Jan 27, 2015

Fire inspector called NWC's rodeo arena 'a total mess'

Northwest College's Rodeo Arena was reported to be “a total mess” and the inside of the building “a fire hazard from one end to the other” when an inspector with the Wyoming Fire Marshal's office visited late last year.

The fire safety report, signed by Inspector Dale Link of Worland, found a lengthy list of fixes were needed at the facility off of Road 2AB to comply with code.

“Considering this facility is part of a public facility and the fact the students and the general public frequent this building I would have to consider this building as UNSAFE for use,” Link wrote. “There are multiple areas that are fire hazards, electrical hazards, combustible liquid hazards, poor exists and overall very poor maintenance. It is my belief that this building be limited in use until such time as it can be made safe.”

Northwest College President Stefani Hicswa shut down the facility on Dec. 19 after receiving the report and the college immediately began working on the fixes. The rodeo arena recently re-opened to NWC students in the rodeo program, though the facility remains closed to the public while work continues.

Link, who will be retiring soon, said the inspector who replaces him should do a follow-up inspection no later than June 1 and “if at that time the corrections have not been made, that the issue be turned over to the attorney general for further action.”

Here's a list of the problems identified by Link:
  • Breaker box was blocked by debris door and was not functional and not labeled.

  • Fire extinguishers are required to be placed through the building for access within 75 feet of any location.

  • Install nonsmoking signs.

  • Fuel storage tank and emergency generator must be protected from vehicle damage. • Extension cords must be removed.

  • Electrical code violations must be corrected.

  • Storage of hay inside created a hazard with the use of tank heaters, etc.

  • There should be a fire separation between the two portions of the building. 

  • Emergency generator must be maintained and tested.

  • Waste material — accumulations of wastepaper, hay, straw, weeds, litter or combustible or flammable waste or rubbish of any type shall not be permitted to remain.

  • An emergency plan needs to be developed, practiced and posted for all occupants to see.

  • Because it is an educational facility, a lockdown plan should be developed and/or updated.

  • Add sloped surfaces for elevation changes.

  • Install appropriate locks.

  • Exits shall be free of obstructions, including snow and ice.

  • Exits must be illuminated.

  • Exits must be configured so as not to reduce capacity to less than half of the required capacity. 

  • There shall be no projections lower than 34 inches above the floor or ground.

  • Exit doors shall be of the pivoted or side-hinge type.

  • There shall be a floor or landing on each side of a door.


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