NFPA kick off: backstage Cirque tour

NFPA World Safety Conference and Exposition 2008
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Thursday, May 1, 2008

LAS VEGAS-Fire protection engineer Doug Evans says he specializes in "the big and the weird." Attendees at this year's National Fire Protection Association's 2008 World Safety Conference will get a chance to see some of Evans' work up close during a behind-the-scenes tour of the "The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil" show here at the Mirage Hotel.
The June 1 tour will kick off this year's NFPA conference, which will take place here at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center June 2-5. Evans—who's with the Clark County Department of Development Services and a member of the Southern Nevada Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers—will lead the tour along with representatives from the Cirque du Soleil and four other fire protection engineers.
"Fire protection aspects on the [Las Vegas] Strip are getting more and more complicated," he said. "Designers want unique, conceptual designs." The theater for this show has "no proscenium so there's no fire-rated separation between the audience and the stage . It's a high-based stage, and an open grid," he explained. "We had to work with the designers to come up with something acceptable. It was quite challenging, but that's what we do the big and the weird."
Attendees will get a chance to see how the fire protection systems work together to keep the theater safe. There will be a technical presentation and an interactive period with the engineers who worked on the project. It will also include transportation to the Mirage from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Evans said the number of attendees is limited, so those who are interested should sign up at www.nfpa.org as soon as possible.
"Even the non-technically inclined attendees are interested in getting a chance to run around the back of the house [and see the system]," Evans said.
"The NFPA, Cirque and the presenters are all very excited, and with that type of enthusiasm it has to be a great time for all." SSN