RI fire code changes since The Station fire - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

RI fire code changes since The Station fire

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Nightclub owners like Anthony Santurri are doing business in a very different climate than a decade ago, before The Station nightclub fire left 100 people dead and 200 others injured.

In the years since the tragedy, Rhode Island's fire code has been re-written, making it one of the toughest in the nation.

"There's a real focus on the public safety. And we all agree with it. We all think it should be," Santurri said.

Some of the biggest changes to the fire code apply to nightclubs.

Fire sprinklers are now required in any club that can hold more than 150 people.

Music must shut down when an alarm goes off, and lights must come on.

And full annual inspections are now required for every club in Rhode Island, every year.

Plus, cities and towns must make at least one visit to each club when it's open.

"I think Rhode Island has the best fire code out there," said John Chartier, Rhode Island state fire marshal. "Those things were not in the code prior to The Station nightclub fire. They're all a result of that tragic night."

But laws are only good as their enforcement.

In February, an NBC 10 investigation revealed Providence is years behind in full inspections of nightclubs.

It's a problem Providence Public Safety Commissioner Stephen Pare promises to fix in 2013.

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