The following are a few general regulations that typically fall under local fire authorities’ specifications. These regulations should be considered when planning and coordinating space, decorations, etc., in the ballrooms and meeting rooms, as well as all other applicable laws, codes and regulations.
Where exits are not immediately accessible from an open floor area, safe and continuous passageways, aisles or corridors shall be maintained to lead directly to every exit and shall be so arranged as to provide convenient access for each occupant to at least two exits by separate ways of travel. The aisle needs to be as wide as or wider than the exit to which it is leading.
There will not be any setup permitted in front of any exit doors. Staggering of dining tables is not permitted. All room sets must be in compliance with local fire department regulations pertaining to occupancy load, mandatory aisles and ceiling clearance fire exits. Any event that has vehicle displays, fog machines, laser exhibits (including tabletop) or extensive productions with staging and props must have a certified permit from the local Fire Marshal. All associated fees for permits, floor plan approvals and stand-by fire watches are your responsibility, and final approved copies must be received at least three days prior to your event.
Every required exit, exit access or exit discharge shall be continuously maintained to be free of all obstructions or impediments to the full instant use of a fire or other emergency.
No furnishings, decorations or other objects shall be placed in a way that will obstruct exits, access thereto, egress there from or visibility thereof.
Hangings or draperies shall not be placed over exit doors or otherwise located in a way that may conceal or obscure any exit. Mirrors shall not be placed on exit doors or in or adjacent to any exit in such a manner that may confuse the direction of the exit.
No open-flame devices shall be used in any meeting rooms. When necessary for ceremonial or religious purposes, the Fire Marshal, having jurisdiction, may permit open-flame lighting under such restrictions as are necessary to avoid the danger of ignition of combustible materials or injury to occupants.
Any furnishings, decorations and stage settings shall be fire-retardant treated and must display a certificate of proof. Local fire authorities, in advance of event setup, shall approve all extensive production plans.
The distance between tables must be equal to or greater than the required aisle width, plus 19" for chairs on one side or 38" for chairs on both sides.
It is ultimately the group’s responsibility to ensure that an event complies with all applicable laws including, but not limited to, fire and safety codes, rules and regulations.