Essay On Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

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1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
Nicole R. Ford
Southern New Hampshire University

One hundred and forty-five lives were lost on March 24th 1911 with one of the deadliest industrial disasters in U.S. history. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City caught fire taking the lives of 145 workers. The lack of proper fire prevention devices, and no fire safety education played a factor in a significant historical safety regulation reform. By learning from our mistakes in the past we as a nation have grown into who we are today the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire is the paragon for workplace reform. The Triangle Shirtwaist building was reported to be fire proof. So what fueled the fire? Isaac Harris and Max Blanck owned …show more content…

By letting the businesses to focus on making profit instead of spending their money on their workers safety. This allowed the presence of horrible working conditions, overcrowding and the lack of fire safety instructions. The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory is what made the radical change for the government to create the FIC, the Factory Investigation Committee. Investigating the working conditions of industrial factories and to make necessary improvements for safety if needed is why the FIC was created (Pool 2012). The commission in its preliminary report stated, “ In the matter of industrial production, we are still under the sway of the old laissez-faire policy, and there is still very inadequate supervision of industries with a view to lessening dangers to the health and life of working class” (Preliminary Report, 1912). It is evident that the committees priority is to dramatically change the way the factories are operating to insure the safety of its workers its top …show more content…

Automatic sprinklers, properly working fire escapes, and fire proof receptacles were among the recommendations for the businesses to instill. The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory could have been prevented and more lives could have been saved if there were fireproof receptacles in the factory and were properly emptied. The fire spread so quickly trapping many inside. An article from the New York Times states “what burned so quickly and disastrously for the victims were shirtwaists, hanging on lines above tiers of workers, sewing machines placed so closely together that there was hardly aisle room for the girls between them, and shirtwaist trimmings and cuttings which littered the floors above the eighth and ninth stories” (141 men, 1911). The trimmings that laid among the floor is what caused the fire to spread so rapidly. Had an automatic sprinkler system been in place the fire would have been put out allowing the victims to not panic and get out safely and lives would have been saved. Automatic sprinklers have been proven effective and the system pays for itself eventually with the reduction in fire insurance costs. By having fire escape doors and the windows labeled and built large enough for a large capacity to pass through without any obstructions. Linder stated the obstruction and the narrow fire escape were the primary cause

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