Keeping assembly venue egress paths usable: Line-of-sight at attractions

Blog Post created by laurenbackstrom Employee on Mar 21, 2012

Part 2 of 5

Attractions, like a concert by a musical group or competition between rival sports teams, draw patrons to assembly venues. Providing good line-of-sight of the attraction is paramount to the success of the venue. Tiered seating is provided to help assure line-of-sight. Patrons traverse the multiple seating elevations via stepped aisles which create potential for trips and falls.

The model codes, like NFPA 101® – Life Safety Code®, where used to construct the facility, provide a safe and usable stepped aisle, complete with handrails to help arrest a fall in its initial stage. But, the aisle floor coverings and the cues to safe aisle use, such as cautionary marking striping at the leading edge of each tread, must be maintained. Exhibit 1 below depicts tread nosing marking attempted with the use of tape that is set back from the nosing or leading edge of the tread. Note that the tape is not permanent and has peeled back from the tread. Had the tape been positioned at the nosing or leading edge of the tread, it would have been subject to greater wear by users and would have failed earlier. Exhibit 2 shows nosing marking accomplished by the contrasting floor covering used at the leading edge of the tread. Its presence and effectiveness is expected to last for years.


Attractions 1

Exhibit 1. Stepped aisle nosing marking attempted with nonpermanent tape. (Photo courtesy of Jake Pauls)


Attractions 2

Exhibit 2.
Stepped aisle nosing marking accomplished with permanent flooring material. (Photo courtesy of Jake Pauls)


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