The Triangle Fire
The events of the Triangle Fire of 1911 are incredibly relevant to today’s society. Workers’ rights and safety continues to be a heated topic for debate. Though many people may believe such an issue has been put to rest with our technologically advanced time and our progressive state of mind, the truth of the matter is immigrant and foreign workers are still being exploited in the workplace. Often workers are not represented by a union or uneducated as to what a union even is. Workers that are represented by unions face harsh punishment for strikes against inhumane working conditions. Many American citizens turn a blind eye to sweatshop factories in their very own country, refusing to believe such a practice would still be taking place here. Out of sight, out of mind. But the truth is, not much has changed since the time of the Triangle Fire. Sure, scientists have come up with all kinds of fire prevention equipment and safety procedures but these methods are not always being enforced in large buildings that house numerous employees. Fire prevention and protection laws are being ignored or evaded just like they were in the time of Triangle Fire. Triangle was issued many warnings about the safety of the Asch building. The Building Department inspector, Rudolph P. Miller, advised the architect, Julius Franke, to add an additional staircase so the building would meet the regulation of three staircases. Franke requested an exception claiming the fire escape acted as a third staircase. Miller also advised that the fire escape lead to ”something more substantial than a skylight”. An exception was granted and the modifications to the fire escape were never made. If these changes to the building plans had been made and the warnings were heeded, a great tragedy could have been prevented/avoided. The fire was a catalyst for reform, however. Several committees such as the Fire Prevention Bureau were created to make stricter fire prevention laws...
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