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Posted on September 20, 2014

Fire Protection Systems & Services for Theaters

Due to the combination of large crowds, the high concentration of combustible materials, and the presence of ignition sources, fire is definitely a concern in movie theaters. While movie theater fires tend to be less deadly than those that break out in other types of facilities, even a single fatality is a tragedy. The National Fire Protection Association points out some dates of significant movie theater fires from the past:

  • In 1926, 50 people were killed in a movie theater fire in Drumcollogher, Ireland.
  • In 1927, 78 people were killed in the Laurier Palace movie theater fire in Montreal, Quebec.
  • In 1947, 88 people were killed in the Select movie theater fire in Paris, France.
  • In 1978, 422 people were killed in the Cinema Rex fire in Abadan, Iran.

As a movie theater manager in Houston, Texas, it’s your responsibility to understand the risks in your establishment and make sure your employees and customers are safe by implementing the necessary fire protection systems.

Fire Hazards in Movie Theaters

Fires can start anywhere, but there are a few areas within your theater that are more at risk for a fire emergency:

  • Commercial Kitchen Appliances: It’s probably not the first type of commercial building you picture having a problem with fires, but movie theaters still have kitchen areas to prepare popcorn and other snacks for moviegoers. Like any facility that prepares and serves food, the kitchen is the most likely place for a fire to start. Proper fire suppression systems (that can extinguish grease or oil fires) are necessary.
  • Electrical Equipment: Movie theaters also rely heavily on electrical equipment. A malfunction with the projection system could lead to overheating and an electrical spark. If paper or another flammable material is nearby, it could cause a fire. Sprinkler systems throughout your property can help extinguish flames or a small fire before it grows.
  • Vandalism: There’s also the chance that vandals could set a fire on purpose in a bathroom trashcan or elsewhere within the facility. You can’t control how paying customers behave after they enter your movie theater, so you need fire protection systems installed everywhere in the building, even in the wings stretching out far away from the kitchen area.

Fire Protection Systems for Movie Theaters

While there are hazardous areas in movie theaters, there are certain systems that can help your theater protect life and property should a fire occur.

  • Fire sprinklers protect your theater around the clock, whether the facility is open to the public or closed for the night. The main purpose of fire sprinklers is to put out the fire quickly so it doesn’t spread to other rooms in the building. This reduces flame and smoke damage so you can get the theater up and running again quickly.
  • Fire alarms alert moviegoers that there’s an emergency. You need to have a working, well-maintained fire alarm system to keep your theater up to safety codes. This involves having a professional inspect your alarm system regularly for any faults.
  • Fire extinguishers located in the kitchen area put your employees in control of suppressing the fire. Make sure you include fire extinguisher training when you introduce new employees to the workplace. While standards vary, ABC multi-purpose fire extinguishers tend to be best for movie theater fires because they put out flames caused by paper products, flammable cooking fuels and electronic wiring.
  • Fire suppression systems in the kitchen area of the theater helps ensure the fire is put out quickly without human intervention. In this way, you have 24-hour fire protection. Just remember the importance of having your suppression system installed and maintained properly. Without these important steps, you could have a false sense of security, thinking the system is working properly only to find out you were wrong when a fire occurs and devastates your theater.

Don’t let a movie theater fire put you out of business. Seek professional installation and maintenance of fire protection services in your Houston, Texas theater today. For more information, please contact Kauffman Co.

We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas (TX) in:

  • Alvin
  • Angleton
  • Austin
  • Baytown
  • Beaumont
  • Bellaire
  • Clute
  • Conroe
  • Deer Park
  • Dickinson
  • Freeport
  • Friendswood
  • Galena Park
  • Galveston
  • Houston
  • Humble
  • Huntsville
  • Jacinto City
  • Katy
  • La Marque
  • La Porte
  • Lake Charles, LA
  • Lake Jackson
  • League City
  • Missouri City
  • Orange
  • Pasadena
  • Pearland
  • Port Arthur
  • Richmond
  • Rosenberg
  • San Antonio
  • Schulenburg
  • South Houston
  • Stafford
  • Sugar Land
  • Texas City
  • The Woodlands
  • Victoria
  • Waco
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
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