Denver nightclubs, fire officials focus on customer, employee safety

DENVER — Officials with the Denver Fire Department say that while most bars and clubs in the city are safe when it comes to fire regulations, it is still a good idea for patrons to have an emergency escape plan in case something goes wrong.

“First thing that they should do is look for another exit, because everybody is going be looking for the one they just came in,” said Rich Riedel, an inspector with Denver Fire.

Riedel also recommends drinking moderately in order to keep good judgment, and avoiding venues that are overcrowded.

Riedel says it takes careful and thorough work to ensure that tragedies like the nightclub fire in Brazil don’t happen in Denver.  He says the city is lucky to never have seen anything like that.

“They’re doing their job, we’re doing ours,” said Riedel of the city’s nightlife venues.

“We have an evacuation plan, which we go through with all of our door hosts,” said George Mannion, a managing partner of Lodo’s Bar & Grill.

Mannion’s bar can see more than 1,600 visitors on any given night, but he says careful planning has kept his venue free of major emergencies for more than 20 years.