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Old March 25th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Fire on a ship is about the most dangerous (and scary) occurance. And the visual impressions left by the pictures of this ship clearly elevate the fear.

However, my thoughts come from over 30 years in a over governed industry (hotel and liquor business). The building that I own that houses these businesses is almost 100 years old, and we've never had a fire... and smoking is allowed in both guest rooms and the bar (though with new "government" over regulations that is going to be changing to).

We also own some residential property, and the ONLY incident we've had that created any serious damage was a fire caused by a faulty wire in a toaster... a freak accident.

This incident to was a freak accident. And if the public demands the cruise industry take an approach that it must regulate to cover EVERY eventuality
the public will end up being "not very happy customers". For example ships would have to quit serving any alcohol (and search every passenger boarding to be certain none is being brought onboard) to be sure passengers wouldn't get drunk and injure themselves or others. Any type of electrical appliance from curling irons to laptop computers would have to be banned to ensure against any electrical fires. The lists of "necessary measures" would truly be endless.

We certainly need to expect the industry to act reasonably to ensure our safety. But, in my view, to overreact to this horrific accident heads us running quickly towards a very slippery slope.
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