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Last Updated: 2010-01-11

Exhibits and Trade Shows

Permit Holder Guideline #13

PERMIT TITLE: Exhibits and Trade Shows

CODE SECTION: (Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code) 107.2

FEE: $40.00 to $150.00 (Check payable to the City of Richmond)

SCOPE: An operational permit is required to operate exhibits and trade shows in public assembly occupancies or occupancies that are outside of their normal use group.

PERMIT EXPIRATION: During the times of the event only (operational).

REQUIREMENTS: Permit holder agrees to abide by the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code and any special stipulations noted on permit, as well as the following:

  1. A copy of certificate of insurance, with a face value of a minimum of one million dollars showing the City of Richmond as “additional insured” and the Fire Marshal as the certificate holder, when event is being held in a facility outside of its normal use group (non-typical use group of a facility).
  2. When venue has an approved current Assembly permit; no Exhibit and Trade Shows permits are required (non-typical use group is not included).
  3. An approved sign noting the maximum occupancy load as approved by the Building Official shall be posted near the main entrance to assembly room. The “Certificate of Occupancy” issued by the Building Official shall be available for review by the Fire Officials.
  4. No overcrowding shall be allowed. (Defined as exceeding the approved occupant load or crowding that blocks the means of egress.)
  5. A tracking system (hand counters or other method) that correctly reflects the number of people on the premises is to be maintained at all times.
  6. Entrance doors in all buildings open to the general public shall not be secured from the egress side during periods that the building is open to the general public.
  7. No storage of any kind (temporary or otherwise) is allowed to block exits, exit aisles or exit discharges. All aisles leading to the exits and from the exits to the public way are to remain unobstructed at all times. Parking shall not obstruct exit discharges.
  8. All exits signs shall be visible and all illuminated exit signs shall be illuminated at all times the building is occupied. All egress lighting shall work as designed.
  9. All decorative material and vegetation shall be either noncombustible or flame-resistant in accordance with both large and small-scale flame test of NFPA 701. The interior finish of all structures shall be maintained as approved.
  10. No open flame (such as candles) shall be used without first obtaining approval and/or permit from the Fire Marshal’s office.
  11. All exhibits or trade shows are required to supply the Fire Marshal’s office a set of floor plans to be approved and signed at least 15 days prior to event. All floor plans shall be drawn to scale and include the following information:
    1. Name and date of event and expected capacity
    2. Number of spaces being used
    3. Dimensions and size of exhibits
    4. Exits
    5. Aisles and aisles widths
    6. Registration Areas
    7. Service Areas
    8. Entrances units (headers, kiosks, turnstiles, etc.) and dimensions
    9. Vehicles (interior vehicle display permit maybe required)
    10. Covered exhibits (canopies, tents, enclosed or partially enclosed structures)
    11. Cooking devices and demonstrations (permit maybe required when cooking devices are not protected with an approved hood suppression system).
    12. Stages and Seating Areas
  12. All fire protection equipment ( including exit doors, stairwells, fire department cabinets and connections, pull stations, strobe lights, sprinkler system and fire extinguishers) shall not be hidden or obstructed at any time.
  13. The use of compressed flammable gases (acetylene, hydrogen, propane and butane) inside facility is prohibited (unless approved by the Fire Marshal office) while occupied by the general public.
  14. The use of cutting and welding equipment as part of an exhibit shall require approval and a permit from the Fire Marshal’s office.
  15. All combustible waste shall be stored in non-combustible containers and removed from the premises at least once a day.
  16. The use of any hazardous materials in exhibits requires the approval of the Fire Marshal and a request accompanied by the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) shall be submitted to the Fire Marshal’s office at least 21 days prior to event.
  17. All cooking (as part of the event or supporting the event) shall be governed by the VSFPC and subject to a pre-event inspection by the fire code official.

Contact Information:

Fire Department
City of Richmond
201 E. Franklin St.
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
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Phone: (804)646-2500

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