What is a fire curtain in theatre?

What is a fire curtain in theatre?

Fire safety curtains provide a barrier between the stage and auditorium in the event of a fire. The curtain prevents the heat, smoke and flame from a fire on stage from affecting an audience while the auditorium is evacuated.

Why is there a safety curtain at the theatre?

Occupational safety and health regulations state that the safety curtain must be able to resist fire and thereby prevent (or at least hinder) fires starting on stage from spreading to the auditorium and the rest of the theatre, reducing injuries to audience members and members of staff.

Why does the scenic designer need to be mindful of the fire pocket curtain in a proscenium theatre?

Early fire curtains were often made with asbestos fibers to slow flame spread. For the fire curtain to work, it needs to get to the floor—which is why stage designs that break the proscenium and block the path of the fire curtain should be avoided.

What is the asbestos curtain?

n. (Theatre) a curtain made of fireproof material that can be lowered to separate the auditorium and stage in a theatre to prevent the spread of a fire.

How does a fire curtain work?

Smoke curtains remain invisibly retracted until activated by an alarm, detector signal or manual switch. This allows the safe evacuation of people from buildings, whilst reducing fire damage by preventing smoke logging, which enables fire-fighting, reduces temperatures and ultimately delays the spread of fire.

How does a safety curtain work?

Unlike photoelectric sensors, safety light curtains use self-checking circuitry to monitor the curtain for internal faults. If an internal fault is detected, the safety light curtain immediately sends a stop signal to the guarded machine. The light curtain then enters a lockout condition.

What is proscenium arch in drama?

proscenium, in theatre, the frame or arch separating the stage from the auditorium, through which the action of a play is viewed.

What is a fly loft in theatre?

» FLY LOFT. Definition: Extension of the stage walls up to allow scenery to be flown up until it is out of sight of the audience. Known as the “flies”. The ideal fly tower should be more than twice the height of the proscenium arch, and is said to have “full flying height”.

What is the difference between a fire shutter and a fire curtain?

In summary, a fire curtain is less obtrusive and offers good fire protection but does not incorporate physical security. If you need a higher level of closure, then a fire shutter is the better option.

What is the fire curtain in theatre?

The fire curtain, then, is the final barrier between the audience and the show. Even in a traditional proscenium arch theatre, this curtain comes in front of the beautiful red curtains that represent the theatre as an idea. However, what is the fire curtain, and how did it come to be part of the theatrical experience around the world?

Is Deluge a fire hazard?

Deluge systems have activated without a fire, resulting in significant water damage to the building and contents. This has often been the result of vandals. It needn’t be a choice between a functioning deluge system and risk of water damage and  a non-functioning fire curtain and a risk of body bags.

What happens to the scenery after the fire curtain comes down?

This has most likely been during the interval, or possibly finally after the last encore, when it descends to signal the definite end of the show. If you have keen eyes, you will probably have noticed that, whatever show you go to see within a traditional theatre, whenever the fire curtain comes down, the scenery is all behind it.

Why do theaters have curtains in the UK?

All larger British theatres contain safety curtains, and the rule for proscenium arch theatres at present is that they should offer protection to the audience against fire to prevent the kind of disasters which struck in the past in events such as the Iroquois Theatre fire in Chicago in 1903.