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Fire codes toughen up for festival seating

The Standards Council of the National Fire Protection Association last week issued amendments to the Association's two key safety codes. Prompted by recent nightclub tragedies in both Rhode Island and Chicago, the amendments institute requirements that are said to be among the nation's most stringent.

Effective mid-August, the new requirements call for fire sprinklers in all new nightclub-type facilities, and for existing nightclubs with occupancies exceeding 100.

Also issued were restrictions to festival seating when occupancies exceed 250 (unless a life-safety evaluation is performed), a requirement for crowd managers for all places of assembly, and requirements for regular egress inspection and record-keeping for existing nightclubs.

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