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ASSE Fire Safety Symposium To Look at 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Tragedy & Present Best Practices

Posted in on Thu, Feb 10, 2011

American Society of Safety Engineers,  Protecting people, property and the environment since 1911

For Immediate Release                                                                         Contact:   Diane Hurns, 847-768-3413,           �

DES PLAINES, IL – (February 10, 2011) – As many ask if their business, school and home are safe from fire today, the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) March 1-2, 2011, ‘Best Practices in Fire Safety’ virtual symposium will answer those questions and more and at the same time step back in time. One hundred years ago on March 25, a fire took the lives of 146 women and men in the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. The workers were unable to escape the top floors of the building while the fire burned around them and they were without fire or safety protections. Many jumped to their deaths on the pavement below or into the elevator shaft.  At that time, fire ladders were unable to reach their floors at the top of the building.  

What happened on March 25, 1911, changed workplaces forever. Public outrage led to work safety legislation and regulation and on October 14, 1911, in New York City several insurance safety professionals gathered to discuss the need to increase work safety for all. They formed the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). Today, ASSE is the oldest safety society and has more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members located worldwide. And, today, although workplaces are much safer than 100 years ago, the threat of fire still exists.

In honor of ASSE’s 100th year anniversary, ASSE has rounded up some of the top experts in fire prevention in the occupational safety, health and environmental profession to present this virtual symposium program on March 1 and 2 in an effort to make sure another Triangle Factory tragedy never occurs again and to help people identify current hazards and solutions.

The symposium will discuss designing fire safety management programs; identifying proper employee actions and safety precautions needed to be implemented during an emergency response operation; incorporating techniques for reducing the risk of combustible dust incidents;  the different types of sprinkler systems, how they are designed and arranged in a typical facility and how best to manage additions and changes to their facilities and installation; how to avoid common electrical workplace hazards which may lead to fires; preventative maintenance programs for a safe electrical system; the hazards associated with flammable and combustible liquids and how to evaluate proper methods for safe handling of these liquids; and, learn fire safety skills pertinent to all safety professionals – with webcasts ranging from evacuation practices and sprinkler systems to understanding the Life Safety Code and Hazard Recognition. Attendees can also attend the live webcasts or view the recordings of the sessions up to 30 days after the symposium ends.

Additionally, the symposium offers attendees an opportunity to connect with other safety professionals in the virtual symposium network on critical fire safety needs as well as the opportunity to attend the virtual expo to learn the latest information on products and services from a variety of fire safety suppliers. Registration fees begin at $195.

Presenters include Craig Schroll, President, FIRECON;  David F. Coble, CSP, President, Coble, Taylor & Jones Safety Associates LLC; Gabriel F. Miehl, CSP, CFPS, GE Transportation, Erie, PA; Walter S. Beattie, CSP, CFPS, CSHM, AXA Matrix Risk Consultants, Pottstown, PA; Dale P. Smith, CMRP, Corporate Programs Manager, Predictive Service; Jason Safarz, Senior Account Engineer, CEC Combustion Services Group; and, Jacob Epstein, Associate Consultant, Aon Risk Solutions, Global Risk Consulting, Fire Protection Engineering.

Founded in 1911 and celebrating its centennial, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. To learn more about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and the history of work safety please go to .  To register for the Best Practices in Fire Safety Virtual Symposium please go to


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