On February 20, 2003, a fire in the Station Nightclub in Rhode Island killed 100 people and injured hundreds more. As a result of this tragedy, fire codes and ordinances were changed across the United States.
The City of Harrisonburg Fire Department hired three part-time fire marshals to patrol nightclubs around the City and enforce codes and regulations such as over-crowding, blocked exits, the use of pyrotechnics, and much more. Fire inspectors are building relationships with nightclub owners by letting them know their expectations. The Harrisonburg Fire Inspector program is one of the most active in terms of inspections in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- Nightclubs must keep exits unlocked and unobstructed
- Not allow overcrowding
- Must have an accurate door count
- Make announcements identifying the locations of exits during each intermission
- No use of pyrotechnics or open flame
- All fire protection systems must be operating properly