What important safety measures are to be taken against fires in the case of theatres and cinemas?
There are a number of specific measures that theatres and cinemas can take in order to prevent fires. These include fireproofing the projector room, providing proper emergency lighting in case there’s a power outage that affects the main lights, making all passageways an appropriate width and making sure they’re fireproof, making sure all emergency exits and their routes have the appropriate lights and signage, installing relevant fire safety equipment, and installing fire alarms.
What is required for theatre fire safety?
Above all else, fire safety in theatres requires a detailed fire risk assessment with each identified risk being minimised, and hazard awareness displayed by each member of staff. Fire hazards need to be eliminated by installing and regularly checking all fire safety equipment, and regularly PAT testing all electrical points and appliances. Fireproofing should also be undertaken in walkways, projector rooms, and seats should have fireproof upholstery.
What is a fire curtain in theatres?
A fire curtain in a theatre is a large, heavy curtain that acts as a physical barrier between the stage and the auditorium, in order to stop fire or smoke that is onstage from getting anywhere near the audience while they evacuate. They are required in every theatre building according to BS 8524. While most used in theatres, fire curtains can be used in any building to aid the people inside in their evacuation.
How do fire curtains work in theatres?
When not in use, fire curtains remain retracted in the ceiling alongside regular theatre curtains. They are deployed once someone has raised the alarm for a fire, and are lowered to stage height, at which point they act as a physical barrier, stopping fire or smoke coming from onstage or backstage from getting to the auditorium while theatre goers and staff finish evacuating. This also protects the auditorium from fire related damage.