Many building managers and owners are unaware that auditorium and theatre curtains and stage drapes are subject to annual fire safety inspections and the requirement for a maintenance log. It is also often assumed that these items form part of a checklist during the annual inspection by the fire brigade or fire safety officer.
Unfortunately, this is not the case, as this checklist only covers items such as firefighting emergency equipment and systems, not stage curtains or auditorium drapes. The Building Code of Australia (BCA) also requires that curtains and drapes are tagged with a label that has a specific/minimal amount of relevant information that identifies their compliance.
The current Fire Safety Code under section C1.10 of the Building Code of Australia requires that “Fire Hazard Properties” are “maintained to conform to the AS/NZS1530.3 fire code standard (NSW AS/NZS1530.2 and AS/NZS1530.3).” Water damage, stains and accumulated dust contribute to the deterioration of the existing flame retardant in stage curtains and drapes, greatly reducing its ability to inhibit the spread of fire. Curtains and drapes should be assessed for compliance annually.