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Fire Marshall

Discussion in 'Safety' started by Sparticus101, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Sparticus101

    Sparticus101 Member

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    Isn't it basic techie know-how to not like the fire marshall? Anyway. The fire marshall came to the school a few days ago to chech things out for our monthly check up. Well, our whole high school got 5 pages of violations. 3 of those pages were for us. Things like disco ball hanging from sprinkler head. Storing food where the hoses sit, and the worst of all, he caught somone using a fire extinguisher to cool off a hot burrito. WOOPS!
     
  2. Diarmuid

    Diarmuid Active Member

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    Well, to be honest with you I think that most health and safety these days is kinda verging on the ridiculous, however having said that, when I am asking over 100 people (all of whom have families) to literally trust me to ensure that the facility is safe, then I do think it is worthwhile to make sure that they are in as safe a facility as possible. To be honest, I do think that using a fire extinguisher to cool a hot burrito seems slighty STUPID, using a sprinkler to hang a disco ball from seems the same again...

    To be honest, its not what is acceptable in our theatre, we follow the rules because otherwise, we can be threatened with something like a minimum of £20,000 and up to 25 years imprisonment.

    But hey, on the plus side, I am indeed willing to admit that I'm not perfect and I dont pretend to be, yes I do break the rules, I broke the rules and theoretically endangered everyone today, but that was cos I left a door wedged open...(lol)

    On the plus side, you look like your new here, so welcome to the forum, hope you have fun here and learn a lot-also I hope that I havent come off as too annoying and rude, its just kind of an extremley touchy subject for me, one of the few things which I have learnt over the years, is safety..

    Diarmuid
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
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    Fire Marshalls should be your best friend. That being said, I feel your pain. In my present situation a lot of Fire code issues fall on my head but not just for my shop and Theatre but the entire building ! We just bought our building, an entire city block which includes two parking garages. two theatres office spaces storage and shop space. Believe me producing 8 - 10 shows a year and being respnsible for life / safety issues for an entire building is a pain. When the fire marshall shows up I cringe, but deep down inside I know he's responsible for peoples life and safety for the entire city.
    Some of the things you mentioned might seems silly at first. When you've been through a real fire like I have,< dorm fire in College I'll tell it sometime >, you find those issues aren't so silly. Food stored in front of hoses means valuable time lost in the event of a fire. Cooling off a burrito with a fire extinguisher means your'e down a fire extinguisher, you use it once, for a second, and it has to be recharged. Hanging a mirror ball from a sprinkler head ? two issues, one now your sprinkler head won't cover it's designed area, and two whta happens whenyou kick it on and the torque causes it to knock the head triggering the sprinkler. Automatically the rest of the sprinkler heads will cut loose. Now you have two problems on your hands, at minimum. The first of which is that your theater is now drenched in water and your equipment ruined. The second of which is that now there is an automatic 5 alarm fire signal sent to the fire department,( most school situations require a 5 alarm minimum ), and while the firemen are busy rushing to your school finding out it was a false alarm and then going back to the fire house somebody else at a real fire could die.
    It might seem like a pain having to comply with all these rules, but as Wesley said in The Princess Bride , " Life is pain princess. Anyone who tells you different is just trying to sell you something." You might do a search on the Rhoad Island tradgedy where 100 people died because people over looked safety measures.
    I know where you're comming from I've been there, but I passed through there bought the t-shirt, and now live on the other side :p
     
  4. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    It is teh done thing for techs to workaround a problem and find a solution. It may not always be done the "right" way but it usually ends up working. There are one or two notable expections. The important one is safety. Van noted quite rightly the reasoning behind the violations. Wedging a door open may seem like a minor thing and almost all of us have done it at on epoint or another, but people spend large amounts of time when designing a building to create "fire compartments". Between these you get fire rated doors, walls, etc. They SHOULD limit the spread of a fire should one ever break out. You wedge the door open and the fire rating of the door, frame, lock, etc. is out the window. Not much point in an expensive door when the flames go straight through the open frame. If you can limit the spread of the fire then you limit your damage but it also gives you enough time to evacuate the building.

    Safety, and particularly fire / life safety systems are not something to mess with. They are there for a reason, to protect the occupants of buildings.
     
  5. Diarmuid

    Diarmuid Active Member

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    When I talk about wedging the door open, it is simply because at no time does that area not have someone standing right next to the doors, because that is where we call the shows from, so in the event of the alarm going off, we all know just to get the stage weight out of the way and then all the doors will be shut. I know that isn't perfect, but thats the only way we can work properly, due to the way our cable runs were originally installed (no one thought to put any cables backstage).

    Diarmuid
     
  6. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Life is not perfect. I know that TECHNICALLY it is a problem to wedge a door open, but when it is attended, I would be turning a blind eye. (Side note: is it actually a fire door? A fire door will have somewhere on both the door and frame that it is a fire door and how long it is fire resistant for - at least in Australia. If it is not a fire door, or I suppose a proper smoke door, then at least here you could do what you want with it, wedge it, screw it in the open position, take it off, whatever.) Now I have no idea what US codes say about this, but down here it is allowable to have electromagnetic door holders to hold the door open. Basically an electromagnet, with a plate on the door. However these must be tied into the fire alarm system, with a detector within a metre of each side of the door and set up such that when the alarm goes off, the doors release and the door closer shut and latch them. Generally there will also be a release button as well.

    The reality is that there are very few rules in the world that get followed to the letter. Whilst we should not wedge a door open or what not, it is going to happen. That is life. Your situation of someone moving the weight or what not may not neccessarily be the case. In a situation like that I think you would find that it would get forgotten in the panic & chaos of an emergency. In that way the proper systems are good. Bottom Line is that stuff happens, life goes on, but try wherever possible to keep to life safety & fire regulations.
     
  7. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    the rules are there for a reason nothing you can do but conform

    remember "your uneqiue just like everyone else"
     
  8. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yes, the rules are there for a reason. And yes, it is probably best that they be followed, but seriously, how much harm is there in wedging a door open for a couple of minutes whilst you push some cases through?
     
  9. lightbyfire

    lightbyfire Member

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    To tell the truth, it would be good if the fire marshall visited my high school. there were numerous violations, and most of us were aware of them.

    We werent cooling burritos or anything, but we were using the sub floor as storage, despite it not having any sprinkler access. Most of it has been cleaned up now, not because the fire marshall has visited (he has not in about ten years) but because a bunch of students finally decided to take it into their own hands. Fire saftey is hugely important, hundreds of years of burning theatres should remind us all of that.
     
  10. paul

    paul Member

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    A borrito?
    If you're ever going to use a fire extinguisher improperly, use it to cool down something more important than a borrito, for goodness sakes!
    Like a case of beer instead.
     
  11. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    That's what you use the left over dry ice from the fog machines for!
     
  12. Sparticus101

    Sparticus101 Member

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    For you safety weary ppl. I checked the extinguisher a few days ago and it was filled backed up fully. So were all good now!!!









    Spartics101
     
  13. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    That as far as I am concerned is not the point... The point is that if you had a real fire whilst teh extinguisher was depleted, someone could have picked it up, depending on it to work and be put in serious danger because some on had been stupid enough to use a fire extinguisher for something other than extinguishing a fire... Sorry, but fire safety ALWAYS gets me going...
     
  14. PhantomD

    PhantomD

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    I got in trouble with an Inspector the other day for leaving a bunch of mic stands beside the Electrical Cupboard that happens to be at the bottom of the stairs in our booth.

    What an idiot thing to do with a fire extinguisher.
     
  15. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Me me. Let me go one better. Our school in its infinit wisdon decides that keeping boxes of say exams in the main electrical room is a good idea. They don't seem to be able to see the logic in me saying that a swichboard may overheat / spark / catch alight and that thus all that paper will make the fire worse. I mean how hard is it to understand? If switchbaords did not run the risk of catching alight, why would it be a requirement that a fire extinguisher be placed in their vicinity? Bloody idiots is all I can say. I do wish we had a fire inspection done. Maybe then the school might do something right for once.
     
  16. MHSTech

    MHSTech Active Member

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    This is true. For a general fire alarm at our school, we require a full response from our fire department and mutual aid from almost everybody else in the county. And that's just on a general fire alarm, that means that there doesn't have to be smoke or flames.

    You need to follow fire codes for a reason. One reason is in case there was a fire, your butt is not liable if somebody can't get out.

    Chris, I can top you. Our maintenance staff seems to be having a hard time finding places to put their chair carts. So guess where they decide to put them all? On stage, in front of the fire hoses, standpipes and all the exit doors from the practice rooms. Needless to say, our fire department chief and safety officer (i know both of them because I'm on the department) expressed to me how they felt about it, I forwarded it on to the head of the maintenance staff. Nothing has been done so far, I can't wait for the chief to come in this month.
     
  17. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Hmm, my school don't have a fire alarm, or sprinklers, or emergency lighting, or exit signs... If the fire brigade come it is because someone has telephoned them. And thinking more, I can think of a number of places, not neccessarily at school, where I have seen emergency exit doors PADLOCKED or otherwise locked. Would someone please tell me how that allows ready egress?

    See in a way, you people have it lucky having the fire dept inspect the place every so often. I doubt there has ever been an inspection done since the building was opened at school... Whilst it may be a pain, it does at least means that people are forced to comply with the rules or be shut down. It makes sure that things happen to keep the place safe.

    Oh, and an afterthought, fire hose reel, internal fire hydrant, you are kidding me right?
     
  18. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I can top you ! I was in a dorm my first year of college. The maintenance staff from the University got tired of replacing the glass on the fire extinguisher cabinets, it seems drunk freshmen kept stumbling inot them and it got to be a real chore. Thier solution ? Install 1/4" Hurricane glass to keep it from breaking. I used; My fist wrapped in a towel, A combat boot, and finally my desk chair, the chair bent the metal brackets holding the glass in place but didn't break the glass. Oh yeah the Dorm had neither Fire alarms, smoke detectors, nor sprinklers. If it hadn't been for one guy getting up at 2:00 in the morning to take a whiz, those of us in the first 5 rooms would have been dead, I was in room number 5.
     
  19. MHSTech

    MHSTech Active Member

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    I wish that I were, they actually moved some of their stuff around and one is not blocked anymore, but the other one is.
     
  20. SocksOnly

    SocksOnly Member

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    I don't think our auditorium has a fire extinguisher at all...now I think of it, with all the wires lying everywhere and stuff, it's probably the worst place in the school fire-saftey wise. We've got a sprinkler system though, and glowey exit signs (**** those things, they ruin the blackouts)
     

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