Safety should be a top priority for every theatre, but with so much to keep up with, it’s easy to neglect it in favour of more pressing issues. The consequences can be disastrous, so here’s a list of safety do’s and don’ts to help you keep you on track.
DO make sure to receive an annual safety inspection
Australian law requires a periodic inspection of your venue. These inspections could happen every year or every few years, depending on what state you’re located in. Many theatres won’t do much in between these visits, but the best advice we can give you is to be proactive and hire a third party inspection crew once a year to ensure that your theatre is up to date on safety issues and the equipment is still in good working order. Going this route will keep you from getting fined, and it will also give you the peace of mind that your theatre is 100% safe.
DON’T neglect to train your employees on safety issues
One of the best preventative measures that any theatre owner can take is to train their employees on the basics of theatre safety and upkeep. Designate safety team leaders and make sure they receive the best education on how to prevent emergencies, and know how to act in case of an emergency. No matter what, your entire team should learn the basics of theatre safety, and should know where potential problems are likely to occur.
DO buy proper safety equipment
Your theatre is not safe without the proper safety equipment. For example, your audience should have access to a number of tools that will allow them to navigate your theatre in the dark. This could include LED stair nosing and a lighted seat numbering system. But theatre safety also means obtaining the right equipment for those patrons that are disabled or hard of hearing. Using induction loop hearing systems will ensure that the members of your audience that have trouble hearing will not only be able to enjoy the show, but will also be able to hear alerts in case of emergency.
DON’T forget to write up a maintenance “to do” list
Keeping a maintenance “to do” list is one of the first things any theatre owner should do to keep their theatre in tip top shape. Enlist the help of your staff to report maintenance needs, and make sure tasks on your maintenance list are actioned regularly. This way you never have to worry about falling behind, and even if an unexpected inspection happens to occur, you’ll be so on top of things you won’t have anything to worry about.
DO keep up with the newest theatre safety technology
Make sure you keep up with the latest in safety technology for your theatre: whether that means keeping an eye out for excellent new fireproof curtains or finding rigging that is easier to use and control.