Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » ADA Emergency Exit Question

   
Author Topic: ADA Emergency Exit Question
Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1378
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-15-2005 07:26 PM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
According to ADA guidelines, do emergency exit doors need to be ramp accessible or can the emergency exit have stairs leading to it?

I would assume the latter since multi-story buildings certainly don't have ramps running down for emergency exits.

 |  IP: Logged

Bill Enos
Film God

Posts: 2081
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 08-17-2005 01:22 PM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The best place for the answer as applies to your facility would be your local building inspectors office or the public safety dept. We have a waiver covering a similar circumstance at foreward exits in our auditorium. It was granted solely due to the age of the building, and impossibility of changing.

 |  IP: Logged

Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1378
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-17-2005 05:39 PM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was just curious. I was at AMC Pleasure island 24 and in Auditorium 19, they had retrofitted a sloped house to a stadium house (they must have dug down because even the front are stadium, not sloped). There was a huge waste of space on both sides of the front of the auditorium where they left the old grade aisle from the handicapped area to the exit doors. Since the seats are now lower than those aisles, additional aisles were needed in the front.

It didn't make any sense to me to have to do it that way because like I said, multi-story buildings have stairwells as emergency exits.

 |  IP: Logged

Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6410
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-17-2005 10:45 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I imagine that at least SOME of the exits need to be at-grade unless, due to the original construction of the building, there is a reason it can't be done.

I do know that there is a rule in Pennsylvania whereby there must be at least one employee per 250 customers in the auditorium who can direct occupants to the emergency exits. This is not an A.D.A. rule. It's in the fire code.

So, the second rule would tend to alleviate problems for the first rule because, if there is an emergency and there is a handicapped person in the house, the employee can, at least, tell them how to get out.

Also that second rule makes it technically illegal to run a theater as a 2-man operation (e.g.: 1 ticket/concession & 1 proj./usher, etc.) if there are more than 500 seats in the building. I suppose you could claim that there will never be more than 500 customers on slow nights and that, if there was a sudden rush, you could quickly call in more employees to manage crowds.

 |  IP: Logged

Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1378
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-18-2005 12:09 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Randy Stankey
I imagine that at least SOME of the exits need to be at-grade
But why? Like I said, in a two story office building, the only way out in a fire is the stairs. Yes, it would be completely impractical to have ramps running down buildings but, if it's OK for a normal building and somebody can carry or push a wheel chair down stairs then why should theatres have to live up to a higher standard? Especially when this higher standard cuts into the usable space of an auditorium significantly.

 |  IP: Logged

Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6410
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-18-2005 08:49 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I imagine that at least SOME of the exits need to be at-grade unless, due to the original construction of the building, there is a reason it can't be done..
Wouldn't your situation qualify as an "original construction" issue?

Further, if there are enough employees in the building to help customers get out your problem is alleviated. No?

 |  IP: Logged

Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1378
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-18-2005 11:37 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Randy Stankey
Wouldn't your situation qualify as an "original construction" issue
In the specific case I was referring to, then yes absolutely it is an "original construction" issue.

But, even in a new build, compromises and ineffecient use of space are caused by providing ramp-accessible emergency exits.

An original construction I was at last week had an extra aisle in the front 1/3rd of the auditorium which was only usable as an emergency exit. You couldn't access any of the front seating from that aisle.

 |  IP: Logged

Richard Fowler
Film God

Posts: 2389
From: Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA
Registered: Jun 2001


 - posted 08-18-2005 02:16 PM      Profile for Richard Fowler   Email Richard Fowler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ADA and most fire code laws are more stringent regarding public spaces such as cinemas vs office buildings so methods avoiding stairs are an issue. I did a 14 plex on the second floor of a shopping center in which considerable fireproof exit hallways where provided to connect to an ajacent parking garage; the proposed plan was to use the parking exit ramps to avoid stairs.

 |  IP: Logged

Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6410
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-18-2005 04:41 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Richard Fowler
ADA and most fire code laws are more stringent regarding public spaces such as cinemas
Take 200 people, put them into a dark room and you're bound to have a mess on your hands when an emergency happens. Put the same 200 people into a well lighted grocery store and I'd bet the place could be cleared out in half the time.

Yes, in many cases, I agree that fire and A.D.A. laws can cause a lot of waste and inefficiency in terms of building construction. However, if it's possible to save lives in an emergency by doing something as simple as making sure there are enough doors leading out of the room then, in many cases, I believe it's worth the trouble. (What if YOU were the one sitting in that dark room when a fire broke out?!)

In your case, where the auditorium is on a second story, I agree it would be silly to put ramps all the way down but, on the other hand, there needs to be a secondary means of egress for people in chairs. I don't believe the laws were made simply to force compliance on certain standards but to force peole who build public building to THINK about standards and how to build them safely.

I'm sure there's some bureaucrat out there who will disagree with me on that, though! [Big Grin]

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)  
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.