Re: Fire Safety Regulations: Good or Bad?

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Wed Jul 04 2001 - 06:57:40 MDT

Technotranscendence wrote:
> Fire Safety Regulations: Good or Bad?See "Fire Safety Regulation in
> Northeastern Santiago, Chile" by John M. Cobin at:
> Anyone interested in this topic?

Yup, here goes:

> This paper extends my previous study of fire safety regulation in
> Baltimore by presenting similar evidence from northeastern
> Santiago. Like the dramatic increase in Baltimore through 1994,
> structural fires per capita in northeastern Santiago have soared
> 8.9 times since regulation began in 1929 despite
> massive increases in building safety regulation.

This is a faulty premise. Under fire safety regulations, imposed by
goverment fiat or insurance requirements, one SHOULD expect an inrease
in the number of fires per capita. Decreasing the incidence of fires is
NOT the goal of fire safety regs. The purpose is to reduce the overall
damage and death toll of each individual fire.

Without fire safety regs, large dense cities frequently had a huge
devastating fire every few years or decades. One fire would cause untold
deaths and the loss of thousands of homes and businesses. Today, each
individual fire that occurs is generally contained within its building
or within a small part of a building due to the required use of fire
retardant matnerials, and deaths would be minor due to required
installation of fire safety equipment (like extinguishers, fire escapes,
smoke alarms, and public education).

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