On New Year’s Eve, city inspectors will be patrolling the San Diego's iconic Gaslamp District, checking for overcrowding and code violations.
San Diego Fire Marshal Doug Perry said it is not to dampen anyone’s evening, but to make sure venues are operating safely, especially in light of the devastating Oakland, California warehouse fire that killed 36 people.
“It was a tragic wake-up call to everyone to stay vigilant. Sometimes the public and law enforcement gets complacent,” Chief Perry said. “After the incident, I spoke to my inspection team and told them if you see something doesn’t look right to take time to talk to someone, check on it.”
Chief Perry said everyone should have a mental checklist when they enter any venue, be it a bar, club or restaurant:
- Look for exits
- Find the fire extinguisher
- Does the venue have a sprinkler system?
- Is the exit sign lit?
- Is the fire alarm system working?
If a venue does not have these basic safety features, Chief Perry urges the public to report it to the city by calling (610) 533-4300. He said his team is committed to checking it every day and following up on credible reports.
“My worst nightmare are the things taking place underground that we don’t know about because we can’t do anything about it,” he said.