This section applies to gatherings of 50 or more persons for such activities as entertainment, dining, amusement, lectures, seminars, etc. and to libraries, museums and art galleries with more than 50 persons. The purpose of the section is to establish criteria for emergency planning and fire prevention practices to be employed by university departments responsible for public assembly events.
University departments sponsoring public assembly events with 100 or more persons in attendance shall develop an emergency evacuation plan which includes the following information:
- Emergency telephone numbers.
- The location of all fire exits.
- The location of fire extinguishers.
- The duties of attendants, technicians, PA announcers, stage managers, etc.
- The wording of emergency instructions given over the PA system and the specific person designated to make the announcements.
The emergency plan should be approved by the Safety Officer and reviewed with all employees and attendants prior to the event.
Open Flame Devices/Pyrotechnics
No open flame devices or pyrotechnics are to be used for ceremonies, theatrical performances, and the like, without prior approval from the Safety Officer. Pyrotechnics generally require a licensed supervisor.
Food Service Devices
Portable cooking devices not flue connected are to be used only with prior approval from the Safety Officer. Candles may be used on tables for food services if securely supported on substantial non combustible bases located in such a way as to avoid a danger of ignition of combustible materials. Candle flames must be protected.
The storage or use of flammable liquids in assembly areas is prohibited.
Decorations and Stage Scenery
Combustible materials must be treated with an effective flame retardant materials. Stage settings made of combustible materials must likewise be treated with flame retardant materials as indicated below:
- Plywood, wood, particle board, and like material used for stage settings or decorations must be UL listed with a flame spread of 75 or less (class B) or be painted with fire retardant paint.
- Fabrics such as draperies and curtains must be flame treated or non-combustible or must not exceed 10% of the wall or ceiling area.
- Plastics must not exceed 10% of the wall or ceiling area. Pyroxylin plastics are prohibited.
- Foam plastic panels must be UL listed and approved by the Safety Officer.
- Cardboard should be painted with fire retardant paint or must not exceed 10% of the wall/ceiling area.
- Carpet must meet Federal Flammability Standards. Carpet installed on walls or ceilings must have a flame spread of 25 or less.
- Bales of hay or cotton, sawdust etc. and other highly combustible materials are prohibited unless approved by the Safety Officer.
Natural cut trees are prohibited in assembly occupancies unless the area is provided with a sprinkler system.
Non-fixed seating arrangements for gatherings of 100 or more persons require prior approval by the Safety Officer. Any increase in the seating capacity of assembly rooms with fixed seats requires approval from the Safety Officer.
Maintenance of Exit Ways
Aisles, passageways, and stairways must not be obstructed or restricted by tables, showcases, or other objects. All exit doors must remain unlocked during assembly to permit evacuation.