Use the Environment to Your Advantage
Increase Theater Safety with Environmental Design
Movie theaters draw large crowds which shifts the safety focus to inside the building, but unsafe conditions are likely to happen outside your theater as well. Whether an emergency inside forces patrons out, or a situation outside, there are ways to use the environment to your advantage and increase safety and security not only for the outside of your facility, but also inside. Today we are going to give you 5 ways you can increase theater safety through environmental design.
First and foremost, you should have ample lighting around your theater. This includes parking lots, walkways, and around each emergency exit leading from individual theater rooms. By creating more light, you deter those who wish harm, such as car theft, and assault after late night movies. Lighting around emergency exits should be bright, as to not cause confusion if moviegoers need to exit. The more light provided around the perimeter of your theater, the less likely people are to hide, or to go unnoticed during vandalism.
First responders have larger than normal vehicles, making it more difficult for them to navigate narrow driveways. Ensure your parking lots and emergency vehicle areas are easily accessible to their large trucks. You can call your local fire department and request they drive a truck through, if they can’t easily navigate, consider repainting parking spaces and minimizing shrubbery to ensure the quickest response possible during an emergency.
Although emergency exits are not necessarily environmental, they are effected by the environment. Emergency exits are not used often at movie theaters, so ensure your maintenance and facilities personnel are checking these areas regularly. Emergency exits should be free of clutter, both inside the theater and outside, and free of debris such as branches, litter, etc. Also ensure emergency exits are free from interference such as parked cars blocking the door.
Environmental safety doesn’t just include natural disasters, it also includes outside interference with your facility that would make it less safe. Maintenance should regularly check for these occurrences such as graffiti, broken glass, dead lightbulbs, etc. When a facility looks disorderly, it attracts more disorder, so ensure these issues are kept to a minimum and mitigated quickly when they do occur.
Another environment option for safety is fencing. Fencing is critical to keeping some risk out and away from your theater. Fencing can be used around the outer perimeter to keep wildlife and trespassers out, and it can be used to successfully block off areas that should be kept clear. You can also use fencing to lock up critical equipment and vehicles used by facility personnel.
Theaters are a favorite past time for families. As our world advances, the safety involved in everyday life must advance too. The safety focus is typically on the inside of the building; however, safety on the outside of the building is critical too. Use these tips as a starting point to environmental safety around your movie theater, and check out this post for more ideas on how other infrastructures use environmental design for a safer facility.