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fire drills problem

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pabloo
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fire drills problem

Post by pabloo » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:03 pm

We have a problem carrying out fire drills at the theatre/cinema where i work. We have over 150 staff on the books but on any one night there will only be 5 or 6 working. We only open in the evenings, about 45 minutes before the public arrive. The public arrive 20 minutes before the start of the performance.

Doing a fire drill in an empty theatre for just 6 staff seems pointless. They would get no real training of how to get a full (100 seat) theatre evacuated.

Would we be expected to do one while the public are in, in the middle of watching a film or performance? It could take half an hour to get everyone to the safety point in nearby park and then back in again.

any help appreciated.

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bernicarey
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Re: fire drills problem

Post by bernicarey » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:13 pm

Hi pabloo
Welcome to the forums :wave:
Lets look at this critically. I'll bounce a few questions off you. Some that perhaps need answering, some more rhetorical.

So,... if you have 150+ staff on the books, why only 5 or 6 per night?
That's more staff than the capacity of the theatre. .scratch
Get all the staff in to fill the place and run them through it as a mass training walk through.

Those numbers imply that people only work one shift every 25 days?
Presumably it's difficult to get many together at one time?

Basically you need to make sure all your staff are trained, even if that means getting them together in batches of 20+ at a time and paying them to attend a training session.

The public are not going to wish to take part in a training exercise, if you need to practice with 'real animated test dummies' try asking for help from some community groups like sports teams.
What's really important is to drill it into your staff exactly what they are to do, so if it happens for real it goes like clockwork.
So it's not a quick 10 minutes messing around on an evacuation, it's proper Fire Awareness training, with Fire Marshall Duties for nominated persons every shift, with Practice and practice again if they can't get it right.


Now the really good question, have you read the Guidance Booklet for Places of Assembly?
You've said it's got a capacity of 100, which is actually tiny in comparison to most places; the Small to medium Places of Assembly Booklet is the one you need.

Take a look at pages 108-110 of the link.
Hope that's been of help. .salut
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Re: fire drills problem

Post by Messy » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:27 pm

Of course you can't turf out paying punters into the rain and then ask them to take their seats again - that would be plain daft (although I expect some venues do just that).

Any fire drill is aimed at testing the emergency procedure and how the staff react and apply that procedure. The results of the drill can help refine training requirements or even alter the procedure.

In this case, it sounds to me that you have the answer hidden in your question! - You have a 150 staff on your books and a 100 seater cinema. Why not bring 50 to 75 staff into work for a couple of hours and provide some fire safety training to them. Half way through the training, you get six volunteers to act as wardens, a handful to act as observers and the remaining staff act as punters.

Play a film or adverts, bring the lights down and set the fire alarm off (or whatever silent signal you may use). Run through the evacuation drill and then bring everyone back for a debrief. Repeat every three to six months or so to get all the staff practising this.

If your staff are paid, they must get paid for this. If they are volunteers, set out some sandwiches and cake at the end to reward them and make it a social event.

Record any findings, perhaps photograph or video the drill too. Then establish an action plan to cover any issues falling short of suitable and put that plan into place

The Govt guide for theatres and cinemas says the drills should be monthly and should where possible involve the public. They may think that, but I couldn't possibly comment!

In any case you must read this. guide in it's entirety. Fire drills are covered on page 126

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... cinema.pdf

Edit: Two posts at the same time - saying broadly the same thing. :)

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Re: fire drills problem

Post by bernicarey » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:37 pm

Well done Messy, I'd forgotten there was a booklet specifically for cinemas ./thumbsup..
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