Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Do I need to Fireproof my scenery?

The idea for this post came about after we had a delivery the other week of Firecheck (as the BBC say - there are other fireproofing solutions available - we just happen to stock this one) and one of the containers had leaked in transit.
The supplier rang today to check if we need any more - end of term, summer fetes and pageants were coming up and they thought we might need to restock. We declined - we'd just ordered and whilst we sell Firecheck regularly, given that a lot of schools and colleges are preparing for shows - we don't seem to sell a lot.

Of course, it begs the question - do people bother fireproofing scenery? If not - then why not? I know that over the years I've advised folk building timber scenery to paint all the revealed timber and this will provide a similar level of safety. What do you do with draped fabrics or hanging materials, cutouts made from fibreboard or polystyrene - you can't paint a gauze you want to see through (not unless you're VERY careful)? Some folk may still be mixing their own in a metal bucket - there's enough recipes to be found in old stage management books or on the internet, but are folk doing this in schools - seriously?

As you can see in the picture above, Firecheck comes in two styles of container - a handy pump bottle or a chunky container you can decant in to a garden spray bottle. So it's a no brainer isn't it - to keep a small container handy and as you make scenery - proof it? Of course - someone will be asking why? Well, we could start with - "You're responsible for the safety of the cast and audience for your show" - burning scenery doesn't fulfil that in all honesty. Anyway? Do you really want to lose all your hard work and hours of labour because some lighting techie rigs a lantern too close to your handiwork and sets light to it? Having it fireproofed could mitigate the damage done perhaps by stopping fire spreading? Then there's the stage curtains and the auditorium window curtains  - they're fireproofed too aren't they (or shouldn't we ask?) or did you have them reproofed when you last had them cleaned?

So many questions and so little space, if you're suddenly thinking "Hold on - I need to know more" then give the office a call and we'll talk over options with you. Then again, as Firecheck will fireproof just about any material you're likely to use on stage - you could hop over to our online shop and order some anyway.