NFPA 1: Fire Code requirements for Memorial Day weekend events and activities, #FireCodefridays

Blog Post created by kristinbigda Employee on May 19, 2017

One more week until Memorial Day weekend, the "official" start of the summer season, which, along with sunshine and BBQs, also brings additional safety concerns and fire risks, and it's never too early to prepare for a safe and fun weekend.  NFPA 1, Fire Code, contains valuable requirements to help local inspectors and authorities ensure communities stay safe this summer season.


Is there a parade planned in your community?


Q:   How do I protect parade floats?

A:    Parade floats require a permit to use a parade float for public performance, presentation, spectacle, entertainment, or parade.  In addition, motorized parade floats and towing apparatus require a minimum 2-A:10-B:C-rated portable fire extinguisher readily accessible to the operator.  (See Section 10.16)


Enjoying time by a backyard fire pit?


Q:    How far do recreational fires have to be from a building/structure?

A:    Recreational fires shall not be located within 25 ft (7.6 m) of a structure or combustible material unless contained in an approved manner.  This includes fire pits and camping fires.  Also, conditions that could cause a fire to spread to within 25 ft (7.6 m) of a structure must be eliminated prior to ignition.  (See Section 10.10.4)


Hosting a cookout or reviewing plans for a community event?


Q:    Where can grills be located?

A:    (For other than one- and two-family dwellings,) no hibachi, grill, or other similar devices used for cooking, heating, or any other purpose shall be used  on any balcony, under any overhanging portion, or within 10 ft (3 m) of any structure.  In addition, these devices cannot be stored on a balcony. (See Section 10.10.6)


(Check out this post on grills for additional details.)  NFPA also offers a variety of resources for safe grilling and outdoor entertaining!


Are there restaurants with outdoor seating in your jurisdiction? 


Q:   Are there any provisions for patio heaters in NFPA 1?

A:    NFPA 1 extracts provisions for the installation of patio heaters from NFPA 58, Liquified Petroleum Gas Code.  Patio heaters, often used extensively in restaurants with outdoor seating, must be listed and used in accordance with their listing and the manufacturer's instructions.  They cannot be located within 5 ft (1.5 m) of exits from an assembly occupancy, recognizing their common use in restaurants. (See Section 10.10.7)


Are local festivities planning activities with sky lanterns or open flame devices?


Q:   Does NFPA 1 permit the use of sky lanterns?

A:    The use of unmanned, free-floating sky lanterns and similar devices utilizing an open flame are prohibited.  For more information, check out NFPA's safety tip sheet on sky lanterns.  (See Section


Reviewing site plans for a local carnival?


Q:   How does an AHJ enforce outdoor events such as carnivals or fairs?

A:    The AHJ is permitted to regulate all outdoor events such as carnivals and fairs as it pertains to access for emergency vehicles; access to fire protection equipment; placement of stands, concession booths, and exhibits; and the control of hazardous conditions dangerous to life and property.  (See Section 10.14)


As always, thanks for reading. Happy Friday and have a safe weekend!