25 Bluehouse Lane, Oxted, Surrey
Safe Use of Hazardous Equipment and Substances
Risk Assessment for any of the activities below that require greater
than ordinary care must be completed by the Hirer for every show and
be available immediately on request by the Duty Manager or any Barn
This guidance gives
basic practical advice on the safe use of weapons, including replicas
and deactivated weapons. It is not a substitute for proper instruction
and training or an exact interpretation of the law. However, following
this advice will help ensure the safety of all concerned.
A weapon is any
object designed to inflict bodily harm, including firearms, bows and
sharp edged instruments, such as swords and knives.
Firearms are weapons that discharge explosive gases (blanks), pellets
by compressed air (air pistols/rifles) or any form of projectile, including
shotgun pellets, bullets, musket balls, etc.
A replica weapon (prop) is one designed to look like a weapon but is
not capable of inflicting bodily harm. A deactivated weapon is one in
which the mechanisms to cause harm have been removed or disabled.
The Armourer is
an appointed member of the Hirers stage crew responsible for all weapons
and the provision of primary first aid (unless specified otherwise)
and will normally either be the person responsible for Properties or
the Stage Manager.
If a weapon is lost
or stolen the local police must be informed immediately. No one may
be permitted to leave the theatre until the weapon is recovered or the
police arrive and have granted permission for those involved to leave.
with firearms are:
- Flying objects,
e.g. shotgun pellets, bullets, arrows.
- Delayed firing
- Inhalation of smoke
N.B. People have
been severely injured or killed by blanks.
with firearms and other weapons are:
- Penetration wounds.
- Cuts and abrasions.
- Bruises and concussion.
- Public distress.
- Police response
to apparent emergency.
- Theft or loss
- An Armourer must
be present whenever a firearm, arrow, projectile or missile is being
- A competent sword
fight arranger may be appointed to take responsibility for the safe
use and storage of swords (responsibility for storage can be that of
- Appropriate training
is required in the safe use of all types of weapons.
- A sword fight arranger
will provide training and choreography for sequences under their control.
- If a misfire occurs
do not walk in front of the muzzle, as there could be a delay in firing,
caused by a slow burn lasting 2 seconds or more. In the event of a misfire
always check with the person in charge of the firearm(s).
Line of Fire
- People (cast, crew
and audience) must be kept out of the line of fire. This includes the
use of blanks.
- A competent person
must assess the possibility of exposure to noise above the Peak Action
- Hearing protection
must be used where the risk assessment has identified a risk of hearing
damage. Those behind the set should use ear defenders. If needed those
on stage may be provided with proprietary earplugs that provide adequate
When a naked flame
is to be used during a performance a member of the stage crew must
be positioned in the wings with a fire extinguisher. The flame should
be extinguished as soon as possible. If this is done on stage then
the item that has been burning, e.g. a cigarette, must be put out
and disposed of in a receptacle containing sand.
At the earliest
opportunity the item that was lit must be removed from the theatre
premises due to the risk of smouldering embers and checked to ensure
that it is completely extinguished and that it is impossible for it
- Should never be
used at frequencies above 8Hz.
- Must not be used
for more than twenty seconds at a time.
- If more than one
strobe is used they must be synchronised together.
- Warning notices
must be placed in the programme and theatre entrances.
- Never use until
- Parts of the machine
get very hot - use gloves and do not store until cooled down.
- Never leave switched
on for long periods nor unattended.
- Avoid firing directly
at people, fabrics or equipment and the operator should always have
a clear view.
- Never use more
smoke than necessary and avoid dense clouds forming over an audience
- small, frequent puffs, allowing time for dispersal, is safest and
most effective technique.
- Be aware of any
smoke detectors that may be set off.
- Make sure that
all stage crew and cast are aware when smoke is going to be used.
- Store in the special
container provided, removing only the amount required at a time - this
should be transported and stored in the cool box provided.
- Use gloves at all
- Ensure the bolier
is up to temperature and that there is no risk of scalding.
- Make sure that
all stage crew and cast are aware when dry ice is going to be used.
Lasers can only
be used by a trained operator
Smoke effect canisters
- see under Smoke Machines
- Handling, storage
and control of pyrotechnics shall be the responsibility of the Hirer
and shall be in accordance with the ABTT Code of Practice 'Pyrotechnics
and Smoke Effects' (copy available on request) except as modified below.
- Hirers must notify
the Theatre Manager prior to the commencement of their hiring of their
intention to use pyrotechnics during performances.
- Only approved equipment,
readily available on hire from theatrical suppliers, may be used. The
theatre does not provide any special equipment.
- Only small theatrical
flash devices may be used and the pod must be sited at least 30cm from
potentially combustible materials, in particular fabrics.
- One person (for
each separately located device) who is trained in the operation of pyrotechnics
is to be responsible for setting and firing the device and must be positioned
no more than 1.5m from the device, with a clear view of it and the surrounding
Disclaimer: There can be no exceptions to the above absolute conditions
of use and the Barn Theatre will accept no responsibility in relation
to the purchase, storage or use of any pyrotechnics by any person
at any time.