Guest Blogger Bruce Johnson

In the previous (February 9, 2017) Blog post, I explained the make-up and responsibilities of the ICC Fire Code Action Committee (F-CAC) and the Tents and Special Events Work Group for developing new requirements for the 2018 International Fire Code (IFC) Chapter 31 (Tents, Temporary Special Event Structures and Other membrane Structures). 

This post will explain the successful proposals and how these requirements will improve safety for special outdoor events and temporary tents.

 Summary of Successful Proposals

 Proposal F299-16

Summary: Requires tents/membrane structures erected as a special amusement building to be protected with a fire sprinkler system.  The IFC and IBC (International Building Code) have specific safety requirements for all structures meeting this definition.  This proposal clarifies that these safety provisions apply to tents used as a special amusement building, including the requirement for a fire sprinkler system.

SPECIAL AMUSEMENT BUILDING. A building that is temporary, permanent or mobile that contains a device or system that conveys passengers or provides a walkway along, around or over a course in any direction as a form of amusement arranged so that the egress path is not readily apparent due to visual or audio distractions or an intentionally confounded egress path, or is not readily available because of the mode of conveyance through the building or structure.

Proposal F303-16

Summary: Clarifies NFPA 701 test method for flame propagation performance treatment of tent fabric

Proposal F306-16

Summary: Made minor changes for propane regulations to correlate with IFC Chapter 61 (Liquefied Petroleum Gases).

Proposal F307-16

Summary: Corrects a reference to PLASA ANSI E1.21 Standard for Temporary Structures Used for Technical Production of Outdoor Entertainment Events.

The SCOPE of the PLASA ANSI E1.21standard is: The temporary structures within the scope of this document shall be limited to those dedicated to the technical production of outdoor entertainment events. The general public access temporary structure such as food vendor tents, portable toilets, and other portable temporary structure for directly serving the audience or attendees at outdoor entertainment events are not included in the scope of this standard. The ccustom temporarystructure supporting performance platforms are included in the scope of this document.

This document does not include pre-engineered, manufactured, modular staging systems used as a performance platform independent of other temporary structure.

This document establishes a minimum level of design and performance parameters for the design, manufacturing, use and maintenance of temporary ground supported structures used in the production of outdoor entertainment events. The purpose of this guidance is to ensure the structural reliability and safety of these structures and does not address fire safety and safe egress issues.

Proposal F308-16

Summary: Changes “temporary stage canopy” to “temporary special event structure” to harmonize with the terminology used in the ANSI E1.21 standard.

 There were three other proposals approved for inclusion in the 2018 IFC addressing structural requirements for tents, safety planning requirements for all outdoor events (with or without  tents or temporary special event structures) and a general re-organization of 2018 IFC Chapter 31 for improves understanding and ease of use.

Those remaining topics will be covered in my next Blog.

 

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