Burden of Proof Begins With the Installer

During the tent permit application process, the burden of proof becomes the responsibility of the individual or company who has applied for the permit. However, every partner involved in producing the event shall provide documentation that is compliant with the tent permits if relevant to the event.

The juggernaut is the size of the event. We all agree that no matter how many people are attending the event they deserve to be safe. The event procedures for 50 people versus 500 or 5000 are the same. The difference is the number of qualified people required to perform the tent permit regulations.

IFC Chapter 31 has regulations that relate to maintaining a safe environment for our guests. The question here is what the AHJ and installers obligations are to form a safe environment under reasonable expectations and still fulfill the permit’s guideline and be profitable. That is the question SAFTSE presented to a group of AHJ’S, manufacturers, and tent rental companies at a recent webinar.

After an informative discussion, the panel agreed that when applying for a permit begin with these four requirements.

  1. Provide a manufacturer installation guideline. A PDF format is acceptable.
  2. Demonstrate adequate anchorage.
  3. Submit egress drawings of the site locations and interior.
  4. Provide Event Partner’s contact information and

Following the conclusion of the webinar and for the next serval days, SAFTSE received comments from the panel concerning the lack of consensus documents or standards for staking and ballasting.  SAFTSE suggested adding to our list an evacuation plan that removes people from under a tent or structure and off of the site to a safe-haven if there is a sustained wind between 30-35 mph. We used Hurricane Harvey and Irma as a reference; the National Weather Bureau stated that the conditions were not safe at 35 mph, and once the wind exceeded 45 mph, the Governors of Texas and Florida announced that First Responders were grounded until the winds decreased below 45 mph. Comparing the variables of what is an adequate anchorage regulation versus a wind measurement created by a device or application is far more palatable to the AHJ’S.

SAFTSE suggestion is that you schedule a meeting with your AHJ’S, and suggest the above four requirements including an evacuation plan. Then you, as an installer “Will Have Provided the Burden of Proof.”

Until next time this is Jim Erickson reminding you that our number one priority is Life Safety.

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