The first week of May is Emergency Preparedness Week and a great reminder for all of us to plan ahead and be prepared. When planning a tented event, it’s imperative to ensure proper permits and inspections are secured, underground locates are done and fire safety plans are completed where needed.

Being prepared for weather related events, knowing when to evacuate a tent and having a plan for alternative shelter is also key.

Thinking ahead goes a long way and choosing a rental company you can trust to take care of and assist with these important parts of the planning process are key to a successful event.

Permits & Inspections

When renting tents of a certain size, specifically all tents over 600 sq ft, a temporary building permit must be secured, per the Ontario Building Code. Once a tent is over 2400 sq ft, an Engineered Inspection is also required, to secure the permit. While that may sound intimidating, rest assured at Festival we take care of all of this on our clients’ behalf. We apply for and secure the necessary building permits and inspections and ensure that all requirements as outlined in the Ontario Building Code and as enforced by each Municipality’s Building Department, are met. In some Municipalities, there may be additional requirements such as completing a fire safety plan or adding fire extinguishers and emergency exit signs to the tent. We work with our customers to ensure everyone knows exactly what is needed based on where the tent will be installed.

Without the proper permits and inspections, the Building Department reserves the right to have a tent taken down, even mid-event. Making sure these things are properly taken care of, in advance, provides peace of mind knowing that risk is removed. Following the Ontario Building Code rules and abiding by the guidelines of the Building Department is the best way to safely host a tented event.

Underground Locates

All tents must be anchored in some way, be it in the ground or with cement blocks. When anchoring tents into the ground, it is imperative that the area is checked for underground utilities and other such items that may interfere. Many times, people will know if there is anything underground in their yard, but in some cases, what lies beneath the surface remains a mystery. In these cases, it is mandatory for the safety of our customers and our installation crews, that an underground locate is completed. As with the permits and inspections, this is something we will order on our clients’ behalf. It should be noted that “private” items such as sprinkler systems are still the responsibility of the client to point out at the time of setup. Being prepared ahead of time and crossing this off your list in advance will avoid unnecessary hiccups or emergencies. No one wants to deal with a punctured gas line on the day your wedding tent is being installed!

Tent Evacuation Best Practices

While tents are a perfect solution for shade from the sun and shelter from the rain during your event, it’s important to remember that tents are temporary structures and under extreme weather conditions, it may be necessary to seek alternative shelter. Having a plan in place and understanding the best practices for when to evacuate a tent due to hazardous weather is especially significant for the safety of you and your guests. Ensure that more than one person at the gathering is aware of the evacuation plan should bad weather roll in. Check the forecast ahead of time to be prepared and have a better idea of what to expect throughout the duration of your event. Most importantly, don’t panic. Stay calm. With the forethought to prepare for inclement weather, you will be more likely to calmly guide your guests through the plan and avoid unnecessary havoc. Don’t forget, at Festival we offer our clients 24/7 emergency service for situations such as these and we are always only a phone call away. You focus on your guests, and we will focus on the tent.

When it comes to emergency preparedness, following building code rules, securing underground locates, and ensuring an evacuation plan is in place for extreme weather, all work together to create a safe & secure event. Planning ahead gives you the freedom to relax and enjoy when celebration day arrives!