For applicants wishing to make use of gazebos or similar temporary structures, further advice and guidance is outlined below. As these types of structures will be temporary, and taken down every day, they will be exempt from requiring building regulation approval.
In terms of public safety, full manufacturer’s details including dimensions, flammability of fabric, ballasting or anchoring requirements in respect of maximum wind loading/speed, and a weather management plan with trigger actions for increasing wind speed will all be necessary prior to erection. Applicants are advised that they should ensure that this information is made available to them before purchase. The positioning of the gazebos will need to be agreed as part of the agreed site plan in order not to impede any means of escape routes and if any permanent anchor points are proposed, a survey of underground services at the location are likely to be necessary.
Any costs arising from such installations, including any surveys and works will be met by the applicant.
A suitable risk assessment to cover the erection, dismantling, use and anchoring of the structures must be prepared and submitted to the Licensing Authority when the application is made. This is in conjunction with assessments of the fire risk and the risks to the means of escape in case of fire or similar hazard.
These documents should be available from the supplier and applicants must ensure that these are made available to both themselves and other relevant staff for reference.
Any marquee or gazebo must be checked to ensure that they are in a good condition and fit for purpose and that the people erecting and dismantling the structures are competent to do so and have received adequate training.
[If a small domestic type gazebo is to be used, the manufacturer’s literature must show:
(a) that it will be suitable for the proposed use,
(b) that the materials are or have been treated with a fire retardant,
(c) the method of adequately anchoring or fixing the structure down and
(d) the maximum safe wind speed that the structure can be safely used in should also be known.]
Anchoring down the structure
The person carrying out the erection should follow the manufacturers’ advice, guidelines and recommendations for the anchoring of the marquee or gazebo.
- All anchor points and ropes should be in good condition and fit for purpose and be regularly checked by a competent person while the structure is erected; if the weather changes/deteriorates the number of checks should be increased.
- The number of anchor points available for use should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If ballast is to be used the amount required should be obtained from the manufacturer and it should be positioned and fixed in accordance with their instructions.
- If stakes are to be used, the length, type and number to be provided should be determined by the manufacturer of the structure. If the manufacturers can make no recommendations suitable for the ground where the structure is to be sited a structural engineer should be consulted to provide the relevant information.
- If an alternative means of anchoring to stakes or ballast is to be used the applicant/licence holder should consult with the manufacturer to ascertain if the proposed alternative method is adequate.
Wind is a potential hazard during the erection, the operation and the dismantling phases of a structure. You should check with the manufacturer to ascertain the operational wind speed for the safe use of the marquee or gazebo to be used.
To determine the level of monitoring and management that will be required while the structure is in place refer to local weather forecasting services.
A competent person must be appointed to check the wind speed at regular intervals while the structure is erected. Should the weather change/deteriorate the number of checks should be increased.
If the maximum safe wind speed is exceeded, the use of the structure should cease and it should be dismantled if necessary and safe to do so. If the maximum safe wind speed is exceeded the use of the structure should cease and the area should be cleared. The structure should then be dismantled, when safe to do so.
Means of escape
When considering the proposed use of marquees or gazebos, a fire risk assessment must be carried out. The assessment will need to consider the availability of safe and suitable means of escape fire exit points and how any movement of people or structures can have an impact on the means of escape routes available and the safety of the public.
If any marquee or gazebo is over 30m2 in floor area or its use involves hazards such as hot cooking surfaces etc., an alternative means of escape will be required remote from the main entrance. Dependent on its size, the number of occupant’s and the use, more than one alternative emergency exit may be required. Advice regarding the position, number and width of access/exit routes and final exits etc. may be required a Building Control Consultant or alternatively the Fire Prevention Officer at the Fire Service.
The fire risk assessment should also determine if suitable fire extinguishers should be provided and at what locations they should be positioned.
All emergency exits are required to be indicated using appropriate fire exit signage to BS 5499.
Night time use
If the marquees or gazebos are to be used during the hours of darkness, or if ambient light levels are low, suitable emergency lighting will be required to indicate exits and a safe route of travel inside the structure and externally to a safe place of refuge. The required standards for lighting, emergency lighting, ingress and egress remain the same for temporary and permanent structures.
The provision of heaters must take into account the fire risks associated with all equipment, fabrics and combustible material within or forming part of the structure. Any provision of power supply must not impede or cause a hazard to persons using the highway.
Parking of Vehicles
Parking of vehicles, and storage of flammable materials, must take into account fire risks to structures and the escape routes from and around such structures.