Lawton_In light of the deadly nightclub fire in Brazil that killed at least 230, local fire officials went over some of the safety codes enforced locally to try and prevent something like that from happening here.
The safety codes for bars and restaurants cover 1.000 pages, and fill two books. They cover everything from occupancy limits to sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers.
Lawton Deputy Fire Marshal Michael Wright says the codes put in place by the fire department are meant to keep you safe. For example, any building with an occupancy load over 100, or one that's at least 5,000 square feet, must have a sprinkler system in place.
"Here locally we have never had a building with a sprinkler system burn. We've had them where fires had started in them and the sprinkler system extinguished that fire before our operation folks arrived on scene," Wright said.
So what do you do if you find yourself in a crowded place? Wright says, first, look for all the exits.
"Always use the exit nearest to you, even if it's not the one you came in."
Other advice from Wright, check to make sure the place you are in isn't overcrowded. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.
If the building alarm does go off, stop what you're doing and get out.
Wright said to regulate the occupancy loads at Lawton businesses, they do random checks.
If they ever find a bar or restaurant over capacity, they will first write citations. After three citations, the ABLE Commission can revoke their liquor license.