Code revision process reaches final voting stage.
A proposal to regulate outdoor events regardless of the presence of tents or special event structures was approved at the Public Comment Hearing of the International Code Committee (ICC) in October.
This proposal (F310-16), submitted by the Fire Code Action Committee, had been disapproved at the code committee’s Committee Action Hearing (CAH) in April. The committee suggested changes were needed, and those changes were made in a Public Comment. Of note, it allows code officials to use their discretion on enforcement for this new section of code, a change that the Tent Rental Division (TRD) of IFAI supported.
Proposals previously approved at the CAH that received no public comment are adopted into the 2018 Model Code by consensus agenda. This includes the code proposal most significant to TRD members, F300-16, which will require site or engineering documentation for tents with either 1,000-person occupancy and/or 7,500 square feet.
Other code proposals included in the consensus agenda cover umbrella structures, special amusement buildings, tests for flame propagation criteria and a reorganization of Chapter 31 of the International Fire Code (IFC).
“It was recommended that with the reorganization of Chapter 31 and all the changes coming down that TRD help assist ICC staff to write the commentary for the 2018 fire code,” says Tom Markel, TRD Code Committee chair and owner of Bravo Events, Buffalo, N.Y.
Markel, who attended the hearing on behalf of TRD, also explored reintroducing in the next code cycle some of TRD’s code change proposals that it withdrew from this cycle. Markel says that TRD proposals would be more appropriate to promote event safety and match industry needs.
“It takes time and effort to make code officials familiar with industry proposals, therefore we need to continue to educate code officials on the needs and capabilities of the industry,” he says. TRD is exploring becoming a preferred educational provider to the ICC to offer its established educational courses to code officials.
The online governmental consensus voting period was set for Nov. 8–21, after this publication’s deadline. The ICC is scheduled to post a summary of final actions on code changes to the IFC on Dec. 6 at www.iccsafe.org.
TRD efforts to write an ASTM F24 standard for anchorage began in earnest in November. The standard will include basic information from the TRD tentage handbook, the staking and ballasting studies, and standardize anchorage documentation for pole, frame and clearspan tents. Once approved, the standard could be submitted as a code proposal to the ICC for the 2021 Model Code.
International Fire Code proposals related to tents
F298-16: Umbrella structures Expands the definition of “tent” in the code to include umbrella structures.
F299-16: Special amusement buildings Requires that tents used as special amusement buildings such as haunted houses install sprinkler systems.
F300-16: Site-specific engineering Requires site or engineering documentation for tents with either 1,000-person occupancy and/or 7,500 square feet.
F303-16: Flame propagation and labeling Clarifies the appropriate test for flame propagation performance criteria.
F306-16: Portable propane Governs the use of portable propane tanks in contact with the ground in short-term applications.
F307-16, F308-16, F309-16: Special Event Work Group proposals Makes editorial changes and reorganizes Chapter 31.
F310-16: Outdoor events Regulates outdoor events regardless of the presence of tents or special event structures.