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A Conversation With the Portland Fire Department About Fire Safety

With the disaster of the the Oakland Warehouse fire still very new, we thought it would be a good idea to look into ways that we as a community can protect ourselves and others. We must be aware of red flags and learn when to speak up. We talked to the Portland Fire Department to find out what we should be doing as attendees.

1. Check your surroundings when entering. This may sound like common sense, but substances through out the night make this even more important. Check not only the door you came in but know of other exits. Do a walk around to find other exits.

2. Be aware of over-crowding. You should be able to walk pretty freely in a space. Though you will be saying excuse me at times and moving around people, you should be able to move from one side to the other side of the venue in a timely manner.

3. Be aware of what the venue is originally used for. A building that is originally used for music is not usually set up for pyrotechnics. If someone begins doing pyrotechnics, this may be a red flag.

4. Have a plan with your friends. This goes back to when you were a child and learning about fire safety. Have a place that you all can agree on to meet up if needed. Many things can happen at a gathering that can cause chaos. Deciding on a place to go and stay (do not reenter) is good for everyone.

Remember, if you feel unsafe in a venue or any social gathering follow your instinct. If something feels off, “Get out and re-evaluate”. You can always renter after you feel better about the situation. The Fire Department is working with the public and other departments in the city to keep people safe.

If you think that a venue is over selling shows, or a venue is unsafe, speak up. The Fire Department may not know of an event if the holder of the event did not get the proper permits. You speaking up is helpful to everyone. Though we may not always understand, remember that there are rules set in place to keep everyone safe. Thank you to the Portland Fire Department for speaking with us.