UCLA Review Following Small Library Blaze a Reminder of the Importance of Best Practices in Fire Safety
LOS ANGELES – A March 23 article in the Daily Bruin reports that the management of UCLA’s historic Powell Library is taking a close look at its lighting system. The step is in the aftermath of an incident in which a librarian used a fire extinguisher on a lightbulb that had apparently been set afire by a malfunction. The article notes that, while the fire department was called and the building was temporarily evacuated during the event, no injuries and no further damage resulted. Los Angeles-based consulting firm Fire Protection Group, Inc. notes that it appears that the university library is exhibiting some very sound judgment in taking a relatively minor incident extremely seriously. The firm notes that many serious fires begin with an initially small mishap and it is therefore essential to take even the smallest incident indicating the risk of a fire very seriously.
The firm adds that, while investigating the causes of small but potentially dangerous incidents is important, especially for a historic library full of flammable and also often rare and valuable books, regular inspections devoted to ensuring that a property is fully up to code are also essential. The firm adds that larger buildings which house sensitive materials, such as a major university library, have special needs in terms of fire prevention, as do many other types of buildings serving a wide variety of functions. They add that, while having sufficient fire extinguishers on hand obviously played an important role in this particular incident, this important step is just one of many precautions that need to be taken when planning a building’s safety plan. In many structures, for example, standpipes can play an important role in allowing firefighters to minimize the damage in more extensive fires. Even more important, both in terms of fire code compliance and the safety of occupants, having appropriate fire alarms and fire escape ladders is crucial for most types of buildings, the firm adds.
Moreover, regular inspections in the absence of incidents are also musts, says Fire Protection Group, Inc. NFPA 25 testing, which looks at the effectiveness of anti-fire systems, needs to be done but should only be performed by fire protection experts, the group adds. They note that their own team includes two widely respected Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) veterans, retired chief Al Hernandez and Captain Bob Holloway, as well as lead engineer and general manager George Saadian, a widely respected authority on the subject.
Readers interested in more Fire Protection Group, Inc. can reach the consulting firm at 888/251-3488. They can also visit it online at www.firesprinkler.com/.