TENTS

Tents shall be permitted on a temporary basis. There must be a minimum of 10 feet between stake lines. Adjacent tents must allow a means of egress from one tent to the other without interruption. A fire safety permit must be issued before any tent maybe erected. Public Safety requires a site map drawling and a detailed narrative of the activity and reason for the tent. Public Safety may suggest or alter certain details pertaining to the location and set up arrangements before issuing a permit. Every tent will require at least one portable fire extinguisher to be furnished and additional extinguishers if any cooking equipment or heat sources are operated under the tent

Tents shall be permitted on a temporary basis. There must be a minimum of 10 feet between stake lines. Adjacent tents must allow a means of egress from one tent to the other without interruption. A fire safety permit must be issued before any tent maybe erected. Public Safety requires a site map drawling and a detailed narrative of the activity and reason for the tent. Public Safety may suggest or alter certain details pertaining to the location and set up arrangements before issuing a permit.

Inspection

The Public Safety Services may inspect any tent to determine compliance with these guidelines. Any violations must be corrected prior to the use of the tent, or immediately if discovered during the event.

Flame Resistance and Structure

All tent fabric must be flame resistant.

A certificate or other proof of approval by a testing laboratory is acceptable as evidence of the required fire resistance. A copy of the certificate must be provided to Public Safety upon request. These certificates should be available from the tent supplier.

Tent suppliers must be able to certify that tents have been erected in accordance with manufacturer recommendations, industry standards, and code requirements.

Floor Coverings

The area enclosed by any tent and not less than 10 feet outside of such tent, must be cleared of all flammable or combustible material or vegetation. Prior to erecting the tent, the premises must be kept free from such flammable or combustible materials during the period for which the area is used.

No hay, straw, shavings, or similar combustible materials are permitted within any tent unless they have been treated to make them flame retardant. A certificate or other proof of approval by a testing laboratory indicating that the material has been properly treated is acceptable as evidence. A copy of certificates must be provided to Public Safety Services prior to placing the material within a tent. These certificates are available from the material manufacturer or supplier.

Exits and Occupant Load for Enclosed Tents

Tents that have sides attached and rolled up are capable of being enclosed and must meet these requirements even if it is intended for the tent to remain unenclosed during the event.

The number of separate exits required for enclosed tents is based on the floor area of the tent. The maximum number of occupants, called the occupant load, is also based on the floor area of the tent. 

Occupant Load (floor area of tent) Number of Exits (minimum)
49 (343 sq ft) or less 1
between 50 (350 sq ft) and 499 (3,493 sq ft) 2
between 500 (3,500 sq ft) and 999 (6,993 sq ft) 3
1000 or more (7,000 sq ft) 4

 

The occupant load is decreased when tables and chairs are used (banquet style) - the number of required exits remains the same because exits are based on floor area.

The following calculation will determine the occupant load with tables and chairs: o net square footage of tent floor area / 15 = occupant load with tables and chairs o \2,500 square feet (floor area) - 200 square feet (stage area) / 15 = 153 persons

Example: The number of occupants allowed, with tables and chairs, in a 50'X50' tent with a 10'X20' stage.

Each exit must be provided with an exit sign. The word "EXIT" must be plainly legible in letters at least 6 inches high and with strokes not less than ¾ inch wide. If the tent is to be occupied after sunset, emergency lighting must be provided. In most cases, the tent company can provide exit signs and emergency lighting.

Exit Requirements for All Tents

The minimum width of an exit must not be less than 32 inches. Guy wires or guy ropes must not cross an exit at a height of less than 7 feet. Where tents are placed near fences or other obstructions, a clear exit path must be maintained to an area sufficiently away from the tent. Tent stakes must be railed off, capped, or covered.

Fire Protection

One portable fire extinguisher (dry chemical ABC type) must be furnished at each exit of an enclosed tent. The college host or sponsor for the event using the tent is responsible for ensuring that fire extinguishers are provided. If necessary, arrangements for portable fire extinguishers may be made by contacting Public Safety Services. Smoking is prohibited in any tent.

Pyrotechnics, open flames (including use of sterno and other food warming devices), and cooking equipment must be approved in advance by the Office of Public Safety. Commercial cooking equipment such as grills and broilers, when used within a tent, must meet the same requirements for indoor commercial kitchens (i.e., proper ventilation, fire suppression systems). Commercial cooking operations must be protected by an approved kitchen fire suppression system.

Electrical Electric heaters located inside a tent shall be placed away from walkways, aisles, and means of egress. Electrical cords should be suitable for outside use and sufficient size to handle the electric load The electrical system and equipment must be isolated from the public by proper elevation or guarding. All electrical fuses and switches must be enclosed in approved enclosures. Cables on the ground in areas travel by the public must be placed in trenches or protected by approved covers (yellow jacket etc.). All electrical systems must be properly grounded. Generators must be placed so that exhaust fumes do not enter tents and be at least 15 feet from tents. Electrical Installations must comply with the National Electrical code (NFPA 70).

Propane Heating Systems

Heaters shall be of either electric or liquefied petroleum gases sources. Containers of LPG shall be installed not less than five feet from any tent and placed away from aisles or walkways or means of egress. LPG tanks shall be secured in an upright position and protected from vehicle traffic. Tanks shall be no closer than 10 feet to the tent. All propane tanks shall be labeled. All propane tanks shall be stored in the upright position. The heating system shall be installed in accordance with its listing.

Applicable Standards

NFPA 1, Fire Prevention Code

NFPA 101, Life Safety Code

NFPA 102, Standard for Grandstands, Folding and Telescopic Seating, Tents, and Membrane Structures

NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations

NFPA 70, National Electrical Code

Insurance Requirement

Outside groups are required to provide evidence of insurance by way of certificate of insurance that names Gettysburg College as coinsured for the event. Certificates of insurance must be provided to Conference Services or host department.

GRANDSTANDS

Portable Grandstands

Portable grandstands shall be self contained and shall have all the necessary parts to withstand and restrain all forces that might be developed during human occupancy. Spaces under the grandstand shall be kept free from flammables and combustibles. Side and back rails must be provided to prevent falling from normal and reason actions. Maintenance of Grandstands Any annual inspection and required maintenance are required to be performed on all portable and permanent grandstand areas. Board and trench replacements as well as supports will be done as needed. Cleaning and painting shall be done as needed.