Safety Warden, Fire Guard, and Stage Fireman

Policy

All departments and organizations affiliated with the University of Chicago conducting, operating, or maintaining any theater which is used regularly for motion picture, theatrical or vaudeville purposes and having a seating capacity of 300 or more persons shall have one special stage fireman and/or one fire guard in accordance with this policy. The positions of fire guard and stage fireman may be served by the same individual.

In addition, all departments and organizations affiliated with the University of Chicago managing a large assembly unit (having a capacity of 300 persons or more) shall have a Safety Warden in accordance with this policy.

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Authority and Responsibility

Departments responsible for maintaining fire guards and stage firemen during performances include, but are not limited to:

  1. The Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities (ORCSA) for Max Palevsky Cinema and
  2. Mandel Hall; and
  3. International House.

These departments are responsible for:

  1. Maintaining a licensed fire guard and/or a stage fireman during all performances beginning 30 minutes prior to the start of the performance and ending after the entire audience has left the building;
  2. Ensuring fire guards and/or stage firemen get trained annually through Environmental Health and Safety and get licensed through the Bureau of Fire Prevention; and
  3. Providing Environmental Health and Safety with fire guard and/or stage fireman information.

Departments responsible for maintaining large assembly units (having a capacity 300 persons or more) shall provide access to assembly areas weekly for a review by the Safety Warden from Environmental Health and Safety. These departments include, but are not limited to:

  1. Campus and Student Life for Bartlett, Hutch, and Pierce Halls;
  2. The Athletics Department for the Gerald Ratner Center and Henry Crown Fieldhouse;
  3. The Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities Office (ORCSA) for Max Palevsky Cinema and Mandel Hall;
  4. Rockefeller Chapel; and
  5. International House.

Environmental Health and Safety shall be responsible for:

  1. Conducting annual training for all licensed fire guards and stage firemen;
  2. Maintaining representatives from Environmental Health and Safety as designated Safety Warden and alternate;
  3. Conducting weekly fire/general safety reviews of all assembly units having a seating capacity of 300 hundred or more persons;
  4. Developing a corrective action plan with the responsible department for all concerns discovered during the weekly fire/general safety review;
  5. Maintaining required documentation; and
  6. Forwarding required documentation to the City of Chicago Fire Prevention Bureau.

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Safety Warden

The Safety Warden and his/her alternate shall be a representative from Environmental Health and Safety. The names of the designated Safety Warden and his/her alternate shall be forwarded to the City of Chicago Fire Prevention Bureau, 444 Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60610.

Duties of the Safety Warden

The Safety Warden shall be responsible for conducting weekly fire/general safety reviews of all assembly units having a seating capacity of 300 persons or more listed below:

  • Bartlett Commons
  • Henry Crown Fieldhouse
  • Hutch Commons
  • Ida Noyes
  • International House
  • Manel Hall
  • Ratner Athletic Center
  • Pierce Hall
  • Rockefeller Chapel

The review shall consist of the following:

  1. Ensuring all exit lighting and emergency lighting is in operating condition;
  2. Ensuring exits, stairwells and corridors are free from obstruction;
  3. Ensuring all fire suppression equipment is in operating condition;
  4. Ensuring proper storage of combustibles;
  5. Ensuring all electrical equipment is in operating condition; and
  6. Ensuring all fire closets, elevators, mechanical, and electrical rooms are free of storage.

Upon completion of the weekly review, the Safety Warden or alternate shall complete a fire/general safety review report. If concerns are discovered during the fire/general safety review, the Safety Warden shall contact the responsible department to determine a corrective action plan.

Environmental Health and Safety shall maintain the weekly reports for review by the City of Chicago Fire Prevention Bureau and Building Department.

The location and dates of weekly reviews shall be documented on forms supplied by the Fire Prevention Bureau. A copy of these forms shall be forwarded to the City of Chicago Fire Prevention Bureau, 444 North Dearborn, Chicago, Illinois 60610 no later than April 30, August 31 and December 31 of each year.

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Fire Guard

A fire guard shall be provided for each event by the responsible department, as described under the “Authority and Responsibility” section of this policy.

All University theaters which are used regularly for motion picture, theatrical or vaudeville purposes having a seating capacity of 300 or more persons shall have a fire guard present during the time described under the “Authority and Responsibility” section of this policy.

Licensing of Fire Guards

All fire guards shall be licensed by the City of Chicago Fire Prevention Bureau. The requirements and information on the licensing of fire guards and stage firemen can be obtained by contacting Environmental Health and Safety at 773-702-9999.

Duties of a Fire Guard

The fire guard must make periodic rounds throughout the occupancy during the event ensuring:

  1. All exit doors are unlocked and unobstructed;
  2. All aisles, corridors, fire escapes and other means of egress are kept clear and unobstructed;
  3. In the event of a fire, ensuring that the ventilation system in the auditorium is shut down;
  4. All fire protection equipment is properly located, unobstructed, identified and in working condition; and
  5. In the event of a fire, notifying the Fire Department and initiating an orderly evacuation.

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Stage Fireman

Theatrical Performances and Movie Theaters

All theatrical performances and movie theaters having a seating capacity of 300 or more persons shall have a stage fireman present. The individual serving as the fire guard may also serve as the stage fireman. A stage fireman need not be present if the stage portion of any building is less then 72 square feet in area. A stage fireman shall be provided for each event by the responsible department as described under the “Authority and Responsibility” section of this policy.
The stage fireman shall be present at least 30 minutes prior to the commencement of every performance and continuously thereafter until the entire audience has left the building.

Licensing of Stage Firemen

All stage firemen shall be licensed by the City of Chicago Fire Prevention Bureau. The requirements and information on the licensing of fire guards and stage firemen can be obtained by contacting Environmental Health and Safety at 773-702-9999.

Duties of a Stage Fireman

The stage fireman duties include:

  1. Ensuring all fire protection equipment on and above the stage area, dressing rooms, and in the basement is in operating condition;
  2. Ensuring all stage ventilators, if present, are in operating condition by actually operating the ventilators once every two weeks to verity;
  3. Ensuring that all sprinklers are in good working order; and
  4. Completing Event Checklist for every event taking place in the venue, and forwarding the Checklist to Environmental Health and Safety.

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Training

All fire guards and stage firemen for the University of Chicago shall be required to complete an annual Fire Guard/Stage Fireman training class conducted by Environmental Health and Safety. This training shall prepare fire guards and stage firemen for obtaining a license from the City of Chicago.

The curriculum for the training class shall be as follows:

  1. Procedures on reporting an incident;
  2. Methods of evacuation;
  3. Procedures on fire extinguisher usage; and
  4. Procedures for maintaining clear and unobstructed means of egress.
  5. Departments and organizations within the University of Chicago requiring the Annual Fire Guard/Stage Fireman training class shall contact Environmental Health and Safety at 773-702-9999 to make arrangements for training.

Reviewed: December 2011

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