Beverly White, Edwin Calderon
Could you escape if you were in a public venue during an emergency? Fire inspectors take us through Club Nokia, a popular LA nightspot, to show off safety fixtures and explain how they're keeping watch over crowd safety so revelers can focus on fun. Beverly White reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 28, 2013.
In the wake of a tragic nightclub fire in Brazil that killed 231 people, many are being forced to question if they could escape danger in their favorite large-scale party place.
NBC4 toured Los Angeles’ Club Nokia with a fire inspector who said crowd safety starts with the individual.
"Make sure you know how you got in, look up at the signage so you know how to get out in case of emergency," said Inspector Jim Fisher with the Los Angeles City Fire Department.
As he walked through LA’s popular nightspot, Fisher pointed out prominent exits and multiple safety fixtures.
"We usually have one every 75 feet of direct travel, we're gonna find an extinguisher," he said.
Club management said LA safety codes are beneficial for business and peace of mind.
"When we're planning a concert, a special event, and you bring in special furniture, lighting or pyro or staging, the fire department has to sign off on a new permit," said Mike Roth, with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).
Club Nokia can hold 2,300 people, 10 times as many as those killed in Brazil. Officials said there were no fire alarms, sprinklers or fire escapes in the Brazilian club where hundreds were killed in a cloud of toxic smoke.
LA City Fire monitors large venues for unlocked exits and more, so partygoers can focus on fun.
"You're not able to get to public way or street or sidewalk with no special knowledge, that's really an egregious violation," Fisher said. "We're gonna cite that."