Tents, Canopies & Temporary Membrane Structures

Tent
A structure, enclosure or shelter, with or without sidewalls or drops, constructed of fabric or pliable material supported by any manner except by air or the contents that it protects. IFC 2402.1

Tents and membrane structures having an area in excess of 400 ft shall not be erected, operated or maintained for any purpose without first obtaining a permit and approval from the fire code official. IFC 2403.2

Fire apparatus access roads shall be provided in accordance with the International Fire Code Section 503. IFC 2403.8.1

Tents or membrane structures shall not be located within 20 feet of lot lines, buildings, other tents or membrane structures, parked vehicles or internal combustion engines. For the purposes of determining required distances, support ropes and guy wires shall be considered as part of the temporary membrane structure or tent. IFC 2403.8.2

Exits shall be clearly marked. Exit signs shall be installed at required exit doorways and where otherwise necessary to indicate clearly the direction of egress when the exit serves an occupant load of 50 or more. IFC 2403.12.6

Exit signs shall either be the internally illuminated type or shall be externally illuminated from 2 separate sources of power one of which shall either be storage batteries or an emergency generator. The emergency system provided shall have a minimum duration of 90 minutes when operated at full design demand. IFC 2403.12.6.1

Means of egress shall be illuminated with light having an intensity of not less than 1 foot-candle at floor level while the structure is occupied. IFC 2403.12.7

The required width of exits, aisles and passageways shall be maintained at all times to a public way. Guy wires, guy ropes and other support members shall not cross a means of egress at a height of less than 8 feet. IFC 2403.12.8

Before a permit is granted, the owner or agent shall file with the fire code official a certificate executed by an approved testing laboratory certifying that the tents and their appurtenances including sawdust when used on floors or passageways, are composed of material meeting the flame propagation performance criteria of NFPA 701 or shall be treated with a flame retardant in an approved manner. IFC 2404.2

Smoking shall not be permitted in tents or membrane structures. Approved “No Smoking” signs shall be conspicuously posted. IFC 2404.6

Open flame or heat producing devices shall not be permitted inside or located within 20 feet of the tent or membrane structures. IFC 2404.7

There shall be a minimum clearance of at least 3 feet between the fabric envelope and all contents located inside membrane structures. IFC 2404.11

Portable fire extinguishers, with current certification tags attached, shall be provided as required by the International Fire Code Section 906 & the Nevada Administrative Code section 477.425. (Hazard Dependant) IFC 2404.12 & NAC 477.425

Outdoor cooking that produces sparks or grease-laden vapors shall not be performed within 20 feet of a tent or membrane structure. IFC 2404.15.6

Flammable-liquid-fueled equipment shall not be used in tents or membrane structures. IFC 2404.17.1

Liquid and gas fueled vehicles and equipment used for display within tents or membrane structures shall comply with the following;
  1. Batteries shall be disconnected.
  2. Shall not be fueled or defueled within the tent or membrane structure.
  3. Fuel in the tank shall not exceed ¼ of the tank capacity or 5 gallons, whichever is less.
  4. Fuel tank openings shall be locked and sealed to prevent the escape of vapors.
  5. Shall not obstruct the means of egress. IFC2404.18
Generators and other internal combustion power sources shall be separated from tents or membrane structures by a minimum of 20 feet and shall be isolated from contact with the public by fencing, enclosure or other approved means. IFC 2404.19

The floor surface inside tents or membrane structures and the grounds outside and within a 30 foot perimeter shall be kept free of combustible waste and other combustible materials that could create a fire hazard. Such waste shall be stored in approved containers and removed from the premises at least once a day during the period the structure is occupied by the public. IFC 2404.22

This is basic information only. Codes are subject to change. Additional requirements may apply.