On Sept. 2, 2019, a fast acting predawn blaze engulfed the dive boat, Conception, moored off the coast of Southern California. 33 passengers and one crew member tragically perished in the fire.
This was the worst maritime disaster in California since the Civil War.
After reading the latest developments in the investigation, one passage stood out to me:
"Some crew members, the documents reveal, said they had not been trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers. One crew member said he never heard a fire alarm, while another crew member said he heard an alarm, but it sounded like 'the quietest thing in the world.'"
If you are a business owner. you owe it to yourself, your employees, and their loved ones to ensure that everyone on your team is adequately prepared in case of an emergency, whether it's a fire, an earthquake, and active shooter, a pandemic, or other disaster situation.
We all wish life could continue with unforeseen events, but experience tells us otherwise.
Something as basic as ensuring your place of business has adequately functioning (and regularly tested) smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, and fire extinguishers can save lives. If you have fire extinguishers at your place of business, make sure they are the right type for the fires that may occur, and that your employees are properly trained on how to use them.
We can all do our part to ensure preventable tragedies like the Conception fire (and even earlier, the 2016 Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire) does not occur in the future.