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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 379 (341)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 379
Page 379

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 379

Theatre Fire Protection

The Vital Task of Knowing What to Do in Case of Fire and the Equipment Needed Is Outlined

BRIEF: One of the theatre operatorls most vital responsibilities is to give his patrons as much protection against fire as is humanly possible . . . In order to do this properly . . . the exhibitor must be thoroughly acquainted with the most common types of fires . . . and the most common causes of these fires . . . particularly in theatres . . . This article attempts to furnish some of this informotion.

In addition to knowing the types of fires that are possible . . . it is . . . of course . . . just as important to know how to combat these blazes before they get out of haml and cause serious damage . . . and possible loss of life and property . . . Here again . . . the author attempts to make the reader more familiar with the proper methods.

There are also valuable sections devoted to training employees so they know what to do to prevent fires . . . and how to react when a fire does occur . . . Throughout the article there will be found mention of equipment best suited to handle theatre fires before they reach the point where the Fire Department is needed . . . or at least capable of keeping things under control until more help arrives.

Theatre owners realize that protection of a theatre audience against injury or death, directly or indirectly the result


By WALTER E. MORGAN Industrial Dept. .Managcr, Waller Kiddc & Ca.. Inc.

of fire, is one of their Vital responsibilities. While the large investment repre sented in a modern theatre influences interest in fire safety, audience protection remains the major consideration. In the theatre of today, the danger of fire itself is frequently secondary to the panic which it would cause. As a result, the approach to theatre fire safety takes two directions. The first is

the elimination of materials and conditions encouraging to fire. The second concerns methods of fire fighting which are positive in effect yet will cause a minimum of nerve-disturbing noise or odor upon use.


First, let's understand what fire is, how it is classiiied, and the extinguishing agents best suited to combat each. Three elements must be present for fire to exist: a combustible material, heat, and oxygen. Remove the combustible material or materially reduce either of the other two and you cannot have a

A CARBON DIOXIDE system installed in the projection booth of an ocean-going liner where it is imperative that fire hazards be controlled.

fire. Normally, it is impossible to remove combustible material after tire dashes so the usual method for fire fighting is to reduce heat or oxygen.

There are three classes of fires and specific agents are recommended to com< bat each type most effectively. Class A Fires occur in ordinary combustible materials and are best extinguished with water because of its quenching and cooling effect, Class B Fires occur in flammable liquids such as gasoline, paint, or naphtha and require smother-ing rather than quenching. They should be attacked with carbon dioxide, dry chemical, foam, or vaporizing liquid. Class C Fires flash in electrical equipment and require an extinguishing agent which is a non conductor of electricity. Carbon dioxide, dry chemical, or a vaporizing liquid Fit this bill.

Fire Retardant Construction

The great majority of theatres today are built keeping flammable materials at a minimum. From the cellar to the roof, fire resistant or retardant building and decorative elements are employed whenever possible. Credit for these fire-safety advances belongs to the combined efforts of insurance underwriters, decorator-designers, city and state fire commissions, and industry safety groups.
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 379