nightclub, or what remains of it, is boarded up, a long stretch of plywood running along Andradas Street in the Centro neighborhood of Santa Maria, a college town in southeastern Brazil. Much of the wall is covered with remembrances of the people who died in a fire at the club in the early-morning hours of January 27, a blaze that began when members of a band that was performing waved lit flares, igniting the club’s interior finishes. As of February 25 the death toll stood at 239, making it, according to NFPA data, the third-deadliest nightclub fire in world history, behind only the 1942 Cocoanut Grove fire (492 deaths) and a disco fire in China in 2000 (309 deaths). It is also Brazil’s deadliest fire in more than 50 years. Officials in Santa Maria estimated that at least half of the people who died were students at the local university. The wall is emblazoned with other messages, too, including one that stuck with NFPA’s Jim Dolan. “It said, in Portuguese, Photograph: AP/Wide World essentially ‘the state did not protect us,’” says the site closed to visitors, citing an ongoing Dolan, director of the Fire Code field office, investigation—but they were able to meet who visited Santa Maria in February. “But with fire officials in Santa Maria, as well as it’s not a criticism of the fire service or of with the fire chief in Porto Alegre, who is fire prevention inspectors—it’s a criticism heading the fire invesigation of the Boate of the fire codes in Brazil, which are out of Kiss incident. date and don’t give fire inspectors much to IF NFPA CODES are adopted and amended work with.” by the state of Rio de Janeiro, they could serve Dolan, along with Jaime Moncada, a fire as model codes for other brazilian states. protection consultant who directs NFPA’s professional development program in Latin It was their stop in Rio de Janeiro that was America, traveled to Brazil to do two things: especially encouraging. The state of Rio de visit Santa Maria to learn more about the Janeiro had recently contacted NFPA with a Boate Kiss fire, and meet with local and request for support services on its codes, and state fire officials in Rio de Janeiro and Moncada says he assumed Brazilian authoriPorto Alegre, capital of Rio Grande do Sul, ties would use the information to update the state where Santa Maria is located, to their own documents. “We met with the discuss how NFPA can help Brazilian aufire marshal for the state, and right away he thorities update their fire protection and life said, ‘We don’t want to reinvent the wheel. safety codes. They weren’t able to enter the It would be most expeditious if we could nightclub—a local prosecutor had ordered adapt your codes,’” Moncada says. “We are MARCH/APRIL 2013 NFPA JOURNAL 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NFPA Journal - March/April 2013

NFPA Journal - March/April 2013
First Word
In a Flash
Heads Up
Structural Ops
In Compliance
Electrical Safety
Wildfire Watch
Cover Story: Storage Occupancies
Fifty Years of Smoke Detection
Industrial Occupancies
Chicago 2013
Fire Analysis + Research
Section Spotlight
What’s Hot
Looking Back

NFPA Journal - March/April 2013