Text with line cross out original code proposal. Text underlined suggested change to the code proposal.

3103.2 Approval required.  Tents and membrane structures having an area in excess of 400 square feet (37 m2) shall not be erected, operation or maintained for any purpose without first obtaining a permit approval from the fire code official if the following condition(s) occur:

  1. If any one of the following:
    1. Tent or membrane structure used for a special amusement building as defined by the International Building Code in Section 411 of 400 square feet or more.
    2. Tent and membrane structure is used for Group-R occupancy of more than 15 persons.
    3. Tents and membrane structures exceeding 800 square feet as individual or the aggregate area of multiple tents and membrane structures placed side by side without a firebreak clearance of 12 feet (3658mm).
    4. Tents and membrane structures being used for cooking utilizing open flame devices with LPG fuel supply greater than 1 lb.
    5. Tents of 100 square feet of more, used for cooking, as an individual or the aggregate area of multiple tents and membrane structures placed side by side without a firebreak clearance of 20 feet from other structures and/or property lines.
  2. If any combination of two or more conditions occur:
    1. Tents and membrane structures as individual or the aggregate area of multiple tents, and membrane structures placed side by side without a firebreak clearance of 12 feet (3658mm) equal to or less than 800 square feet.
    2. Tents, and membrane structures with more than 51% of the nominal perimeter rendered inaccessible to egress by whatever means or reasons, including but not limited to, sides, drops, furniture, chairs etc.
    3. Occupancy load of 50 persons or greater for Group A and E.
    4. Occupancy load of 25 persons or greater for Group R and M.
    5. If more than 2/3 of the available area is utilized by tents, and membrane structures and their appurtenances as an individual or aggregate structure.

Exceptions:

  1. Tents used exclusively for recreational camping purposes.
  2. Tents open on all sides which comply with all of the following:

2.1 Individual tents having a maximum size of 700 square feet (65m2).

2.2 The aggregate are of multiple tents placed side by side without a fire break clearance of 12 feet (3658mm), not exceeding 700 square feet (65m2).

2.3 A minimum clearance of 12 feet (3658mm) to all structures and other tents.

 

3103.7 Inspections.  The entire tent, canopy, air supported, air-inflated, membrane structure or tensioned membrane structure system shall be inspection if erected for more than 30 days at regular intervals, but not less than two times per permit use period once in every additional period of one to thirty days, by the permittee, owner or agent to determine that the installation is maintained in accordance with the chapter.  An inspection is required after any major weather event before the tent or membrane structure is occupied and will constitute an inspection during any additional period.

3103.7.1 Third Party Inspections.  The fire code official may approve third party inspection of any tent or membrane structure. 

 

3103.8.5  Connecting corridors.  Tent, canopies or and membrane structures are allowed to be joined together by means of corridors or marquee tents. Exits doors shall be provided at each end of such corridor.  On each side of such corridor and approximately opposite each other, there shall be provided openings not less than 12 feet (3658mm) wide.

  1. Corridors and marquee tents shall not be used for occupancy and remain clear of any obstruction.
  2. When using doors at the ends of a corridor or marquee tent then door width shall be a minimum of or combination of doors as required by Table 3103.12.2 and open into the corridor or marquee tent. Exit(s) must be provided along the length of the corridor or marquee tent in accordance with Chapter 10 of the International Fire Code and Section 3103.12.  Egress pathway(s) from the corridor or marquee tent shall be clear of obstructions and appurtenances from tents and membrane structures. 
  3. If egress is planned from multiple tents or a tent and a structure through a corridor or marquee tent, then no door will be allowed at the tent end of the corridor. The width of a or series of corridors and marquee tents shall be consistent with the requirements of Chapter 10 of the International Fire Code and Section 3103.12.

TABLE 3103.12.2

MINIMUM NUMBER OF MEANS OF EGRESS AND MEANS OF

EGRESS WIDTH FROM TEMPORARY TENTS AND MEMBRANE STRUCTURES AND TENTS

OCCUPANT LOAD MINIMUM NUMBER OF MEANS OF EGRESS MINIMUN WIDTH OF EACH MEANS OF EGRESS (INCHES) MINIMUN WIDTH OF EACH MEANS OF EGRESS (INCHES)
Tent & Canopy Air Inflated/Supported Membrane Structure
1 to 49b 1b 72 36b
50 to 199b 2 72 36b
200 to 499 3 72 72
500 to 999 4 96 72
1000 to 1,999 5 120 96
2,000 to 2,999 6 120 96
Over 3,000a 7 120 96

For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm.

  1. When the occupant load exceeds 3,000, the total width of means of egress (in inches) shall not be less than the total occupant load multiplied by 0.2 inches per person.
  2. For air inflated and/or support Membrane Structures the minimum number of exits for 10 to 199 persons is 2 and the minimum width is 36 inches.

 

 

 

3103.12.3   Exit openings from tentsExit openings from tents shall remain open unless cover by a flame-resistant curtain.  The curtain shall comply with the following requirements:

  1. Curtains shall be free sliding on metal support. They shall be a minimum of 80 inches (2032 mm) above the floor level at the exit.  The curtains shall be so arranged that, when open, no part of the curtain obstructs the minimum width of the exit according to Table 3103.12.2.
  2. Curtains, or an area boarding the curtains, shall be of a color, or colors, that contrasts with the color of the tent.

 

3103.12.6  Exit signsExits shall be clearly marked.  Exit signs shall be installed at required exit doorways, openings and other where otherwise necessary to indicate clearly the location of an exit or the direction of egress when the exit serves an occupant load of 50 or more as follows:

  1. Group A and E occupancies for 50 or more persons.
  2. Group M and R occupancies for 25 or more persons.

 

3104.2  Flame propagation performance treatment.  Before a permit is granted, the owner or agent shall file the fire code official a certificate executed by an approved testing laboratory certifying that the tents and membrane structures and their appurtenances; sidewalls, drops and tarpaulins; floor coverings; bunting and combustible decorative materials and effects, including sawdust when used on floors or passage ways, are composed of materials meeting the flame propagation performance of NFPA 701 or shall be treated with a flame retardant in an approved manner and meet flame propagation performance criteria of NFPA 701, and such flame propagation performance criteria are effective for the period specified by the permit.

 

>>> add to 3104.2

 

3104.2  Flame propagation performance treatment……..

  1. For tents and membrane structures that require a treatment with a flame retardant to meet flame propagation of NFPA 701, the owner or agent shall produce certification for the following:
    • The type of flame retardant used.
    • The date of application
    • The company or agency that applied the flame retardant.
    • The date the application expires on.
  2. For tents and membrane structures that don’t require an applied flame retardant to meet flame propagation of NFPA 701, the owner or agent shall produce certification for the following:
    • The manufacturer of the fabric and/or material
    • The standard applied, such as NFPA or ASTM the material or fabric was tested for and passed.
    • The a date for the manufacture of the tent or membrane structure.
  3. The owner or agent shall file with the fire code official the certification that’s applicable for the tent or membrane structure before the permit is granted.
  4. Additional items shall be certified as flame retardant either by label on the item such as ; sidewalls, drops, bunting, or by certification prior to granting the permit for items such as sawdust, floor coverings, combustible decorative materials and effects that any of these items meet flame propagation of NFPA 701.

Reason:

Modern tents and membrane structures are made with inherently fire retardant materials that don’t require re-treatment and don’t wear or wash away.  The origin of the was from the Barnum fire where the canvas tent was waterproofed with a paraffin based product and contributed to the disaster.  Where the owner or tent rental companies for example might know which “tent” is to be install, appearances such as sidewalls are very interchangeable and thus should be part of the field inspection and not part of the permit process.  However other items that could pose a fire threat such and decorations should demonstrate the flame retardancy before the event.

 

3104.3 Label.  Membrane structures or tents shall have a permanently affixed label bearing the identification of the size and fabric or material type.

——– Alternative

3104.3 Label.  Tents, membrane structures, sidewalls, drop and other installed decorative materials, shall have a permanently affixed label bearing the identification and information as follows:

  1. The size of the label shall be a minimum of 6″ by 9” using ASTM XXXXXX.
  2. For tents and membrane structures which are not sectional with a nominal square footage of 800 sqft (       ) only one label is necessary per tent or membrane structure , otherwise two labels opposite to each other are required for tents or sectional tents and membrane structures with nominal square equal to or greater than 800 square feet.
  3. For decorative materials, such as tent liners or drapes, an identifying label sufficient in size with a minimum of xx points of typeface shall be sufficient to identify the section.
    1. For decorative materials a label of ownership shall not be required as defined in 3104.3-6.
  4. For sidewall, drops or similar fabric any section must have a label any sectional sidewall, drop or similar fabric section comprising more than 20 percent of the total area of that piece requires its own label.
  5. Labels shall contain the same information as indicated in 3104.4 for Certification.
  6. A label indicating the owner of, or installer of the tent if different from the user. This should be a second label following ASTM XXXXX of 6” by 9” in size with information including the owner of the tent, address and contact information.  The number and placement of labels shall be consistent with 3104.3-2

 

Reason:  This clarifies the need and size of the labels.  For sidewalls tent manufactures and rental companies have argued about the size and number of label.  For two piece sidewalls that have a significant “second” piece a label will be required where this was not clear in the past.  Also then need for multiple labels in sections more than 800 square feet is a new requirement.

 

 

3104.4 Certification.  An affidavit or affirmation shall be submitted to the fire code official and a copy retained on the premises on which the tent, membrane or air-supported structure is located. The affidavit shall attest to the following information relative to the flame propagation performance criteria of the fabric:

  1. Names and address of the owners of the tent or air-supported structures.
  2. Date the fabric was last treated with flame-retardant solution.
  3. Trade name or kind of chemical used in treatment.
  4. Name of the persons or firm treating the material.
  5. Name of testing agency and test standard by which the fabric was tested.

 

  1. If the tent, membrane structure or other materials require the application of a flame retardant the following is required:
    1. Names and address of the owners of the tent or air-supported structures.
    2. Date the fabric was last treated with flame-retardant solution.
    3. Trade name or kind of chemical used in treatment.
    4. Name of the persons or firm treating the material.
    5. Name of testing agency and test standard by which the fabric was tested.
  2. If the tent, membrane structure or other materials are inherently flame retardant the following is required:
    1. The manufacturer of the fabric or material, date of manufacture and the standard it was tested under.
    2. The manufacturer of the tent, membrane structure, or decorative material if different from the manufacturer of the fabric material.
    3. The date of manufacturer for the product and the standard the product was tested under.

3104.12 Portable fire extinguishers.  Portable fire extinguishers shall be provided as required by Sections 906.  A Fire extinguisher shall be at or within 6’ of and exit and its location and visibility shall follow NFPA section 10.  Additional fire extinguishers shall be required as set forth in NFPA 10 and/or as requested by the fire code official.  The minimum size of the extinguisher is 10 lb ABC type or as required by the fire code official .

 

 

11-24-14