(WUSA) -- Survivors of the deadly nightclub fire in Brazil say there was complete panic.

The tragedy is prompting fire departments to remind people to be prepared so you can get out alive.

"We have two exits. We have a front exit and a back exit and we keep count of who comes in the building," Mehdi Junior, VIP manager at MIA in Dupont Circle, said.

Maximum capacity allows 250 people for the two-story nightclub on 18th street NW.

"Security is told and taught to keep the crowd moving."

It's imperative, they say, to keep count for the crowd to keep safe. A crowd that may be impaired. Fire experts say when you enter a business it's always a good idea to have a plan and a second way out.

Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor says people panic and rush to the same door they came in.

It reminds Bashoor of what happened in the Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people in 2003 after the rock band Great White set off pyrotechnics.

Junior says fire displays are not allowed not even for bartenders. He ads, it's against fire marshal code.

Chief Bashoor says fire turns your surroundings dark very quickly, so drop to the ground and get out. But more important, he repeats, 'know your exits.'

"They come in to have a good time, they're not there to look for a second exit. We're not thinking about that chain that's on the door. If you see something that doesn't look right say something."

Prince George's County shut down 19 nightclubs in the last year and a half because of violations including overcrowding.

Read or Share this story: http://on.wusa9.com/1lFrKBW