The following are a few general regulations that typically fall under local fire authorities’ specifications. They 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 leading 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 they are 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 the local Fire Department regulations pertaining to occupancy load, mandatory aisles and ceiling clearance fire exits. Any event which has vehicle displays, fog machines (must be water based), laser exhibits (including tabletop) or extensive productions with staging and props must have a certified permit from the local Fire Marshall. All associated fees for permits, floor plan approval and stand-by fire watch are the group’s responsibility and final approved copies must be received at least three days prior to the event. Cooking inside function rooms is not permitted at any time.
Every required exit, exit access or exit discharge shall be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full instant use of fire or other emergency.
No furnishings, decorations, or other objects shall be placed so as to obstruct exits, access thereto, egress there from, or visibility thereof.
Hangings or draperies shall not be placed over exit doors or otherwise located as to conceal or obscure any exit. Mirrors shall not be placed on exit doors. Mirrors shall not be placed in or adjacent to any exit in such a manner as to 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 danger of ignition of combustible materials or injury to occupants.
Any furnishings, decorations, and stage settings shall be fire retardant treated and must display certificate of proof. Local fire authorities in advance of event set-up shall approve all extensive production plans.
Distance between tables must be equal to or greater than the required aisle width plus 19” for chairs on one or 38” for chairs on both sides.
It is ultimately the group’s responsibility to ensure that the event complies with all applicable laws, including, but not limited to fire and safety codes, rules and regulations.