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A guidebook for tent experts

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IFAI’s Tent Rental Division (TRD) publishes the Permit Reference Guide for tent installers to use for site specific tent installation. The guide discusses why you need a permit, the terms and process for permitting and the applicable codes for the type of event, such as the distance required between festival tents or the exits needed at a wedding reception. It also includes a quick reference guide to tent codes listed in the IBC.

The TRD conducted a study with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, resulting in industry guidelines to determine the holding power of stakes in different soil types. Many local code officials are now using TRD’s Pullout Capacity of Tent Stakes Pocket Guide as a reference during the permitting process.

The engineering department of Clemson University and TRD are finalizing a study on the weighting of tents in response to requests from the commercial tent rental industry for reliable data to determine how to achieve the required ballast provided by tent manufacturers. The result of this study will be the Tent Ballasting Calculator, available in late summer.

Installers and code officials now have access to reliable information about how to anchor a tent properly and calculate the required ballast. Jan Schieffer, TRD managing director says, “The division’s focus is to educate its members, code officials and fire marshals with tools to make the industry safer for the installer and the public in tented events.”

Barb Ernster is a freelance writer based in Fridley, Minn.

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