Rules with reasons |

Rules with reasons

Nancy Smith

Dear Editor,

I wonder if the owner of The Station nightclub in West Warwick Rhode Island also saw himself as a hero, standing up to the bureaucracies that enforce building codes. If Bob Mayo had applied for a permit to build his Legion Hall, he would have been told that because it holds over 50 people, it must have two exits, separated sufficiently so that if fire blocks one exit, people can get out the other way. These doors must open outward, so panicked people can’t be trapped against an inward-opening door.

Depending on the flammability of the materials used, it might need to have sprinklers, as were not provided at The Station. Bob’s nice carpeting might not be allowed, because of flammability.

Lots of the rules in the UBC add unnecessarily to the cost of building a house, without adding to human safety. But assembly buildings are different.

Codes applying to them have saved thousands of lives since the Cocoanut Grove fire in 1942. I hope Garfield County remembers the 99 people who died in the Rhode Island fire when deciding how to deal with Bob Mayo’s illegally constructed Legion Hall.

Nancy Smith


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