In honor of National Fire Prevention Week I thought it would be good to take a look back at one of the worst Theatre Fires that ever struck this industry. The Iroquois Theatre Fire in Chicago was integral in forcing the development of improved Fire Safety Codes and Building Codes. Although the facility was largely constructed from fire retardant materials, the fire started with scenery that was not fire-proof, the fire and smoke containment system failed, and many of the emergency egress routes were blocked. In just a few moments, hundreds of people were killed. A true tragedy in every sense of the word.
For those that are inclined to learn from the past, and sadly, realize that many theatres today suffer from EXACTLY THE SAME CONDITIONS, please read through some of the material at the following links:
Does your Fire Curtain work properly? Does it meet all the current codes? When was it last inspected? When was it last tested? Where are your records? Where are your spare parts? Where is the wiring diagram for the motorized hoist (if it has one)? If you don't know the answer to any of these questions, find out!
If you need help getting this system properly designed and operating, please contact me. Assessment of these critical Life Safety Systems is important to your staff, patrons, and performers alike.