Saint Paul Fire Safety Inspection wishes to assist you in complying with current fire code requirements and assure that all participants and guests at your event have an enjoyable and safe experience. Following are standard fire code requirements that are applicable to all events in assembly occupancies:

  1. The occupant load must be clearly posted for each assembly area of 50 people or more. (MSFC 1003.2.2.5)

  2. All exits in the building must be kept unlocked and unobstructed at all times, and must not be concealed with draping material or booths. (MSFC 1011)

  3. The travel distance within the exhibit booths or enclosures to an exit aisle shall not be greater than 20 feet.(MSFC 1008.7.5)

  4. Draping and displays cannot obstruct standpipe connections, fire extinguishers or fire alarm pull stations located on walls. (MSFC 901.8)

  5. Draping and decorative material shall be nonflammable material or treated with a flame- retardant solution and documentation available to the Fire Inspector. Tablecloths on display tables must be flame-retardant if used near a heat source, such as cooking devices.(MSFC 805.2)

  6. SMOKING I S N O T ALLOWED except in designated areas. Non-combustible ashtrays must be provided in designated smoking areas. “NO SMOKING” signs must be posted in all other areas and frequent announcements made during the event about compliance with smoking regulations. (MSFC 310.2)

  7. Parking in designated fire lanes is prohibited. Emergency personnel must have adequate access to the facility. (MSFC 503.4)

  8. Use of fireworks is prohibited unless a permit has been issued by Saint Paul Fire Safety Inspection ( 651-266-8989). (MSFC 3308.1.1)

  9. 9No Class I Flammable Liquids, including gasoline, can be stored inside the building. (MSFC 3404.3.4.2)

  10. Vehicles and equipment exhibited inside the building, including gas powered snow blowers, lawn mowers, boats, and snowmobiles must have gas tanks taped or locked, batteries disconnected, and shall not be fueled in the building. Fuel in the fuel tank shall not exceed one quarter of the tank capacity or 5 gallons, whichever is less. (MSFC 314.4)

  11. Propane inside assembly occupancies shall be limited to 5-pound containers, 20 feet apart. Propane must be in approved containers, and connections must be inspected and approved. (NFPA 58) FIRE SAFETY ASSEMBLE/EXHIBIT INFORMATION Revised 1/2018 CITY OF ST. PAUL DEPARTMENT OF SAFETY AND INSPECTIONS 375 JACKSON STREET, SUITE 220 SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA 55101-1806 Phone: 651-266-8989 Fax: 651-266-8951 Visit our Web Site at www.stpaul.gov/dsi

  12. Acoustical and decorative materials, including, but not limited to cotton, hay, paper, straw, moss, bamboo, and wood chips, shall be treated with flame-retardant. (MSFC 805.1 and NFPA 705)

  13. Cooking and food warming devices shall be placed on non-combustible materials, be isolated from the public by a 4-foot space, and be limited to 288 square inches of cooking area. A non-combustible shield or barrier to protect the public from heat sources is acceptable in lieu of the space requirements. Tablecloths or draping used on tables near cooking equipment must be treated with flame-retardant and proof furnished to the Fire Inspector. (LSC 9-4.4.3(9))

  14. Booths containing cooking devices shall be provided with a fire extinguisher with a rating of not less than 2A10BC readily available for use. A K-type fire extinguisher must be provided and available for use when fat deep fryers are used. (MSFC 904.11.5, NFPA10 2-2.3 and LSC 9-4.4.3)

  15. Display of smokeless powder, black sporting powder, and small arms primers are prohibited in assembly areas.(MSFC 3306 and NFPA495)

  16. Small arms ammunition should be displayed in sealed boxes. (MSFC 3306 and NFPA495)

  17. A fire watch may be required by the Fire Marshal at any events where it is essential for public safety. (MSFC 2416)

Outside Events - Tents over 200 sq. ft. and canopies over 400 sq. ft. 

  1. Tents and canopies must be structurally stable and adequately braced and/orroped. (MSFC 2404.1)

  2. Tents and canopies must be treated with flame-retardant and proof furnished to the Fire Safety Inspector. (MSFC 2406.1 and NFPA705)

  3. Smoking shall not be permitted in tents, canopies, and membrane structures or in adjacent areas where straw, hay, sawdust, or other combustible material is present. (MSFC 2406.5)

  4. Fireworks, open flame, and hot objects shall not be used within 100 feet of any tent canopy, or membrane structure. (MSFC 2406.7)

  5. Exits must be placed at approximately equal intervals around the perimeter of the tent or canopy. No point shall be located more than 100 feet from an exit. Exits must be unobstructed, and exit signs must be provided when the occupant load is 50 or more. MSFC 2410)

  6. Heating and cooking equipment in tents or canopies must not be within 10 feet of exits, aisles, passageways, or combustible material. Vents must be vented to outside air by flues or vents not within 12 inches of the tent or canopy material. Gas, solid, or liquid fuel burning equipment located outside must not be within 20 feet of a tent or canopy. If the 20-foot distance cannot be met, a 10-foot distance is acceptable if at least one additional exit beyond the required number of exits is provided. (MSFC 2411)

  7. Flammable or combustible liquids and LP gas shall not be stored in or within 50 feet of a tent or canopy. (MSFC 2413.2)


25. Fire extinguishers - one K-type fire extinguisher shall be located in cooking booths with deep fat fryers and one fire extinguisher with a rating of not less than 2A10BC shall be located 30 feet of any location. (MSFC 904.11.5)

26. Fire apparatus roads must be provided and maintained free of obstruction and parking. (MSFC 503.4)

27. Electrical equipment and installations shall comply with the electrical code. No spliced wire will be allowed. (MSFC 605)

28. Concession stands used for cooking shall have a minimum of 10 feet of clearance on two sides and not be within 10 feet of amusement rides or devices. (MSFC 2411)

29. Propane used at outdoor events must be in approved containers, have proper hose, connectors, and fittings, and the cylinders must be secured. LP gas cylinders 500 gallons or less in size shall maintain at least a 10 foot distance to tents and canopies. LP gas cylinders more than 500 gallonsin size shall maintain at least a 25 foot distance to tents and canopies. (MFSC 2412.2.1, MSFC 2412.2, and NFPA 58)

30. All compressed gas or air tanks must be secured. (MSFC 3003.3.3)

31. Approved exiting from fenced enclosures

Last Edited: February 1, 2022