Friday, October 9, 2009

National Fire Prevention Week - Reducing the Fuel Load

So, what is this you are looking at? It's costumes (some neatly bagged in plastic) hanging from a batten over the stage. This type of storage should be discouraged for a variety of reasons:
  • It contributes to the fuel load on the stage should a fire break-out.
  • If the bags and synthetic materials catch fire, or even are exposed to fire, they will melt and drip molten plastic droplets onto anyone / anything that is below them.

For more information about fire retardants in the theatre, visit the Chicago Artists Resource web site:

For more information about fire retardants for use on paper and cardboard download:

Intumescent paint is another good tool for the scene and prop shops. This paint 'chars' on the surface and prevents fire from getting to the combustible material behind it. Here are some resources for this:

The "NoBurn" web site has a great selection of videos showing the effectiveness of intumescent paints, too. Take a look at the 2003 American National Insurance Company Demonstration.

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