A fire in Harlem recently burned down an old movie theater mere steps away from the famed Apollo theater on W. 125th Street.
The fire ignited in the long-shuttered Victoria theater just before 7:30 a.m., officials said.
Though firefighters had the blaze under control not long after, the fire serves as a lesson for businesses in Harlem and everywhere: fire safety is essential.
In a survey of over 100 businesses, only 35% have any form of fire evacuation or safety plan. If a blaze like the one in the Victoria theater were to break out in any of the 65% of businesses without a fire safety plan, their fate would undoubtedly be the same as the old venue.
OSHA provides several helpful guides for businesses of all sizes to create emergency preparedness plans, encompassing everything from injuries to fires. These are an incredible resource for business owners everywhere.
In one such guide, OSHA details several things that should be included in an emergency preparedness plan. These include a preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies, an evacuation policy and procedure, as well as emergency escape procedures and route assignments, such as floor plans, and workplace maps.
OSHA also recommends that training be held annually on these procedures to ensure that all employees have accurate access to and education on the emergency procedures.
In addition, any changes should be presented to the company as a whole when they are made to ensure accurate information.
Though nobody was injured in the Victoria theater fire, that could have been very different had it still been running without a fire safety plan.
Additionally, the Apollo theater did not sustain any damage.
The old structure is scheduled to be demolished and replaced with a 26-story, $164 million building that will house stores and apartments.