Fire 2 Prevention Report
24 March 2011
MGM Grand Fire and Subsequent Code Changes
On the Morning of November 21, 1980, a fire burned that killed 85 people, and ultimately injured more than 700 others. Typically, it has come to be known that in order for a new law, regulation, and/or ordinance to be put into place, there has to be a previous event that causes death or injury, makes the news, or basically anything that stirs the voices of the public. The 1980 MGM Grand Fire was just that. Most people remember a lot of people died in the fire and that it was the catalyst for Nevada's tough fire codes and retrofit laws that make the state's resorts among the safest places to stay (Morrison). The 1980 fire at the MGM Grand Casino and Hotel changed fire codes, and established new ones, some of which are still in place today.
Many critics and other individuals involved with the fire report and investigation of the MGM Grand Fire said that that if there were properly installed, maintained, and adequate fire sprinkler systems installed, the fire would have been a two-sprinkler fire. Instead, the chairman of the MGM Grand building committee opted against the installation of fire sprinkler systems during construction in the 1970s. As previously stated, 85 people died and more than 700 others were injured, basically all resulting from a poor decision made to save 192,000 dollars by opting not to install fire sprinklers. Ironically, the damages from the fire as well as the lawsuits placed against the MGM Grand Corporation resulted in billions of dollars worth of deficit.
Not more than three months after the November fire, Nevada’s building and fire codes were revised to have the most strict fire sprinkler and life safety codes in the country. All hotels larger than fifty-five feet in height were required to be retrofitted with fire sprinkler systems. Also, all future building constructed of three or more stories were required to install...