IFAI’s Tent Rental Division (TRD) Steering Committee, Code Committee and ASTM Committee are developing code revision proposals that will be submitted to the International Code Council (ICC) for consideration during the code cycle for the 2021 edition of the I-Codes. TRD committee members are also participating in meetings of the Special Event Work Group sponsored by the ICC Fire Code Action Committee (F-CAC). This work group also develops proposals for code revisions. The ICC’s deadline for receiving proposals is Jan. 8, 2018.
Two proposals related to flame propagation, tent labeling and certification are under discussion, one of which is a TRD-led proposal.
The Code and ASTM committees are also working on a proposal for Chapter 31, section 3109.9–Structural and Anchorage. This section was revised in the 2018 code cycle; however, code officials who have tried to implement it have found it to be unworkable. Foreseeing this problem, TRD negotiated for a modification of the proposal during the last code cycle—raising the square footage and occupancy levels that would trigger site-specific engineering—so that it would have less of an impact on the industry. The structural proposal TRD is developing will address all levels of occupancies and require structural analysis and documentation. Such a requirement would be “business as usual” for some tent rental companies, says Tom Markel, TRD Code Committee chair and owner of Bravo Events of Buffalo, N.Y. But for other tent rental companies, this change would require more diligence with regard to permits and installation, he says.
Additional proposals under discussion relate to tent inspections and allowance of third-party inspectors, fire extinguishers and sprinkler requirements.