Many restaurants may be considering using tents to keep outdoor areas warm, while continuing to make extra space available for physical distancing. They should be aware that tents should either be separated by 20’ from their building, or review whether they meet fire code if closer than 20’.
More detail from the Deputy State Fire Marshal:
There are exceptions to the 20-foot tent separation distance from buildings outlined as in the Oregon Fire Code (OFC) Chapter 31. … generally temporary tent structures are not to be located within 20 feet of buildings, lot lines, other tents or membrane structures, parked vehicles or internal combustion engines (See OFC 3103.8.2). The 20-foot separation distance is consistent with general requirements for conventional structures, especially those that could represent an above-average fire hazard. Requiring 20 feet of clear ground around the tent structure helps reduce the likelihood that burning tent material and flying embers would endanger other structures or encroach into public traffic ways. But as this is the general requirement, there are two exceptions. The first exception does not apply to buildings, but rather only between membrane structures and tents. It is the second exception that may be applied when placing tents adjacent to buildings or structures. Tents need not be separated from buildings where all of the following conditions are met:
- The tent is less than 10,000 square feet in floor area.
- The aggregate floor area of the adjacent building and tent does not exceed the Oregon Structural Specialty Code, Allowable Floor Area criteria outlined in Chapter 5. http://ecodes.biz/ecodes_support/free_resources/Oregon/14_Structural/PDFs/Chapter%205%20-%20General%20Building%20Heights.pdf[Note restaurants are Group A-2]; construction types are listed here: https://up.codes/viewer/oregon/ibc-2018/chapter/6/types-of-construction#6
- The exiting from the building and from the tent is in compliance with OFC Chapter 10, in particular, that the travel distance is not exceeded as outlined in OFC Table 1017.2. https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/OFC2019P1/chapter-10-means-of-egress /https://up.codes/viewer/oregon/ibc-2018/chapter/10/means-of-egress#1017
- And, that with the tent adjacent to the building it is in compliance with the fire apparatus access roads criteria along with proper hose reach as outlined in OFC Section 503. https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/OFC2019P1/chapter-5-fire-service-features