Free crowd manager training available for Massachusetts businesses

Massachusetts News

In this May 27, 2020, photo, a worker at Brasserie Beck, a restaurant along K Street in downtown Washington, power washes the outdoor seating area. The nation’s capital is starting to reopen, Starting May 29, a tiny slice of pre-pandemic normality starts returning to the city as the three-month old coronavirus stay-home order is replaced by the first phase of a reopening plan(AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

(WWLP) — A crowd manager is required in Massachusetts at all nightclubs, dance halls, and restaurants/bars that have an occupancy of 100 or more people. The Massachusetts Department Fire Services is reminding business owners that a crowd manager is important to have as more restaurants begin to open.

Every facility must have one crowd manager for every 250 occupants when the facility is open. Read Requirements for Crowd Managers for an overview of the law, the training program, and the requirements for crowd managers. 

Crowd managers must:

  • Maintain clear paths of egress
  • Assure that the facility does not exceed its occupant load limit
  • Initiate a fire alarm if necessary and direct occupants to exits
  • Assure that audible announcements are made before each program or performance notifying occupants of emergency exit locations
  • Complete the Fire and Building Safety Checklist daily, before the facility opens.
  • Keep completed checklists on file and available to fire and building code officials for at least one year.

The checklist includes safety checks of:

  • Fire alarm and fire protection systems
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Exits and exit signs
  • Interior finishes
  • Means of egress
  • Crowd control procedures
  • Building occupancy limits

Crowd manager training and certification

Crowd managers must be certified (trained and tested) every three years. The free program is available online. Recertification includes both training and testing.

To become a certified crowd manager you must successfully complete the online crowd manager training program. The training increases awareness of factors involved in fires in nightclubs, dance halls, discothèques, or bars and includes information about:

  • Basic fire safety
  • Responsibilities of the crowd manager
  • Requirement to complete a Fire and Building Safety Checklist daily

The training takes about 40 minutes and is followed by a test. If users answer 70% of test questions correctly, they can print a certificate of completion. If not, they can take the exam again. If a user fails the test a second time, they can take the training program again.

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