Last week a number of social media references were posted maintaining that the state of Connecticut banned the practice of using water barrels as a tent ballasting solution. Rumor has it that a State Fire Marshal gave a training course to the State Inspectors and water barrels became a topic of interest. The decision was made not to allow the installation of water barrels for tent ballasting. SAFTSE is not suggesting that water barrels are a valid ballasting solution, but we have seen concrete block replacements weighing less than a filled water barrel.

So the question becomes “What is the correct amount of weight needed to pass inspection?” Before you answer the question with “We have industry studies,” let’s discuss standards and consensus documentation. First, the tent rental industry is profoundly lacking in standards. You may say there are few or none, and that is why we are moving on to consensus documentation. A consensus is a general agreement amongst your peers. With that, we are at a crossroads. Should the tent rental industry accept ballasting studies that are available to members only? Giving AHJ’S access to the study, would the ballasting study be acceptable as a consensus document? As you see, members only access creates a debate between the special event partners and AHJ’S.

So, what about engineered tents? The manufacturer can provide the data, specifications, and calculations for your ballasting numbers. We will refer to these documents as construction documents. If the tent rental company does its due diligence and submits the construction documents along with the tent permit application, you may be quite surprised by the reaction from your local AHJ’S. It will be high five’s all round the office.

We are moving on to the elephant in the room, “non-engineered tents.” Our sticky wicket returns us back to the lack of standards or consensus documents that will validate our ballasting questions. However, there has been an industry formula that many of you have used, and we will refer to this formula as “Plan View.” There is a second formula on the horizon that has been reviewed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We call this “The Formula,” and the committee code development is finished, and moving on to the next step, state legislation approval.

Follow this link and Select – The Formula For Non-Engineered Tents to view a PowerPoint Presentation which SAFTSE’S advisory board participated in to offer comments and suggestions.

Do we have a possible consensus formula amongst the committee members in the Commonwealth of Kentucky? Could “The Formula” become a grassroots campaign adopted by other state or local jurisdictions?

Our consensus is yes!

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