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Ways to dodge disaster

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  • Ensure tent components are in good condition and the tent is installed according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Do not allow customers to assist in installing tents. They are less familiar than your employees with the equipment and installation process. And if they are injured in the process, you will be held liable.
  • Include a hold-harmless condition in your rental contract, stating that the renter agrees not to hold you responsible for damage or injury resulting from the rented tent.
  • Ask subcontractors for certificates of liability insurance naming you as an additional insured for the job.
  • Warn the renter that a tent is a temporary structure that does not provide adequate protection from storms.
  • Recommend that the renter have an evacuation plan and that people be evacuated from the tent in high-wind conditions.
  • Check on tents that have been up for several days to ensure they are still secure. Keep records indicating such checks and any adjustments made.
  • Keep an eye on weather patterns leading up to and during the rental period. If a big storm is predicted, cancel the job or, if the tent has already been installed, take it down. Compare the loss of revenue to the potential loss of damage to property or injury to people.

Janice Kleinschmidt is a freelance writer and editor based in Palm Springs, Calif. Maura Paternoster works wtih ARA Insurance Services.

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