On July 25th, 2015 a massive fire quickly engulfed the pool deck of the Las Vegas Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino on the famous Las Vegas Strip. If it were not for the quick and heroic efforts of the CCFD ( Clark County Fire Department), this incident could have been much worse. The Cosmopolitan fire put off an incredible amount of thick black smoke because of the high heat and flames created by the burning foam-made trees and plastic cabanas around the pool deck.
This smoke was not only visible from miles away, it also could have caused many of the guests to have a hard time finding there way to safety had it not been for all the planning and lessons learned from previous Las Vegas fires. According to CCFD Battalion Chief Leo Durkin, “We’re a very proactive community, and again, as you look back at our history, since MGM and Hilton, we’re one of the safest communities on the planet when it comes to fire code.” Nobody does hotel safety better than Clark County.
The MGM that Battalion Chief Durkin was referring to was the infamous fire at the MGM Grand hotel that killed 87 people. The majority of these 87 deaths were from smoke inhalation as people struggled to find their way to safety as many could not see the EXIT signs. Improving egress safety was one of the key lessons learned from this tragic fire.
Smoke rises and can rapidly fill up a hotel room and adjacent hallway. EXIT signs are traditionally placed on the ceiling making it nearly impossible to see during the smoke conditions encountered in a fire because the smoke blocks out thos signs. Placing EXIT signs down low near the floor level can be significantly helpful in these situations. The picture below shows how quickly smoke can obscure wayfinding and signage.
Photoluminescent safety can be the difference between life in death when every second counts. This is because it is easy to maintain, is fail-safe and installation is very easy because no conduit, wires, or special labor is required.
Clark County learned this lesson after the tragic MGM Grand fire and wrote it in to the Clark County building code that all hotels should be required to have low level EXIT signs.
One of the main problems with traditional plastic EXIT signs placed down low is that they are frequently damaged by luggage carts, vacuum cleaners and people accidently kicking them. Additionally, they can be costly to install and maintain. Electric EXIT signs need to be tested monthly (as required by the NFPA) and are expensive to maintain because of electricity, replacement batteries and light bulbs. There is a better alternative; MN8 Foxfire UL listed EXIT signs and PL wayfinding solutions.
MN8 Foxfire’s PL (photoluminescent) EXIT signs are a superior alternative as they are maintenance free, very durable and cost almost nothing to install. In addition to the benefits MN8 Foxfire’s 35+ different styles of PL EXIT signs, MN8 Foxfire (www.mn8foxfire.com ) also has a patented stairwell illumination system that is IBC, IFC, ICC compliant and can also help people find their way down stairwells in the event of a fire or electrical failure.
The recent fire at the Cosmopolitan hotel could have been much worse if it were not for the quick actions of the CCFD and the foresight of the Clark County Building Officials that learned from the past fires and changed the code to make it safer for Las Vegas guests.