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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 380 (342)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 380
Page 380

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 380

IN PLACES frequented by the public. equipment such as this water extinguisher is necessary.

Until recent years it was difficult to create an attractive theatre interior in keeping with the itPalace" taste of the past without using festoons of flammable fabrics combined with woods and paints. The situation is vastly different today with simplicity the interior theme and the availability of handsome, moderately-priced, dame-resistant fabrics and decorative materials.

Keep the Theatre Clean

Good housekeeping throughout the theatre is vital. This means that flammable debris on the floor must not be permitted to accumulate and paper towels, basement refuse, and the like should be promptly disposed of. Further, combustible cleaning agents, paint, and other service and maintenance materials should be stowed orderly in a space removed from an ignition source and preferably in an enclosed, fire-resistant room.

Make every effort to reduce the accumulation of flammable elements, particularly in remote, unattended areas. If there are no fiammable materials about, you canit have a fire!

The Problem of Smoking

Anyone who has observed the publicis smoking habits in theatres knows that

IT IS important to have the pro or tpe of extinguishers. This is 21/; gallon so mad type.

smoking presents a severe problem for theatre owners. It is anyone's guess when, or on what a cigarette will be thoughtlessly dropped.

Youlre lucky if your theatre is in a community that bans smoking in places of public assembly. However, if youire located in a tican smoke" city, limit it to areas that can be closely supervised, and equipped with fire retardant materials and portable extinguishers.


In spite of all reasonable precautions, occasionally fires do start. Be sure you have fire-fighting equipment available to extinguish them efficiently and with a minimum of panic-creating noise or odor.

Provide water standpipes with attendant hoses and nozzles in sufficient quantity to cover any section of your theatre. The hose should be ispected for wear or rot at least every six months and replaced as necessary. All of the standpipe connections should lit hoses used by your municipal fire department. These will probably prove to be two and onehalf inch couplings. However, the hose attached to a hydrant or standpine can give a terrific ukick" if turned on suddenly. As a result many theatres have provided easily removed adapters for standpipes. These adapters employ one and one-half inch hose which is decidedly easier and safer to use. At the same time the water outlets can be used with two and one-half inch municipal fire hose

Portable extinguishers should be placed strategically for first aid fire fighting. In purchasing this equipment and planning its location, particular thought should be given to the type and size of fire each one is most likely to be required to combat.

In spaces frequented by the public such as the lobby, auditorium, and lounges, probably only Class A tires will be encountered. Therefore, for first aid fire fighting, a water-type extinguisher such as two and one-half gallon units should be provided. This type of portable supplies a forced stream of water pressured by carbon dioxide. It is quiet in operation and has no odor or toxic fumes.

For spaces containing electrical or mechanical equipment, carbon dioxide or dry chemical will prove most successful. While neither of these agents conduct electricity, thought should be given to possible damage to equipment sprayed by the agent. Carbon dioxide, an inert gas, cannot harm equipment and as it eventually dissipates into the atmosphere, leaves no mess to be cleaned up following the blaze. On the other hand, dry chemical, an excellent fire killer, consists of fine granular particles expelled under pressure. It does leave a residue and equipment like electrical motors will require cleaning afterward.

The importance of choosing the proper type of extinguisher for the kind of fire cannot be over emphasized. Remember, a water stream will only spread burning liquid and as it conducts electricity, its use on electrical equipment employing high voltage flirts with the possibility of electrocution.

So that no mistakes are made, all portable extinguishers should be labeled

clearly with "how to use" and "on what" tags. Such labels are furnished free by Walter Kidde & Company, Inc. of Belleville, N. J,

Be sure that all of your employees will report a fire before making any attempt to combat it themselves. There are obvious exceptions to this\' rule, of course, but fire records show that annually too many buildings burn to the ground because the fire was not reported promptly. By the time the untrained fire fighters realized that they could not cope with the blaze and turned in a municipal alarm, it was too late. The, fire was out-of-hand.

Employee Training

No fire fighting equipment is any better than the people available to operate it. If fire comes, who wants to stop to read operational instructions while the fire grows? So-give your employees a short lecture on the kinds of fires which could occur in your theatre and explain how the available fire-fighting equipment can be used most advantageously against each.

A BUILT-IN carbon dioxide system tor the protection of an electrical panel board is seen.

Then outvof-doors, present a short the fighting demonstration. Set small paper and gasoline pan fires. Then extinguish them with the portables. Give every employee a chance to handle the equipment and use it on the small fires.

The training will pay off. Not only will your personnel react properly and quickly to a real fire emergency, but they will have conhdence in the extinguishers and, best of all, their ability to handle them.

It goes without saying that every theatre employee must receive training.r in tiemergency audience exodus" procedures. Donit forget, panic thrives on confusion. If your employees work calmly and quickly during an emergency, you will have gone a long way toward avoiding panic and performing the audience removal job efficiently and in the shortest possible time.

Most city fire departments are most anxious to cooperate in training programs and many will completely take over the demonstration for you. Call on them; they may supply some helpful tips.

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 380