Austin Fire Marshal stepping up inspections for ACL

The fire department wants to make sure all the bars in downtown are up to code.

AUSTIN - The ACL Music Festival is kicking off a busy month of events for Austin, and the Austin Fire Department wants to make sure all the bars in downtown are up to code.

Inspectors from the Fire Marshal's Office make inspections throughout the year, but extra inspectors will start making unannounced inspections during the festival. They want to make sure bars have the proper permits.

Fire Marshal Rob Vires walked through the Blind Pig on 6th Street and demonstrated what inspectors are looking for. He checked exit signs to make sure they lit up on their own in case the power went out. He also checked the back doors to make sure they properly opened and that those back doors weren't blocked by vehicles.

There will be huge crowds in downtown this upcoming weekend not just from ACL, but also from the UT-Kansas football game.

Vires said It's not easy to keep a place from overcrowding.

"With the volume of people that come down wanting to have a good time, it's a challenge for the club owners, the supervisors on duty at the time, and us as well and we want to make sure folks have a good time. There's plenty of places for folks to go, we just want to make sure they don't all try to fit into the same location at the same time," said Vires.

In 2016, Inspectors completed more than 4,400 inspections during special events like ACL, South by Southwest and F1. Inspectors gave out four citations for overcrowding during ACL 2016.

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