Now that the weather is getting warmer, more of us are going to concerts and sporting events. But would you know what to do in an emergency, like a fire? A few seconds could mean the difference between life and death. So here are some fan-safety tips from one of our listeners: Gil Fried. Chairperson of Sport Facility Management at the University of New Haven. And the only professor in America who teaches classes in crowd management.
- Go in groups. And wear distinctive clothing so you can find each other in the chaos. Then, pick a place away from the facility where you can meet up if you have to evacuate in a hurry.
- Check the layout. In other words, what shape is the venue. Round or rectangular? Do the floors slope? Would rain create mushy footing? Make note of anything that could compromise your safety. Professor Fried recalls a kid who was badly injured when he slid down a muddy hill at a concert and landed headfirst in a drainage pipe he didn’t see.
- When you reach your seats, locate all the nearby exits. You may not be able to get to the closest door in an emergency.
- Also, if you’re at a ballpark, consider whether your seat raises your risk of being hit by a ball or bat. Most baseball fields screen the area behind home plate, so the most dangerous seats are down the first and third base lines where foul balls fly.
- The final safety tip is for festival seating – that’s when there aren’t any assigned seats. If you’re in a concert ‘mosh pit,’ stand near the sides, instead of by the railing in front of the stage. Why? Because once the crowd rushes toward the band, you could be trapped with no place to go. And if you feel unsafe at any time, tell security at the railing that you want to be lifted out.