City of Buffalo, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Derived from the Charter and Ordinances, 1974, of the City of Buffalo as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Amusements — See Ch. 75.
Building construction and demolition; fire prevention — See Ch. 103.
Public buildings — See Ch. 111.
Hazardous materials — See Ch. 235.
Heating — See Ch. 238.
Licenses — See Ch. 263.
[Derived from Art. IV of Ch. VII of the Charter and Ordinances, 1974]
No person or persons, firm, copartnership or corporation shall keep or store, sell or offer for sale, use or have in his, their or its possession within the limits of the City of Buffalo any motion-picture film containing nitrocellulose, whether in the form of negative, raw stock, finished product or discarded scrap or used film, unless a permit in writing shall first be obtained from the Commissioner of Fire.
A. 
No building shall hereafter be occupied, used or maintained for the purposes stated in § 278-1 unless such building conforms with or shall first have been so altered, added to, extended and equipped with appurtenances and apparatus as to conform in every respect with the provisions of this Article, with the exception that automatic sprinkler installations in all buildings now occupied as specified in § 278-1 may be limited to film vaults and rooms in which film is handled, as specified in § 278-5, but in all other respects shall conform to the requirements of this section.
B. 
The following shall be excepted:
(1) 
Occupancies, other than studios, in which less than the equivalent of five standard reels are kept, stored or handled.
(2) 
Motion-picture theaters.
(3) 
Establishments manufacturing raw film stock.
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CABINET
A permanent or movable fixture or enclosure constructed and equipped in accordance with the detailed requirements of § 278-10.
DOUBLE REEL
The equivalent of 2,000 linear feet of film, weighing approximately 10 pounds.
EXCHANGE
An establishment or place in a building, which place or establishment is used for handling, storing, inspecting, rewinding or repairing film in connection with the distribution of film.
FILM VAULT
A separate room, compartment, vault or enclosure, constructed and equipped in accordance with the requirements of § 278-5.
LABORATORY
An establishment or place in a building used for the storing, perforation, printing, development, washing, fixing, drying, assembling, polishing, finishing or other operations connected with the production of either motion-picture negatives or positives.
STANDARD REEL or REEL OF FILM
The equivalent of 1,000 linear feet of film, weighing approximately five pounds.
STUDIO
An establishment or place in a building, which place or establishment contains scenery and properties and is used for the taking of motion pictures.
Studios, laboratories and exchanges shall be provided with adequate aisle space. At least two exits, remote from each other, shall be provided from each floor of each building, as required in the New York State Labor Law. Every exit shall be marked EXIT in letters not less than six inches high, by an illuminated sign with letters of the same height.
A. 
All such films shall be kept or stored in a vault or cabinet, provided and used solely for such purposes, and shall not be removed therefrom except while the same is in actual process of being displayed, inspected, examined, repaired, demonstrated, shipped or received. All film shall at all times be kept or stored in individual cans or containers, except while the same is in actual process of being displayed, wound or rewound, inspected, examined, repaired or demonstrated.
B. 
Two hundred reels (1,000 pounds) or less may be stored in cabinets, but not over 100 reels may be placed in any one cabinet. Any storage in excess of 200 reels shall be in film vaults.
C. 
No film vault shall exceed 750 cubic feet in actual storage capacity, including aisles.
D. 
A cabinet shall have a minimum volume of one cubic foot for each 19 pounds of film capacity and shall in no case have a volume exceeding 30 cubic feet.
E. 
The floor and walls of every film vault shall be made of brick at least eight inches thick or of three-cell hollow tile at least 12 inches thick, laid with webs horizontal, or of the interlocking type; or of reinforced concrete at least six inches thick, unless the vault floor is constructed directly upon the ground, in which case a minimum floor thickness of four inches of concrete, not reinforced, is permitted. In a fireproof building, the building floor may be used as the floor of the vault if equivalent in fire resistance to the requirements given above. Vaults shall be supported by masonry or steel of sufficient strength to carry the load safely. Beams shall rest at both ends on steel girders, iron or steel columns or walls or piers of masonry. The supports shall afford at least four hours' protection, as determined by the Standard Fire Test Specifications.
F. 
Where the design of the building is such that an excessive floor load would result from having the film vault filled with water, the film vault shall be provided with one or more scuppers, giving a total area of inlet equal to three square inches for each sprinkler head installed in the film vault.
G. 
The roof of vault shall be an independent reinforced-concrete roof at least six inches thick. In a fireproof building, where the floor above is equivalent to this, it may serve as the roof if side walls are rigidly tied into it. In construction of this type, a false ceiling, constructed of metal lath and cement plaster one inch thick or the equivalent and with no openings to the concealed space above, may be used to limit the total interior vault space to 750 cubic feet. A vent may extend through this false ceiling and concealed space.
H. 
Film vaults shall not be provided with skylights or glass windows other than as specified under vents.
I. 
Proximity to boilers, stacks or other sources of heat shall be avoided, and no heating coils or other heating appliances shall be allowed in any film vault.
J. 
A fire door shall be provided on each face of the wall on door openings. Doors shall conform as to construction and installation to Class B of the National Board of Fire Underwriters' regulations for the protection of openings in enclosures to vertical communications through buildings. The interior door shall be automatic. The outer door shall be of the swinging type and close into a rabbet or otherwise be made tight to prevent passage of flame around edges; it shall be self-closing and, if fastened open, shall be arranged to close automatically in case of fire originating in or out of vault.
K. 
Racks in film vaults shall be built of metal or other incombustible material and arranged to prevent film containers being placed in other position than on edge in a vertical position. Vertical incombustible partitions, equivalent in heat insulation and durability to three-eighths-inch hard asbestos and extending from floor to ceiling, shall be provided to divide racks into sections such that the amount of film protected by any sprinkler shall not exceed 830 pounds; partitions shall be substantial and have exposed edges protected. Means shall be provided to keep the containers on each side of such partitions an inch away from the same. Racks shall not obstruct any vent openings. Racks shall be so arranged that film cannot be placed under or between containers in the vertical position. Film shall not be stored or kept on the floor, unless in shipping containers approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
L. 
All lights in film vaults shall be at the ceiling and of the fixed marine type, with vaporproof globes and conduit wiring. All switches shall be outside the vault and shall be arranged with a small pilot light to indicate on outside of vault whether lights are on or off.
M. 
Each film vault and each compartment of a cabinet when the cabinet contains more than 50 pounds of film shall separately vent to the outer air, with a vent having a minimum effective sectional area of 70 square inches for each 100 reels' capacity (equivalent to 140 square inches per 1,000 pounds of film). For a standard vault of 750 cubic feet, the vent opening shall be 1,400 square inches.
N. 
The outlet of each vent shall be made to face a street, court or other clear space, giving a distance of at least 25 feet from the face of the vent to doors, windows, lot lines, other openings or exterior fire escapes in a vertical plane parallel to and facing the vent outlet. There shall also be a distance of not less than 15 feet from the side of the vent to doors, windows, lot lines, other openings or exterior fire escapes in a vertical plane at right angles to the plane in which the vent opening is placed. The requirements herein set out shall not apply to openings facing in the same direction as that in which the vent opening faces or to the rear of the face of the vent.
O. 
All horizontal or vertical vent flues inside of the building shall be of a construction equivalent to that of chimneys as specified in the Building Code,[1] except that for 100 or less reels, the flue may be riveted sheet metal of at least No. 18 United States gauge, covered with one inch of approved heat insulation material and not nearer than nine inches to any combustible material. Exterior metal flues shall be of a construction equivalent to that of smokestacks.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 103, Building Construction and Demolition; Fire Prevention.
P. 
Each vent opening directly through an exterior wall shall be protected against the weather by single thickness glass [one-sixteenth (1/16) inch thick], painted a dark color or by other incombustible fragile material, in a sash arranged to open automatically in case of fire by the use of an approved releasing device placed inside the film storage vault. The area of the glass shall be the effective sectional area of the vent openings. No pane of glass shall be smaller than 200 square inches. Any protection equivalent to the above may be accepted in lieu thereof.
Q. 
A light wire screen not coarser than one-eighth-inch mesh shall also be placed over each vent, so arranged as not to interfere with the automatic operation of the sash. Bars or screen designed to prevent burglary or injury to contents shall not have a mesh of less than four inches, shall be located inside the light wire screen and shall give a net opening equal to that called for under Subsection M.
R. 
A permanent guard shall be installed to prevent films from being forced against the vent openings.
S. 
Cabinets shall be of approved construction. Cabinets containing in excess of 50 reels of film shall be divided into at least two distinct compartments, each compartment provided with an independent door; the separating partition shall be practically airtight and of substantial construction. In general, cabinets should be of a design and so insulated as to stand at least a five-minute fire test conducted in accordance with the standard time-temperature test and also insulated to prevent the contents of one compartment being involved by a fire in the other. The following specifications will fulfill the above requirements: The racks or drawers shall be so arranged that the film containers immediately adjacent to the partitions do not touch same on either side. Spacers should be provided so as to have such containers at least 1/2 inch away from the partition on either side. Separating partitions may be constructed of three-eighths-inch hard asbestos board or of one-fourth-inch soft asbestos board enclosed between steel or iron sheets, No. 22 United States gauge. The exterior sides of cabinet and doors may be composed of one-fourth-inch asbestos board carried on a framework of angles of 1 1/4 by 1 1/4 x 1/8 inches or may be made of No. 18 United States gauge metal, double-walled with 1 1/2 inches of air space. The shelves or racks within the cabinet must be of metal and arranged to store film containers on edge and so arranged that film cannot be placed under or between containers in the vertical position. Doors to compartments shall be so arranged as to remain normally closed, shall be kept closed by catches at three points and shall be normally sufficiently tight to prevent the entrance of flame due to the burning of a reel of film in an adjoining compartment. Doors on divided cabinets shall be hinged on the separating partitions at the center of the cabinet so that they will not expose the contents of one compartment to the other in case a door is open.
A. 
Buildings, other than excepted in § 278-2, not of fireproof construction shall be equipped throughout with automatic sprinklers.
B. 
Fireproof buildings, other than excepted in § 278-2, shall be equipped throughout all floors on which film is handled, as specified in § 278-5, with an approved automatic sprinkler system, and all communications from floors so occupied and equipped to other floors of the same or adjacent buildings shall be so protected by enclosures and approved automatic fire doors as to afford a degree of fire resistance equal to that afforded by the floor construction.
C. 
Extra sprinkler heads shall be supplied, as may be required by the Commissioner of Fire, over:
(1) 
Drying drums.
(2) 
Joining or assembling tables.
(3) 
Receiving and distributing counters and other places where an excessive amount of film is handled.
D. 
Each film vault shall be equipped with automatic sprinklers, with a ratio of one head to each 62 1/2 cubic feet of total vault space, based on interior measurements. For a standard vault of 750 cubic feet, 12 standard automatic sprinklers are required. In no case shall storage space exceed 830 pounds of film per sprinkler. Sprinklers shall be arranged to give uniform distribution within the sections formed by the partitions required under § 278-5K; proper sheet-metal baffles shall be installed where necessary. Water supplies for automatic sprinklers shall be based on an estimate of 20 gallons a minute per head for 30 minutes, for the total number of heads in a vault, plus 1/2 the heads in any fire section on the same floor. Where tanks are depended upon, the minimum capacity shall be 10,000 gallons. Other details shall be as given in the National Board of Fire Underwriters' regulations governing the installation of automatic and open sprinkler equipment.
E. 
Sprinkler systems for film vaults shall be equipped with a three-fourths-inch drip line and valve, which shall be used for a weekly test. Such test will not be required if a recording pressure gauge is attached to the drip line.
F. 
Film storage cabinets holding over 50 pounds of film shall be equipped with at least one automatic sprinkler for each compartment.
G. 
Each room, other than film vaults, in which film is handled or stored, shall be equipped with at least one approved two-and-one-half-gallon chemical extinguisher and one pail of water.
H. 
Where considerable quantities of film are stored, additional protection shall be provided, as specified by the Commissioner of Fire.
A. 
Incandescent electric lights are the only form of artificial illumination that will be permitted in any rooms where films are handled. Arc lights or other forms of electric lights may be used in studios only. All wiring and equipment shall conform to the National Electrical Code, be run in metal conduit and be properly protected by nonarcing, enclosed fuses. Lights placed in drying rooms shall have rigid fixtures and be protected by marine-type, vaporproof outer globes. Such vaporproof globes may be used in other locations, but any light not so protected shall be equipped with a substantial metal guard so arranged as to prevent accidental breakage of the globe. All lights shall be equipped with keyless sockets and operated by wall switches. For lights in film vaults, see § 278-5L.
B. 
Illuminated signs reading EXIT in red letters six inches in height shall be placed at the exits of all dark rooms.
C. 
Portable electric lights on extension cords are prohibited in any room in which film is handled or stored.
Motors shall be of the nonsparking type or shall be of an enclosed type so arranged as to minimize the danger of sparks.
A. 
Artificial heating in any room where film is handled or kept may be direct or indirect, but only low-pressure steam not exceeding five pounds of hot water will be permitted, and all heat-generating apparatus shall be in a separate room. Gas and oil stoves and electric heaters are prohibited.
B. 
All steam pipes within six feet of the floor and where passing through partitions or racks or near woodwork shall be covered with approved pipe covering. Steam pipes shall not be permitted to pass through any vault. All radiators, heating coils, pipes or returns that are near the floor or are so located as to permit any combustible material, waste or dirt to come in contact with them shall be guarded and protected by means of one-fourth-inch-mesh galvanized steel wire cloth, No. 20 Brown and Sharpe gauge or its equivalent. The bottoms of guards shall be arranged so as to lift up for cleaning purposes, and the tops shall slope so that guards cannot be used as a shelf. No hot-air or other floor register shall be used, nor shall any register be less than six inches above the floor.
C. 
Fan and heater for air system shall be in a separate room.
A. 
In exchanges where the daily receipt or delivery of film exceeds 10 reels, cabinets or vaults shall be provided within 10 feet of the receiving counter into which films shall be placed immediately upon receipt. The storage vault or cabinet may be utilized to cover this requirement. The provision does not apply where films are received in Interstate Commerce Commission containers or their equivalent and left in such containers until deposited in the vault.
B. 
The number of reels of film not in individual containers shall be limited to 20 in a single room at any one time. In addition, not more than 10 reels to each operator may be kept in such room if in an approved container. All other film in the examining and repairing room awaiting attention shall be kept in vaults or cabinets.
C. 
Scrap and waste. All scrap or waste shall be kept in water, in self-closing standard metal waste cans or their equivalent and removed from the building at least once each day to a safe location; such waste to be kept separate from paper waste or other rubbish.
D. 
Cement. Any compound of collodion and amyl acetate or similar flammable cements inside the building shall not exceed the quantity required each day and shall be limited to one gallon in an approved container.
E. 
Motion-picture machines and booths in exchanges, studios and laboratories shall be safeguarded in accordance with the requirements of Section 38 of the National Electrical Code. The booth may be omitted if machines are in a separate room, adequately ventilated and enclosed by incombustible partitions. If more than five machines are in one room, each machine shall be separately enclosed in an approved booth.
F. 
Smoking is prohibited in any establishment handling or storing film, and conspicuous "no smoking" signs shall be posted in prominent places. Matches shall not be carried by any employee.
G. 
Laboratory work and experimental work shall be performed in individual rooms equipped for these purposes and separated by means of partitions from regular workrooms.
H. 
Storage of other goods or material than film is prohibited in the same vault or cabinet with film.
I. 
Perforating machines shall be equipped with reeling devices and an effective receptacle for catching chips.
J. 
Printing machines shall be equipped with reeling devices.
K. 
Joining, assembling and inspection tables shall be of noncombustible material. Tables shall be set four inches from any wall or radiator. If lights under tables are used for examination by transmitted light, the light box shall be properly ventilated and so constructed that it does not become a receptacle for film scraps and dust.
All of the several detailed standards and specifications referred to in this Article shall be kept on file in the office of the Director of New Construction for public reference.
The Commissioner of Fire may suspend or revoke any permit for noncompliance with any of the provisions of this Article.
[Derived from See. 2 of Ch. IX of the Charter and Ordinances, 1974]
No person having charge and control of any moving-picture show or any theater or place of amusement where moving pictures are exhibited shall permit the room in which the auditors or spectators are congregated to be or remain in total darkness or in such a degree of darkness that the persons there assembled cannot see one another; nor shall the owner or owners or lessee or lessees of any building knowingly permit the use of it in violation of this section.