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Blazed? Fire Safety Questions Arise After Medical Marijuana Building Fire


By Greg Zimmerman Fire Safety/Protection
medical marijuana

Making sure facilities are up to date on fire safety code, fire risk assessment, and evacuation procedures is a top priority for any facility managers or building owner.

But what happens when a facility’s compliance with fire codes still isn’t enough to protect the building from fire? That was the case for a facility in Eliot, Maine, that recently went up in smoke. The building was part of medical marijuana complex, and housed operational goods and equipment, as well as a few marijuana plants, according to an article on the local CBS news website

The cause of the fire at the Sweet Dirt facility is unknown, according to officials, but the fire is not considered suspicious. The building, which was unoccupied, was a total loss, partly because firefighters didn’t have access to a hydrant so had “water issues” in fighting the fire. 

The fire chief who took on the blaze suggested that fire codes for medical marijuana facilities need to be updated, saying there was nothing different the owner of this facility could’ve done. But as the legal medical and recreational marijuana industry blooms, fire codes will need to be updated to address this unique type of facility. "As of right now, I can't do anything more than recommend safety procedures to these new businesses," Chief Jay Muzeroll said. He added that there were no “secondary contact highs or anyone getting the munchies on the scene." And the only reason the firefighters were hungry was because “they worked their butts off.” 

Despite the fire, Sweet Dirt was back in operation 12 hours later, and crowd funding page had already raised $3,000 for the organization. 

 

This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his cover story on how buildings are tackling climate change.

 

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