Steven Sawyer

Fire Marshals and Occupant Loads

Discussion created by Steven Sawyer Employee on Aug 11, 2016

by Ray Walker IFMA President

 

There has been a significant interest recently by our national media regarding occupant load capacities and we would like to provide the following information to the general public.  Fire Marshals are appointed by their jurisdictions to ensure compliance with adopted fire and life safety standards based on local needs.  Fire Marshals have many duties one being the determination of occupant loads for places where large numbers of people gather.  The factor for determining these occupant loads are based on tragic events, science, expert review and final approval by standards organizations.  The methods outlined to determine occupant loads leave little room for interpretation.  These factors take into account people having to leave in the event of an emergency but also for public safety officials to gain access for fire, medical, security and other issues.  It is up to the event planner, venue management, fire marshals and other public safety staff to ensure the safety of all those participating and attending the event.  Event planners should meet with venue management well in advance of the proposed event to make sure the facility will handle the expected crowds, if not, limiting tickets or the numbers to be admitted, or other venues may need to be sought.  If you have questions contact the local fire marshal in advance for guidance.  Remember that the Fire Marshal has the final legal authority on fire and life safety issues within the jurisdiction.  Event planners, venue management, the fire marshal, the community or those attending do not wish to be a tragic story on the 6 o’clock news.

 

The mission of the International Fire Marshals Association (IFMA) is to aid in the preservation of life and property by advocating, promoting and providing leadership in the prevention or mitigation of fire, explosions and other related hazardous conditions. Established in 1906, as the Fire Marshals Association of North America, IFMA currently has more than 1,800 members worldwide and 34 Chapters.

 

Fire Marshals and Occupant Loads

 

There has been a significant interest recently by our national media regarding occupant load capacities and we would like to provide the following information to the general public.  Fire Marshals are appointed by their jurisdictions to ensure compliance with adopted fire and life safety standards based on local needs.  Fire Marshals have many duties one being the determination of occupant loads for places where large numbers of people gather.  The factor for determining these occupant loads are based on tragic events, science, expert review and final approval by standards organizations.  The methods outlined to determine occupant loads leave little room for interpretation.  These factors take into account people having to leave in the event of an emergency but also for public safety officials to gain access for fire, medical, security and other issues.  It is up to the event planner, venue management, fire marshals and other public safety staff to ensure the safety of all those participating and attending the event.  Event planners should meet with venue management well in advance of the proposed event to make sure the facility will handle the expected crowds, if not, limiting tickets or the numbers to be admitted, or other venues may need to be sought.  If you have questions contact the local fire marshal in advance for guidance.  Remember that the Fire Marshal has the final legal authority on fire and life safety issues within the jurisdiction.  Event planners, venue management, the fire marshal, the community or those attending do not wish to be a tragic story on the 6 o’clock news.

 

The mission of the International Fire Marshals Association (IFMA) is to aid in the preservation of life and property by advocating, promoting and providing leadership in the prevention or mitigation of fire, explosions and other related hazardous conditions. Established in 1906, as the Fire Marshals Association of North America, IFMA currently has more than 1,800 members worldwide and 34 Chapters.

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