Fire Safety in Theatres - A New Design Approach

Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Fire Safety in Theatres - A New Design Approach(PDF)
Author: Ove Arup & Partners PC
Date of issue: September 2009


Stage fire protection measures, details differing from one region to another, have been established, codified and enforced throughout the world and have changed little over the past 100 years. Technological advancements in both stagecraft and fire protection systems have led to a need in the theater community to study the current state of requirements and to see if, under today’s design practices and advanced knowledge in fire protection engineering, these measures are effective, amenable, or even unnecessary.

At the request of the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Doors and Windows, the Foundation facilitated the conduct of a project by Arup Fire to address this issue. The objective of the study was to assess the level of protection afforded by stage active fire protection measures in the event of a fire in the stagehouse of a proscenium theatre. CFD modeling of representative theatre spaces was conducted to explore fire growth and development, activation of fire protection systems and the development of untenable conditions.

The Research Foundation expresses gratitude to the Project Technical Panelists listed on the following page.

The content, opinions and conclusions contained in this report are solely those of the authors.