Essay On Iroquois Theater Fire

Topics: Emergency exit, Architect, Construction Pages: 4 (987 words) Published: November 22, 2016


The Iroquois theatre was said to be the most finest and elegant theatre in the USA. It was advertised as fire proof and totally safe by bribed Chicago city officials and building inspectors. On Dec 30, 1903, the Iroquois was packed with almost 2,000 people who were watching the sold-out Holiday play called “Bluebeard”. The fire started backstage and quickly spread through the entire Theatre. The Management had locked the Fire Exits and most outside doors to keep people from sneaking into the show. There was no escape for 602 people, many of those being children. The fire set many standards for firefighting as well as building codes across America.
The Iroquois was the newest edition to the Chicago theatre district centered on Randolph Street. It was designed to be one of most beautiful theatres around at that...

Many high occupancy buildings are now constructed with panic hardware. Panic hardware is used to keep a door locked from the outside, but unlocks when someone pushes on it from the inside. Building code also requires to have signs posted to notify occupants of where the exits are in the building. Doors must now swing outwards to aid in proper escape as doors that swing inward will cause obstruction and reduce total escape time. It is now against the law to have any obstructions in the way of a fire escape route.

The Iroquois theater fire was the worst single building fire in American history as well as the deadliest. With the high number of injuries and deaths this fire had, it is no wonder why it set such high standards for firefighting as well as building construction for us today. It is a tragedy that only after a fire that had taken the lives of over 600 people did we realize and implement these safety standards. Something as simple as installing exit signs and outward swinging doors are key factors that may have saved hundreds of lives that...
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