The Proper Seating Layout in a Church Sanctuary to Avoid Fire Hazard

Posted by Ryan Owens on Jul 22nd 2014

One of the last things any church member wants to think about is facing a fire during a service. While the chances of this happening are low, the risk is just as high as in any other structure. As such, proper attention and care should be taken to ensure attendants can safely exit the building. The natural tendency for most people when faced with a life-threatening situation is to evade the danger zone, but in so doing, they often tend to injure those around them, especially in crowded venues.

How to Keep Your Congregation Safe During a Fire

Your church council should take the time to strategically situate the furniture in the space in such a way that allows for a quick and orderly departure. Keeping members calm and forcing them to leave the church in an orderly fashion is easier said than done, but their safety should be your top priority.

Seat construction is a vital component of church fire safety. Wooden pews are gorgeous and cozy but are not very practical when it comes to minimizing flames. Investing in fire-resistant church chairs will control the spread of a potential fire and give your members more time to get out of the building. Flame-retardant cushions are designed to disintegrate less quickly, so be sure to pay careful consideration to the specific fabric being used.

If you want to get technical and implement top-notch safety measures, purchase your church chairs in line with your state’s fire code. They will detail which materials are best for minimizing fire spread rates and will give you a clear idea of which furniture to buy. After choosing flame-retardant chairs, the next thing to do is focus on the best seating arrangement. Although this will ultimately depend on the size and shape of the building, there are a few helpful tips to be aware of.

Install clearly visible exit signs at each entryway so that your members know exactly where to go in case a fire starts. Chaos occurs when people lack direction, and this is an essential way to maintain order. In addition, you will want to tell your congregation to distribute themselves evenly, so that no one exit door becomes crowded. Of course, this is not possible if the fire begins near a particular door, but the more room people have to move, the better.

There should be no object directly near any of the exit areas as this can cause people to trip and potentially get trampled by the crowd. Classroom Essentials Online carries a huge selection of flame retardant church chairs and folding tables, so contact us today to learn more.