Jan 29, 2013 11:37 PM by Erin Steuber

Fire Safety in Lafayette Bars, Clubs and Restaurants

We take a look at nightclub safety in Acadiana, could something so awful happen here? The answer is likely no, since the Lafayette Fire Department conducts random checks every week, and if clubs or bars break the rules, there are consequences.

Every club, bar and restaurant in Lafayette, with a capacity of more than 50 people, must have a sign posted showing capacity, at least two exits and either fire alarms, or a sprinkler system.

"Not every bar gets checked every week, and that's by design because we don't want them to know that we're coming," said Forrest Chaisson, Lafayette Fire Prevention Chief. "So we pick and choose when we're going to come, and what bars we're going to choose. We think that's worked pretty well and keeps them pretty honest."

But even with the proper safety precautions are in place, the Lafayette Fire Department says it's always important to know at least two ways out.

"It doesn't always have to be a fire that's gonna cause panic," said Chaisson. "It could be a fight, or a shooting, and be aware of your exits. Don't just try to remember the door you came out of, look for another way out."

Over at Jefferson Street Pub, managers have weekly meetings to make sure proper procedures are followed.

"It just obviously reminds everyone, in this business, that we have to try and remember everyday all the duties we're responsible for so it doesn't happen here," said Jefferson Street Pub General Manager, Gus Rezende.

As for those consequences, if bars don't comply, they are shut down for at least one business day until changes are made.



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