Safety in large arenas inspected - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Safety in large arenas inspected

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May 13, 2004

Albany -- Saturday, thousands of people will be at the Albany Civic Center for graduation ceremonies of the four Dougherty County Schools. People can feel safe in large crowds in arenas like this, because experts have studied the dangers that could happen.

Setting up for Saturday's graduations, the Albany Civic Center has already passed yearly fire and safety inspections.

The chance of a fire in this venue is small, but inspectors make sure the overall safety picture is kept in mind. Assistant Fire Chief James Carswell said "In addition to all the safety features, that even the walkways are clear. The handrails are where they are supposed to be, so there are no trip hazards. So that if someone were to fall, and others fall on them and create a hazard."

Everything in the Civic Center arena is designed with a crowd and it's safety in mind. You can safeguard yourself by recognizing the exits. Chief Carswell said "This is what people should look for, whether they are going into their local grocery store or a big arena like this. They should look for those exits, and they are supposed to be lit."

Curtains and chairs meet fire standards. The seating is bolted down or together, so they can not block walkways.

Building standards and fire codes in large arenas have evolved through years of research and study in the aftermath of tragedies. To ensure events like Saturday's graduations are joyful.

In Georgia city and county Fire Inspectors are responsible for checking most local buildings, making sure they meet safety standards. State fire marshals are responsible for checking state buildings, hospitals, and nursing homes.

posted at 4:14 PM by jimw@walb.com