For Syracuse Fire Department Inspectors, the massive nightclub fire last weekend in Brazil was a tragic reminder of what they work to prevent here in Central New York. Cushman goes into bars and restaurants looking for proper wiring, emergency lighting and exits.
"If the doors actually work. This time of year, if there's two feet of snow on the other side - you're not going to be able to get it open," said Cushman.
Bars and restaurants have regular scheduled inspections and late-night unannounced inspections to make sure conditions are still safe.
"Our inspectors go out and do things like crowd counts, they make sure doors actually open where they're supposed to open and exit signs are lit," said Deputy Chief Stephen Cavuto.
The Fire Department also works with bars and clubs that are still in the planning stages to make sure their layout is safe.A few years ago, Cavuto heard that a club owner had installed fire proof sound insulating foam in an expansion. Inspectors drove straight to the club and tested a small section of the foam to see if it lived up to its description.
"It burst into flames and emitted great black smoke. we told that bar owner, you have two choices. you can take all the foam down or you can stay closed," said Cavuto.
Cavuto and Cushman said it is also important that people look out for their own safety. Cavuto stressed the importance of knowing where emergency exits are located and to remember that the way you come into a building may not be the best way out.