Inspections and People

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There are two main sets of inspections you’ll have to worry about, the annual theatre inspection and the university’s inspections.

Annual Theatre License inspection

This comes in four parts and you need to organise each individually. It normally happens around committee changeover and the license runs from the first of May.

Building Control: The Inspector is Malcolm Kennedy who has been dealing with us for years. He comes to look at the structure of the building, widths of fire escapes, white lines on steps general tidiness and other stuff. He only comes once a year so try and make a good impression. He also checks that all the lanterns are safety chained so check them first.

Electrical Inspector: He checks the wiring of the building, fire exit lights, proximity of sockets to water, cabling, earth bonding, that kind of thing. He also performs a “simulated mains failure” which means he turns off the big red leaver in the fuse cupboard and then checks that all the fire exit lights stay on; they should be ok for four hours. Try and get the tech manager to tidy the tech box and be there on the day so they can answer the awkward questions. Make sure all the lights on the rig have safety chains on them.

Environmental Health: This person checks the building for hygiene and off food. He checks the kitchen, café and toilets. He also has a look at the rest of the building looking for rotting food and vermin. We came very close to being closed down during fringe 2001 when he found a pint of out of date milk in the kitchen fridge during a spot check. Because of this the rest of the inspection was much stricter and he wasn’t impressed at having no hand towels in the kitchen, smells in the chiller and the oven door having fallen off. So after lots of cleaning and some epoxy glue we were all ready for them to come back but they never came back outside of show times so we couldn’t show them. Also make sure all the bins have been emptied.

Fire Department: This inspection checks for all aspects of fire safety like fire exits, exit routes, exit lighting, storage areas, seat flammability, and tidiness of costume cupboard. Make sure to remove any fag ends from places they shouldn’t be and vacuum up the sawdust on the balconies.

They will phone to make an appointment with you so make sure you get any messages from them, they have turned up in the past to find nobody there and the place in a state because a message failed to be passed on.


As well as this the university fire people are in every so often fixing exit lights and refilling fire extinguishers. They seem to favour 8am on a Saturday morning...

The University also perform fire inspections. They're tough. You really need to gut the balconies for this one so plan a couple of weeks in advance and get a van to take a load to the dump. Make sure all the untreated highly flammable wood is not too visible....


Other useful people to know

Owen Quinn is the EUSA building’s manager who is in charge of all the building maintenance for EUSA buildings.