The Crowd Manager Program
The deadliest fires in U.S. history involved large places of assembly, particularly indoor venues where ways to exit the building were not immediately apparent to panicked patrons.
Crowd management is extremely important in preventing injury and fatalities from fires at places of assembly. Crowd management involves controlling groups of people at clubs, conventions, and other gatherings, and making sure that facilities are equipped to handle such crowds.
In accordance with the 2006 NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, Sections 184.108.40.206/220.127.116.11, establishments with an occupant load of
at least 50 people shall have at least one trained crowd manager or crowd manager supervisor. When the occupant load exceeds 250 people, the establishment must provide additional trained crowd managers or crowd supervisors at a ratio of one for every 250 occupants.
The Baltimore County Fire Marshal's Office has designed an educational seminar to prepare individuals to work as crowd managers at nightclubs, bars, restaurants, auditoriums, ballrooms, public/private halls and other places of assembly. This program will include: fire safety, crowd control and evacuation.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 11 a.m.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 11 a.m.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 1 p.m.
Businesses may register online. or contact Inspector Don Muddiman of the Baltimore County Fire Marshal’s Office at 410-887-4880. Applicants will be notified as soon as possible of changes in the course schedule.
Classes will be limited to 25 people, and there is no cost. All classes are held at the Public Safety Building, 700 E. Joppa Rd., Towson.
How Crowd Management Works
The classes, taught by members of the Fire Marshal’s Office, will teach prospective crowd managers how to monitor the number of occupants by counting them as they move in and out; how to keep exit paths clear; how to educate employees about keeping crowds orderly and safe during an emergency; how to identify potential problems; and how to correct code violations.
During events at nightclubs, bars and other places of assembly, fire investigators will do routine checks to make sure the establishment’s crowd management system is in place. They will assist establishments that are not in compliance.
Fire officials stress that an establishment does not need to be particularly large to pose a serious fire safety risk. The Station, a Rhode Island nightclub where 100 people died several years ago, was small, only about 40 by 70 feet, with four exits. But because employees did not guide people to the four exits in an orderly fashion, patrons stampeded to the main exit, where they all had entered, and were unable to escape the fire.
Revised January 19, 2011