Agencies | Online Services | Policies |

Cocoanut Grove Fire

On this date in 1942 there was a fire at the Cocoanut Grove Supper Club in Boston. This fire resulted in the death of 492 people, leaving this the second deadliest fire in U.S. History.

The following code changes were enacted as a result of this tragedy:

  • Flammable decorations & inward-swinging exit doors were banned
  • Exit signs were required to be visible at all times
  • It was required that revolving doors used for egress be flanked by at least one normal, outward-swinging door, or retrofitted to permit the individual doors to fold flat to permit free-flowing traffic.

The Story of the Cocoanut Grove Fire

Heating Safety

With the freeze warning in effect tonight we would like to remind you of some heating safety tips.

  • Placing things that can burn too close to heating equipment or placing heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding, was the leading factor contributing to ignition in fatal home heating fires and accounted for more than half (56%) of home heating fire deaths.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.

Portable electric space heaters

  • Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for two of every five (40%) of home heating fires and four out of five (84%) of home heating fire deaths.
  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Use portable space heaters with an automatic shut off so if they’re tipped over they will shut off.
  • Place space heater on solid, flat surface.
  • Plug power cords directly into outlets and NEVER into an extension cord.
  • Inspect for cracked or damaged, broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.

BIC Offers New Website to Help Teach Fire Safety


As families celebrate the summer by lighting their grills, campfires, fire pits, and outdoor fireplaces for cookouts and other summer activities, BIC® is making it easier and more fun to teach children about the importance of fire safety. BIC, renowned as a longtime leader of fire safety and prevention education through its award-winning play safe! be safe! fire safety education program, today launched a new, highly interactive, website ( ).

The launch of this new resource comes at a critical time of year, as fires started by children peak in the summer months. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 76 % of fires caused by children playing with fire occur outdoors, and nearly one in four (23%) of those occur in July alone. This is primarily due to the Fourth of July holiday. Nearly 40% of these outdoor fires occur during the summer months of June, July and August[1].

“Young children are fascinated by fire – the colors, the movement, the warmth and the association with holidays and family celebrations,” said Dr. Robert Cole, President of Fireproof Children and facilitator of BIC’s play safe! be safe! program. “Yet, their developing minds are typically unable to grasp the hazards and consequences of fire – and this combination results in thousands of fire incidents every year. But the good news is that education works, and teaching fire safety to young children can help foster awareness at an early age.”

The new website was created in conjunction with Fireproof Children, an organization that has been working to reduce children’s fire play and fire setting for more than 25 years. The site provides an interactive experience for users and offers helpful resources and information for parents, as well as an activities and games section for children called “Hero’s World,” named for the program’s iconic and beloved Dalmatian mascot, Hero.

Since the inception of the program in 1994, BIC, in cooperation with Fireproof Children, has distributed more than 114,000 play safe! be safe!® kits and presented 184 workshops in all U.S. states, Puerto Rico and every Canadian provinces.

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Triangle Shirtwaist FireOne-hundred five years ago today, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burned, killing 145 workers. It is remembered as one of the most infamous incidents in American industrial history, as the deaths were largely preventable–most of the victims died as a result of neglected safety features and locked doors within the factory building. The tragedy brought widespread attention to the dangerous sweatshop conditions of factories.  This prompted several changes in the fire safety codes including requiring all factory doors to swing outward and remain unlocked during business hours.

Triangle Fire Documentary on YouTube

New London School Explosion

New London School Explosion79 Years ago today over 295 students and teachers at the New London School in Texas, lost their lives.  this was due to a natural gas leak beneath the building and the resulting explosion that leveled most of the school.  Natural Gas is a tasteless, odorless gas and at the time had no odorant added.  This tragedy prompted the State of Texas to immediately pass legislation requiring that all natural gas used be odorized so building occupants could be warned of any leaks.

Mercaptan is added to the gas to give it the rotten egg smell we all recognize.  This change has certainly saved countless lives since this tragedy.

To hear a few stories from survivors of that day please Click HERE.



Arkansas Fire Prevention Commission | ATTN: Maj. Lindsey Williams | #1 State Police Plaza Drive | Little Rock, AR 72209 | P: 501-618-8624 |
© 2015 Arkansas Fire Prevention Commission - All rights reserved.