First, if you are an AHJ and have no idea what type of tent structure requires jump ropes or why you should check for jump ropes during your tent inspection take our online course “Inspection.” Don’t worry the first 25 AHJ’S whom I asked: if they knew what a Jump Rope is the response’s “No.”


Welcome E-Course "Inspection"

by Jim Erickson | Click > With Mouse Pointer to Start Audio File

Here are some guidelines for taking our course.

  • We will refer to all tents and membrane structures as tents
  • AHJ is the acronym for Authorities Having Jurisdiction, and we are lumping all of you under one heading versus calling you a fire marshal, building code official, code official, or what you use at your home base
  • There are sererval boxes that have a background picture of a microphone. Select the arrow and follow along with the instructions.
  • In chapters 2,3 and 4 you will find a photo that has an arrow. Click on the arrow and watch the video.
  • When we mention boxes, we are referring to individual sections that divide the page. Each box has a title or image, and we will refer to each one during the audio discussions

So, let’s get started by clicking on Chapter One.

Chapter 1 : An Introduction "The Inspection Sheet."

We begin by creating a living document, referred to as “The Inspection Sheet. As an AHJ orSpecial Event Provider you may have your own documentation for inspections, but in our example, we are sticking with Inspection Sheet.

Chapter 2 : Pole and TensionTents

The traditional Pole Tent features center poles, and stakes attach to ropes or web guys for tensioning. In essence, the poles support the fabric and define its shape through the tensioning to the anchoring system.

Chapter 3 : Frame and Hybrid Frame Tents

We are going to begin our next installment explaining the fundamental differences between frame and track frame tents. We have Rafter Supported Frame, Center Supported Frame, and Track Frame Tents.

Chapter 4 : Adequate Anchorage

Site layout, anchoring, and squaring carry the same value and integrity in all of our frame tent and pole tent examples. However, before we close out our inspection we need to look at a significant aspect, how is our tent attached to Mother Earth.
First, we are going to expose an anchoring myth.

Jim Erickson

Instructor Jim is a 25 plus year veteran of the Tent and Special Event Industry. Jim was instrumental in the development of a tent rental inventory and management software program for special event crew leaders, project managers, and sales staff. Jim was the General Manager of Skyway Event Services in St Paul, MN, managing operations, designs and installation of special events for Best Buy, Target, Guthrie Theater, and Irish Fest. Jim became active as the Executive Director of Tent Renters of the Midwest, a regional tent and special event association, and migrated the organization to a national non-profit group referred to as Safety Advocates for Tents and Special Events. He is also currently active in the ICC 2018-21 Fire Code Action Committee.