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Fighting Fire with GOOD DESIGN by PAUL HANKE Close to 12,000 Americans lose their lives each year to fire, along with 300,000 injured. Property loss is in the billions. A report in the Feb. 15, 1984, issue of Contractor puts the number at an average of 25 deaths per day and states that "the U.S. fire death rate per capita is the highest in the world." According to Edward Allen, writing in How Buildings Work, "Our rate of fire death is about ten times that of the average European country," leading one to conclude, he says, "that the design of our buildings with respect to fire safety has not been of a very high standard." What can be done