Fire marshals targeting bars

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -Vermont state fire marshals will be making unannounced inspections of nightclubs, bars and restaurants when they are most crowded to look for blocked exits, overcrowding and flammable decorations.

“Winter is the time of year that presents the most fire safety risks,” said John G. Wood, director for the state’s Division of Fire Safety.

Fire officials will make their inspections at night, when night spots are at peak occupancy.

Vermont’s chief fire prevention officer, Robert Howe, said the most common safety problem this time of year were buildings blocked by ice or snow.

Businesses that hold more than 100 people must inspect the exits every day to make sure all exit doors and aisles are free of obstruction, including snow and ice.

Exit signs and emergency lighting must be lighted and protection systems working.

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