Keeping assembly venue egress paths usable: Crowd packing in large venues

Blog Post created by laurenbackstrom Employee on Mar 20, 2012

Part 1 of 5

Large assembly venues are characterized by crowd packing where patrons often are not familiar with egress paths other than the main entrance/exit through which they entered the facility. Exhibit 1 below depicts the level of crowd packing common in assembly venues.

Compliance with applicable building, fire and life safety codes (like NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®) at time of construction provides facility operators – upon initial occupancy – with the features and systems needed to protect patrons’ lives from fire and similar emergency. These systems and features must be kept in working order. Changes, as might be made to accommodate function after the facility is up-and-running, need to be evaluated relative to their potential to adversely impact the existing life safety systems.


Large assembly venue crowd

Exhibit 1.  Assembly venue crowd packing.

Assembly venue egress systems, although code-compliant when installed, must be vigilantly inspected and maintained in order to perform as designed in time of fire or similar emergency.

For expanded commentary and additional photos, see the Life Safety Code® Handbook – 2012 available from NFPA.

-Chris Dubay