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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 258 (234)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 258
Page 258

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 258

extinguisher be available inside the projection room, to take care of any fire that may start in the projection machine. However, fixe extinguisher manufacturers believe that some of the unfortunate fire accidents which have occurred in the theatre could have been prevented had the projectionist been required to leave the room to obtain the extinguisher.

In this connection, the opportunity to take issue with certain statements often made in the motion picture field seems too good to resist.

Some rather wild charges have appeared in print regarding the hazards of using a vaporizing liquid extinguisher in a projection room. To be sure, the liquid sometimes produces small amounts of toxic gases, at certain temperatures, but the real hazard lies in fighting fire by any means inside a projection room. Once a fire starts there, regardless of its cause or point of origin, it is almost inevitable that the film will be involved. Attacking such fire inside the room is dangerous because of the fiash ignition, the hazardous depletion of oxygen which necessarily occurs when there is a fire in a confined space, and the toxic gases given off by the burning film. Under such circumstances, the additional hazard that may be introduced by the use of an extinguisher is negligible.

If the projectionist is forced out of the r00m to get an extinguisher, however, he

can attack the fire through the doorway, where he can escape entrapment by the Hames and is unlikely to be exposed either to air deficient in oxygen or to toxic gases.

Audience Areas

Fires in the balcony, mezzanine, lobby, and main auditorium are caused primarily by live cigarettes or matches in contact with paper, upholstery, carpeting or woodwork. Extinguishers for general protection of ordinary combustibles should, therefore, be provided. At least one Class A unit should be available at each exit sign and additional units, if necessary, so located that a perSOn will have to travel no more than 40 or 50 feet from any point to reach an extinguisher. Toilet rooms, lounges and smoking rooms should also be given Class A protection.

Theatres which have spotlights located on the gallery or balcony should have at least one Class C extinguisher near the equipment.

Back Stage

Backstage areas contain combustibles of a Class A nature, but extra precautions may be necessary if there is an abundance of flammable materials, such as curtains, scenery, ropes and other accoutrement. Class A extinguishers are therefore advisable in each wing and back of center-stage, and along each

PUMP TANK EXTINGUISHERS are carried to the fire by means of a handle at the top. The hose is directed with one hand, while the pump is operated with the other. Tank contains water, with anti-freeze added. One 5-gallon or two 21/2-gallon extinguishers of this particular type are rated as one unit of protection. Follow the manufacturer's instructions when it comes to servicing this extinguisher, as well as for any other tireJighting equipment.

tier of dressing rooms. They should also be placed at each end of the catwalk in the loft so that. it will be necessary to travel only a minimum distance to an extinguisher in case of fire in that area.

The backstage control board, with its mass of wiring, is a hazard that requires Class C protection.

Paint Shop

If there is a paint shop, at least one Class B unit should be provided and whenever any painting is done backstage, at least one Class B extinguisher is advisable for itstand by" protection against spill fires or fiashback fires from the vapors. The same is true where flammable cleaners are used, for the vapors from fiammable liquids, being heavier than air, will drift along the door and may reach a cigarette or an electric spark. Ignited vapors have been known to fiash as far as 300 feet back to their source to start disastrous fires.

Other Locations

Oil furnaces and fuel-oil storage rooms present obvious Class B hazards. Fuse boxes, transformers, circuit breakers and the motors that drive cooling and air conditioning systems are, of course, Class C hazards. The property room and musicians! room need Class A protection, as does the woodworking shop.

Extinguisher Placement

When extinguishers are provided to safeguard a specific hazard, they should be mounted near, but not immediately on or adjacent to, the hazard. Otherwise it may be impossible to get the extinguisher if the hazard should take fire. The extinguishers should be plainly visible or their locations conspicuously marked; and access to them should never be blocked under any circumstances. Easily handled units should be installed so that their tops are not more than 5 feet from the fioor, and heavy units not more than 31/2 feet from the floor.


With the danger points protected by extinguishers of the proper type and number, it follows that the theatre employes must know how best to use the equipment. Fire extinguisher demonstrations should be held periodically for the entire staff. The local department will usually be willing to supply one of its men in uniform for this purpose, but new employes should be familiarized immediately with the operation of extinguishers by means of printed material or oral explanation.

Soda Acid and Foam

To operate a soda acid or foam extinguisher, take the hose in the crotch between the thumb and index finger of one hand and grip the ringtop handle with the same hand. Then, with the other hand grasp the bottom of the extinguisher and lift it off its hanger or shelf. Carry it to the lire by means of the ringtop handle, maintaining a. grip on the hose nozzle. To discharge the cone tents, take hold of the handle in the bottom with the free hand and turn the extinguisher upside down, releasing the ringtop handle with the other hand but

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 258