With the recent tragedy at the Ghost-Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, I cannot stress the importance of knowing where your nearest emergency exit is located wherever you go reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

As the holidays near, many of us will be attending parties, concerts, dinners, traveling etc. Knowing where your exits are is an essential component of situational awareness. “I think that people are complacent thinking ‘well, I’ll never have a fire, it will never happen to me’, says Chief DiGiovanna.” But it can and unfortunately It’s not just for fire safety. What happens if there is an active shooter? We saw this in San Bernardino approximately one year ago. Know your surroundings, know what is going on, know your strength and weaknesses, and keep alert at all times.

If a fire develops, most people rush to the door they entered only to become trapped. This was evident at the Station Club Fire in West Warwick Rhode Island in 2003.

Know where your exits are when you arrive. Look and ask where they are. If the occupancy appears to have too much furniture/belongings, overcrowded, or exits and isles are blocked, think twice about attending/staying. And “if you see something, say something!”


If you are in a multi-story building and a fire develops never take the elevator. Identify where the stairwell is ahead of time and use it.
If the fire alarm sounds, treat it as though it is a real emergency. Evacuate immediately!

For additional fire safety information visit: haveanexitstrategy.com/info/faq.html or contact your local fire department.

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna