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Conducting a site survey

Safety & Codes | October 1, 2008 | By:

Q: How do I conduct a site survey?

A: A site survey gathers all the pertinent information regarding the proposed function or event, including event time, number of guests, traffic flow, location, prevailing weather conditions and so on.

Site surveys allow you to organize the information into an effective means of clear communication for all parties involved, including the tent rental company, fire department, client, caterer, local authorities and any other vendors or contractors. A site survey also serves as a permanent record for the entire transaction.

The site survey should be performed by a qualified professional with setup experience, such as a sales consultant or crew chief. The person doing the survey should be familiar with customer and event needs as well as with tent installation. After the site survey is completed, it should be given to those responsible for the installation.

Identifying safety concerns is the most important function of a site survey. Consider:

  • obstructions, both overhead and underground
  • obstacles such as fences, fountains, trees, bushes, gardens or anything else in the path of the tent’s desired location
  • site location, both in terms of how far it is from your warehouse and also the location of the tent on the site
  • weather, including season, temperature, wind, rain and snow loads
  • wind exposure, including prevailing winds, and whether there is natural protection for the tent from buildings, tree lines and so on
  • access to the site for both workers and guests
  • surface type for safe anchoring: asphalt, grass, dirt or concrete.

Site surveys should not be viewed as inconvenient or unnecessary. Each tent installation should start with a thorough site survey to keep everyone on the same page to identify potential problems and to ensure you’re charging an appropriate amount for the installation.

Michael Tharpe is the sales manager for TopTec Products LLC and a member of the TRD Safety Committee. For more information on safety, visit

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