Brazilian Night Club Fire Kills 238 and Wounds 100

As you may be aware on January 31, 2013, a fire erupted in a Brazilian Nightclub killing hundreds and wounded many. It was reported that there were many fire code violations. It was also reported that the club was overcrowded. My main point in writing this blog is to draw your attention to issues of safety, no matter what establishment you go to for enjoyment. Having a good time is meant to be a memorable experience. You want to enjoy the day and evening events until you safely reach home.

You must remember that while there are many people who are supposed to be participating in making sure you have safe experiences, it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you are safe. When a building is overcrowded you can feel that. Yes, you arrived at the most happening place of the day, and the place is packed. Is jeopardizing your safety worth the experience? In the Brazilian fire many people got out with their lives. There was an estimated 2000 or so people attending the event. For those who got out alive, they are probably still scarred by the tragedy. For those who lived but had loved ones and friends die, they will mourn for the rest of their lives.

When you enter any building you must educate yourself on how you will get out should an emergency take place. You must note if the exits are blocked. You must decide if the place is too crowded to stay at the event. If you have a few drinks and become impaired your chances of escape are also impaired. In this day and age it seems we can no longer just have a designated driver, we need a designated safety buddy as well.

A few tips:

When you enter a facility remember your entrance point because it will most likely be the first place you attempt to exit if something goes wrong.

Pay attention to your surroundings. If you have to leave in a hurry you will need some visual cues to remind you in which direction you should travel when you exit the building.

Pay attention to the exit signs. Most exit signs tell you in which direction to travel when you are looking for an exit. Most modern buildings have exits within 200 feet of any point in the building.

Check to see if there is a window near you. If the place becomes overcrowded in an emergency you may have to exit through a window.

Don’t panic and stay calm. You will need to have a clear head when you are under emergency conditions. If you become overwhelmed you may not be able to concentrate to find your way out. One way to ensure you are calm is taking the time to prepare for an emergency, should one occur, in the building you are in. Being prepared elevates your chance of survival.

This blog and Systems Emergency Preparedness Consultants are dedicated to educating business owners and employees on the need to manage emergencies everyday through effective mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery actions. Accidents can be reduced, eliminated and their effects can be lessened if a good strategy is adopted.

If you need preparedness training or would like to have a preparedness discussion for your employees checkout my website (Systems Emergency Preparedness Consultants) and contact me via email at for a free consultation.


About managingemergencies

I am a professional consultant with 30 years of experience in managing emergencies. My background and skills gave me the foundation to start Systems Emergency Preparedness Consultants. If you need preparedness training or would like to have a preparedness discussion for your employees contact me via email at I held various positions in the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department until I retired in 2007. As a emergency planner and trainer in the Prince George's County Office of Homeland Security I planned exercises and training for government agencies and citizens groups. I was appointed Fire Chief of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department in 2009. I started Systems Emergency Preparedness Consultants in June of that year. I had the opportunity to become the Assistant Fire Chief - Operations of the District of Columbia Fire/EMS Department and served for a year as the Interim Fire Chief. I am a trained mediator, mediator team leader and trainer. I also served as the Fire/EMS Department Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.
This entry was posted in Advice, Emergencies, Warnings, Work. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Brazilian Night Club Fire Kills 238 and Wounds 100

  1. rebecca2000 says:

    Great post! That is so sad that so many died.

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