The Insanity Will Continue Without Inspection & Enforcement

When there is a photo or video of a questionable tent installation that does not meet reasonable expectations, social media starts a feeding frenzy, and the insanity only intensifies. Adding fuel to the insanity, the Fire Code Official has limited resources but still has a duty to follow the guidelines stated in the International Fire Code to inspect and enforce tent and membrane structure permits. However, the resources that are necessary to comply with each permit becomes the responsibility of the tent rental company which must follow manufacturer’s suggested installation procedures. Well, that is a bit of a stretch and I am sure we will all start wearing rose colored glasses and singing Kum by Yah around a campfire.

“No harm no foul, right?”

Imagine this, what if you were driving on the interstate and the speed limit sign says 70 MPH, then the next sign says “Due to lack of resources there will not be a patrol car for the next 100 miles.”  The decision is then whether to stay within the speed limit or follow the current traffic flow and knowingly break the law. No harm no foul, right?

“The obligation of the Fire Code Official”

The same problem exists when applying for a tent permit without inspection, there is no enforcement. The obligation of the Fire Code Official is stated clearly in the IBC “Scope and Administration” stating that The building code is intended to be adopted as a legally enforceable document and it cannot be effective without adequate provisions for its administration and enforcement. The IFC “Scope and Administration states This chapter contains provisions for the application, enforcement and administration of subsequent requirements of the code. The same obligation to follow the IBC and IFC regulations applies to the tent rental companies. Without collaboration between installation and inspection, the insanity will continue.

“Insanely strict enforcements”

The tent rental industry can wait and have another Indiana State Fair tragedy which will lead to insanely strict enforcements or champion a collaborative safety model.

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