Local Fire Officials Discuss Nightclub Fire Safety

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Local emergency officials say they're always looking for ways to be pro-active and prevent the possibility of horrific fires like the those in the Brazilian night club and the 2003 Rhode Island night club.

"The Station fire was only five minutes. Those people had five minutes to get out," said Panama City Beach Fire Captain Joe Cocco.

Capt. Cocco joined WJHG at Spinnaker Beach Club on Monday to see which safety measures are in use and go over local protocol.

Night clubs that hold more than 100 people are required to have a working sprinkler system, well lit exit signs, and a fire alarm system.

Pyrotechnics like those used in the Brazilian night club are against local fire code.

"They're trying to give people the ambiance of the show, but of course, we've seen the dangerous results of people doing these things," said the fire captain.

Cocco says to be aware at all times and to also look for alternate exits besides the front door which can get overcrowded during an evacuation.

"A 'crowd crush' is everybody going towards the front door where they came in you've got to be real cautious of that. You've got to search out and find those alternate exits."

The Panama City Beach Fire Department offers businesses free training in crowd control and fire safety.