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

Blog Post created by kristinbigda Employee on May 25, 2018

Memorial Day is a holiday of remembrance, honor, dedication, and the start of the summer season. Along with sunshine and BBQs, the holiday also brings additional safety concerns and fire risks. NFPA 1, Fire Code, contains valuable requirements to help local inspectors and authorities ensure communities stay safe this holiday weekend and throughout the summer.


Community Parades


How do I protect parade floats?

Parade floats, even at the happiest place on earth, are not immune to fire risks; a dragon float caught fire on May 11 at the Festival of Fantasy Parade at Walt Disney World. Parade floats require a permit for use at a 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.)



Backyard Fire Pits and Campfires


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

Recreational fires shall not be located within 25 feet (7.6 meters) 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 feet (7.6 meters) of a structure must be eliminated prior to ignition. (See Section 10.10.4.)


Community Events


Where can grills be located?

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 feet (3 meters) of any structure. In addition, these devices cannot be stored on a balcony. (See Section 10.10.6.) Check out my past post on grills for additional details. NFPA also offers a variety of resources for safe grilling!


Does NFPA 1 permit the use of sky lanterns?

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


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

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.)


Does the code address the protection of food trucks?

New to the 2018 edition of NFPA 1, Section 50.7 addresses mobile and temporary cooking operations, including food trucks. Food trucks are a popular trend that are present in cities and suburban communities. It seems no event occurs these days without the presence of food trucks. The code addresses valuable safety risk associated with these vehicles, such as fire extinguishers, location and separation of vehicles, fire department access, staff training, and protection of the cooking equipment. (See Section 50.7.)


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