Fire Safety

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Fire Risks[edit]

To find a fire risk, look for sources of ignition and sources of fuel.

All fire risks should be covered by the convention's Risk Assessment

Common BJC fire risks[edit]

Camp fires or camp stoves igniting tents and bedding[edit]

Fires on the campsite are usually banned although camp stoves are not.

Fire extinguishers, sand buckets and a whistle belong at marked fire points in the campsite.

Fire engine access must be maintained to all parts of the campsite. According to [1], access routes should be within 50m of all areas of the campsite. Routes should have

  • road width of not less than 3.7m
  • clear width at gates not less than 3.1m
  • clear height of not less than 3.7m
  • surface that can carry a vehicle weighing 12.5 tonnes (so a road or a path, not grass)
  • suitable area to allow vehicle to turn around. If a turning circle is provided, have a diameter not less than 16.8m.

Many events also use nails and safety tape to mark out 3m fire break lanes every say 25m on the site. This also allows for safe circulation at night.

You can call the local fire brigade on their non-emergency number and they will show up (preferably before all the jugglers) and take a look at your site and let you know what you can do to make their lives easier. They'll also be happy to know where the main HQ is and (for example) that main orgs can be contacted by security.

Fire juggling / fire breathing igniting clothing or surroundings[edit]

Different conventions have had different fire breathing/juggling policies. Most (for insurance reasons) have gone with banning it entirely. Some have had fire areas open at defined times, with risk assessments and skilled personnel in charge.

Gas bottles[edit]

  • Gas bottles must be secured where jugglers can't fiddle with them.
  • They must not be dropped or thrown, and should not be transported in a closed vehicle.
  • They must be stored in a ventilated area that is well lit and does not contain trip or slip hazards.
  • They must be stored on a stable surface where they are not at risk of falling down.
  • LPG (or anything else heavier than air) must not be stored near ditches and holes in which leaking gas could pool instead of being dispersed by ventilation.

Storage of rubbish[edit]

Big piles of rubbish are a fire hazard if they are ignited by idiots or by spreading fire from e.g. a caterer.

Rubbish should be collected regularly and stored away from ignition risks.

As well as bins on the camp site, traders generate a lot of cardboard waste towards the end of the event.

Caterers[edit]

Should be in charge of their own fire safety but can be considered an ignition risk when considering where to site them.

Smoking[edit]

Smoking may be banned indoors but unauthorised smoking is still a risk, particularly in big tops and marquees where furnishings form potential fuel and exit may be challenging.

Prominent no smoking signs are still a good idea in all public tents.

Sufficient fire exits are a must as well as battery backed fire exit signs above all those fire exits (tent suppliers will bring if you ask).

Shows in tents need somebody in charge of making sure the audience is not too numerous and that they leave aisles clear. This is a particular problem when cost savings mean the tents are smaller than ideal.