This chapter shall govern membrane structures.
The following terms shall, for the purposes of this chapter and as used elsewhere in this code, have the meanings set forth in FC202.
All membrane structures shall be designed, installed, operated and maintained in accordance with this section and the construction codes, including the Building Code.
The owner or agent shall file with the commissioner a certificate issued by an approved testing laboratory, certifying that the tent materials and their appurtenances, sidewalls, drops and tarpaulins, floor coverings, bunting, combustible decorative materials and effects, including sawdust when used on floors or passageways, are composed of flame-resistant material meeting the flame propagation performance criteria of NFPA 701 or shall be treated with a flame retardant in an approved manner and meet the flame propagation performance criteria of NFPA 701, and that such flame resistance is effective for the period specified by the permit.
An affidavit or affirmation shall be submitted to the commissioner and a copy retained on the premises on which the tent is located. The affidavit shall attest to the information required in FC Chapter 8 and the rules.
Membrane structures shall have a label permanently affixed to them identifying the type and quality of the fabric or other material.
Membrane structures shall be placed and afforded access for firefighting apparatus in accordance with this section.
Fire apparatus access roads shall be provided in accordance with FC503 and the Building Code.
Membrane structures shall not be located within 20 feet (6096 mm) of parked vehicles or internal combustion engines. For the purpose of determining required distances, support ropes and guy wires shall be considered as part of the membrane structure.
An unobstructed fire break not less than 12 feet (3658 mm) wide and free from guy ropes or other obstructions shall be maintained on all sides of all membrane structures unless otherwise approved by the commissioner.
Means of egress for membrane structures shall be in accordance with this section and the construction codes, including the Building Code.
Seating in membrane structures shall be in accordance with the construction codes, including the Building Code.
Exit openings from tents shall remain open unless covered by a flame-resistant curtain. The curtain shall comply with the following requirements:
- Curtains shall be free sliding on a metal support. The support shall be a minimum of 80 inches (2032 mm) above the floor level at the exit. The curtains shall be so arranged that, when open, no part of the curtain obstructs the exit.
- Curtains shall be of a color, or colors, that contrasts with the color of the tent.
- Curtains shall be flame resistant in accordance with FC Chapter 8.
During high winds exceeding 50 miles per hour (80 kph) or in snow conditions, the use of doors in air-supported structures shall be controlled to avoid excessive air loss. Doors shall not be left open.
The arrangement of aisles shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner and shall be maintained clear at all times.
The required width of exits, aisles and passageways to a public street shall be maintained at all times. Guy wires, guy ropes and other support members shall not cross a means of egress at a height of less than 8 feet (2438 mm). The surface of means of egress shall be maintained in an approved manner.
Hay, straw, shavings or similar combustible materials shall not be located within any membrane structure containing an assembly occupancy, except the materials necessary for the daily feeding and care of animals. Sawdust and shavings utilized for a public performance or exhibit shall not be prohibited provided the sawdust and shavings are kept damp. Combustible materials shall not be allowed under stands or seats at any time.
Smoking shall not be allowed in membrane structures. "No Smoking" signs complying with the requirements of FC310 shall be conspicuously posted.
Open flame or other devices emitting flame, fire or heat or any flammable or combustible liquids, gas, charcoal or other cooking device or any other unapproved devices shall not be allowed inside or located within 20 feet (6096 mm) of a membrane structure while open to the public unless an open-flame permit has been issued.
Any fireworks or special effects displays in or near any membrane structure shall be conducted in accordance with FC Chapter 56.
Spot or effect lighting shall only be by electricity, and all combustible construction located within 6 feet (1829 mm) of such equipment shall be protected with approved noncombustible insulation not less than 9.25 inches (235 mm) thick.
Motion pictures shall not be displayed in membrane structures unless the motion picture film is safety film.
There shall be a minimum clearance of at least 3 feet (914 mm) between the surface of a membrane structure and all contents therein.
Portable fire extinguishers shall be provided as required by FC906.
Fire hose lines, water supplies and other auxiliary fire equipment shall be maintained at the site in such numbers and sizes as required by the commissioner.
The occupant load allowed in a membrane structure, shall be determined in accordance with the construction codes, including the Building Code.
Heating and cooking equipment shall be in accordance with this section.
Heating or cooking equipment, tanks, piping, hoses, fittings, valves, tubing and other related components shall be installed as set forth in the construction codes, including the Mechanical Code and the Fuel Gas Code.
Gas, liquid and solid fuel-burning equipment designed to be vented shall be vented to the outdoors in accordance with the construction codes, including the Mechanical Code and the Fuel Gas Code. Such vents shall be equipped with approved spark arresters when required. Where vents or flues are used, all portions of the membrane structure shall be not less than 12 inches (305 mm) from the flue or vent.
Cooking and heating equipment shall not be located within 10 feet (3048 mm) of exits or combustible materials.
Operations such as warming of foods, cooking demonstrations and similar operations that use solid flammables shall be approved by the commissioner.
Membrane structures in which cooking is performed shall be separated from other membrane structures by a minimum of 20 feet (6096 mm).
Outdoor cooking that produces sparks or grease-laden vapors shall not be performed within 20 feet (6096 mm) from a membrane structure.
Electrical cooking and heating equipment shall comply with the requirements of the Electrical Code.
The storage, handling and use of LPG and LPG equipment shall be in accordance with this section and FC Chapter 61.
Stationary LPG installations, including tanks, piping, hoses, fittings, valves, tubing and other related components shall be approved and in accordance with FC Chapter 61.
LPG containers shall be located outside the membrane structure. Pressure relief valves shall be pointed away from the membrane structure.
Portable LPG containers shall have a minimum separation between the container and structure of not less than 10 feet (3048 mm).
Portable LPG containers, piping, valves and fittings which are being used to fuel LPG-fueled devices, equipment or systems inside a membrane structure shall be located outside the membrane structure and shall be secured from movement or other hazard.
The storage of flammable and combustible liquids and the use of flammable-liquid-fueled equipment shall be in accordance with this section.
Flammable-liquid-fueled equipment shall not be used in membrane structures.
Flammable and combustible liquids shall be stored outside the membrane structure in an approved manner not less than 50 feet (15 240 mm) from the membrane structure. Storage shall be in accordance with FC Chapter 57.
Refueling shall be performed at an approved location not less than 20 feet (6096 mm) from membrane structures.
Liquid- and gas-fueled vehicles and equipment may be displayed within a membrane structure in accordance with this section and FC Chapter 3.
Batteries shall be disconnected in an appropriate manner.
Vehicles or equipment shall not be fueled or defueled within the membrane structure.
Fuel in the fuel tank shall not exceed 1 gallon (3.8 L).
Fuel systems shall be inspected for leaks.
Fuel tank openings shall be locked and sealed to prevent the escape of vapors.
The location of vehicles or equipment shall not obstruct means of egress.
When a compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) powered vehicle is parked inside a membrane structure, all of the following conditions shall be met:
- The quarter-turn shutoff valve or other shutoff valve on the outlet of the CNG or LPG container shall be closed and the engine shall be operated until it stops. Valves shall remain closed while the vehicle is indoors.
- The hot lead of the battery shall be disconnected.
- Dual-fuel vehicles equipped to operate on gasoline and CNG or LPG shall comply with the requirements of this section and FC 3104.18 through 3104.18.3 for gasoline-powered vehicles.
Liquid and gas-fueled vehicles and equipment used for competition or demonstration within a membrane structure shall comply with the requirements of 318.104.22.168.
Fuel for vehicles or equipment shall be stored and dispensed in an approved location outside of the membrane structure in accordance with FC 3104.17.2 and 3104.17.3, and FC Chapter 23.
Generators and other internal combustion power sources shall be separated from membrane structures by a minimum of 20 feet (6096 mm) and shall be isolated from contact with the public by fencing, enclosure or other approved means.
When the interest of public safety so requires, the commissioner may order the owner of any membrane structure in which a performance, exhibition, display, contest or other activity is to be conducted to provide one or more fire guards or other qualified persons to remain on duty during the times such places are open to the public, or when such activity is being conducted. Persons conducting such fire watch shall have duties and responsibilities set forth in FC901.7.2.1 with respect to the areas being monitored in connection with such membrane structure, and shall assist in the evacuation of the occupants from the structure in the event of a fire or other emergency.
Vegetation shall be removed from the area occupied by a membrane structure, and from areas within 30 feet (9144 mm) of such structures.
The floor surface inside membrane structures and the grounds within 30 feet (9144 mm) of the membrane structure shall be kept free of combustible waste and storage of combustible materials.