Friday, May 29, 2009

How safe are you in that auditorium?

How safe are you in that auditorium?
Although theatre and multiplex owners say they are equipped to handle fire, there is concern over whether employees in these places are trained to use extinguishers, basic gadgets
A T Subrahmanya | TNN

Bangalore: Wednesday’s fire at Innovative Multiplex on Outer Ring Road in Marathalli has stoked apprehensions and raised a significant question. Do the city’s multiplexes and stand-alone theatres have safety measures in place? What if fire breaks out when a movie is being screened with hundreds of people in the auditorium?
Multiplex and theatre staff say they are equipped to handle such situations. All multiplexes have fire-fighting equipment ranging from extinguishers to smoke detectors, water sprinklers and automatic fire alarms.
But is it enough in a crisis? Many stand-alone theatres have only basic fire extinguishers. Sadly, the staff are not trained to use them. Many are not equipped to handle crowd or evacuation in eventualities.
“I’ve been working here for the past 18 years, and I don’t know to handle a fire extinguisher,” an employee of a theatre on Magadi Road told TOI. The person said fire extinguishers remain showpieces and are kept as token safety measures. “These gadgets should be regularly checked.”
Many theatre managers said they have all fire safety measures in place, and there are as many as 10 exit points for people to leave quickly.
MAY 21: Items worth over Rs 6 crore were gutted at a major handicrafts shop near Trinity Circle on M G Road. Short circuit was suspected to be the cause
MARCH 31: Cauvery Arts and Crafts Emporium on M G road was partially gutted. Later, the incident was proved to be an act of sabotage
JANUARY 26: A food court in Forum Mall, Koramangala, was partially gutted, forcing hundreds of shoppers to evacuate the building Prepared for the WORST
Twenty employees of the multiplex underwent a threeday training at Bannerghatta Fire Force Academy. Its (Fun Cinemas) three auditoria have four exits. Each floor has four gas cylinders and four water cylinders along with two hose pipes. There are water sprinklers around each screen along with smoke detectors and beam detectors.
We have both precautionary and response measures in place. All our five screens have fireresistant wall curtains, seats and carpets. Each screen has a minimum of three exit points. Every 50 metre, we have emergency exit routes too.
We have all fire-fighting technology including beam detectors and smoke detectors. Even the smallest screen has three exit points while bigger screens have five. We also have enough emergency escape routes since one can’t use lifts during fire
Sathish Kumar | GENERAL MANAGER, PVR CINEMAS According to
For every 100 seats, there should be a 2-metre wide double leaf outward opening. In 400-600 seaters, there should be over 6 exit points. Temporary theatres should obtain a ‘no-objection certificate’ from the fire department every year while regular theatres should obtain it every three year. That’s subject to periodical testing of extinguishers
N U Eerappa | cHIEF FIRE


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