Soon, citizens of Hyderabad will get a chance to check if their favourite movie theatre is equipped to tackle major fires and whether it has taken up adequate fire safety measures to protect the lives of the patrons in case of any emergency. The Telangana Fire Services Department is planning to introduce colour labels to be stuck onto the cinema theatres, including multiplexes, indicating the level of preparedness to tackle fire mishaps.
The labels are likely to be coloured red, yellow and green. A green sticker would mean the theatre has sufficient fire fighting measures to handle emergencies and is ‘fully compliant’.
Yellow will state that the cinema hall is partly equipped and therefore ‘partly compliant’ whereas red will signify that the movie theatre is not at all safe and is ill-equipped to handle fire, hence, ‘poor compliance’.
Indicating these innovative steps, Telangana Fire Services Director General Rajiv Ratan said it was high time the step was taken in the light of the Supreme Court judgment on the Uphaar fire tragedy. The SC had, in fact, issued a series of guidelines to be implemented by all movie halls across the country. The guidelines are making it mandatory for all cinema theatres to draw up an emergency evacuation plan and get it approved by the licensing authority.
Every theatre has to screen a short documentary during each show indicating the exits, emergency escape routes and instructions on the dos and don’ts in case of a fire or any emergency.
Theatre staff should be trained in fire drills and evacuation procedures. Mandatory half-yearly inspections and a single point nodal agency consisting of experts in structural engineering, fire prevention, electrical systems, etc. for issuing licences are among the suggestions for implementation.