Marquees; Safety and fire standards
Although marquees and tents do not have to meet the same requirements as a building, certain safety measures must be observed. These measures affect in particular the solidity of the structure, the means of escape, the flammability of materials and the propagation of flames to neighboring buildings.
You will find all the standards that deal with fire prevention and personal safety during the occupation and operation of tents and marquees in the CNPI (National Fire Prevention Code). The regulations may vary from one municipality to another.
What are the safety measures to follow when setting up a tent or marquee?
Several safety measures must be observed when installing a marquee. Some minimum rules are presented here, as an indication, to facilitate the understanding and the application of the codes. These rules relate to the most common arrangements of tents and marquees. For more complex equipment (internal partitions, raised floors, presence of bleachers, stage and others) fire safety must be carried out which will take into account the specific features of the installations.
Before undertaking any installation, it is necessary to plan the layout of the site taking into account factors such as soil resistance, drainage slopes, the presence of high voltage wires and the proximity of neighboring buildings.
Classic Marquees have the expertise to guide you during the creation of your most complex events. Contact us to ensure a professional job!
Solidity of the structure
The structural elements of the marquee (posts, turnbuckles, straps, anchors and others) and the arrangements installed therein such as bleachers, stands and stages must be designed and checked periodically by an engineer. The latter must be able to certify that the equipment concerned and its installation comply with the applicable standards.
Never attempt to work on a marquee, tent or other temporary shelter without the authorization of a Chapiteaux Classic representative, such as adding decorative or utilitarian elements, as this could unbalance the forces that ensure the integrity of the installation.
Resistance to the spread of fire
The fabrics of our tents and marquees and the materials used have a certain resistance when exposed to a flame. This resistance is the result of a chemical treatment called fireproofing. Ingnifuging a marquee reduces its flammability.
Chapiteaux Classic , conforms to standard CAN / ULC-S109 Tests of fire behavior of non-flammable fabrics and films . The fireproofing treatments must be renewed as needed. During your next rental, do not hesitate to ask us for your fireproofing certificate. This certificate will be requested by the fire department, which always visits the premises before an event held under a marquee in a public place.
Spaces and clearances
In order to limit the risk of fire spreading between the marquees and any other surrounding elements (equipment, buildings, vegetation and others), it is essential to respect certain clearances. Tents and marquees must therefore:
- Be mounted at least 3 m (10 ft.) from other structures located on the same property and be far enough from each other to provide sufficient space to be used for emergency evacuation.
- Maintain sufficient distance from property lines to prevent the spread of fire to adjacent properties. This distance is established according to the dimensions of the marquee;
- Be installed on land that is free of any flammable material or any vegetation likely to spread fire. This lot must include the dimension of the marquee as well as a space of a minimum width of 3 m (10 ft) around the entire periphery of the marquee. Hay, straw, shavings and other similar combustible materials, except those used for animal feed and maintenance, are prohibited in a marquee used as a meeting establishment; however, sawdust, chips may be allowed if kept moist.
Means of egress and exits
Means of egress include the interior route to a safe location outside. The interior course must be a minimum of 44 ”. (1100 mm) of unobstructed width and lead to issues.
The number, width and location of exits must be planned according to the maximum number of occupants. Exits must be kept visible from an illuminated emergency exit sign and must never be obstructed. We can consider as an exit a canvas section of the marquee identified as such, through which it is possible to evacuate the capital quickly and easily. It should be possible, by a simple push in this piece of canvas, to release any mechanism used to close the opening.
Fire alarm system
According to the CNPI (National Fire Prevention Code), marquees and tents with a planned capacity greater than 1000 people must include an audible and visual fire alarm system (stroboscope), and fitted with a triggering station reachable from anywhere in the marquee to a maximum distance of 100 feet. With each trigger station there should be an outlet and a functional and approved fire extinguisher.
Uses prohibited by law
In the marquees occupied by the public, smoking and the use of open flame devices are prohibited. Some municipalities prohibit the use of any type of heating or cooking device inside a tent or marquee. Check with your municipality before planning this type of installation.