Chapter 22: Temporary Permits


The policy is designed to be a quick reference for the use of tents at the University of Mary Washington. There are several steps involving both UMW offices and state regulatory agencies to ensure a successful event.


A permit is required for all tents that exceed 900 square feet or a canopy that exceeds 700 square feet. All structures will be reviewed by the Department of Engineering and Buildings (DEB) in Richmond. The request must be made to Capital Outlay at UMW who will review the request for accuracy and requirements and then send it to DEB. Requests for permits are to be forwarded to Facilities Services as soon as the event is planned and approved. All permit requests must be submitted no later than 10 days prior to the event date.

Event coordinator will be contacted upon approval and receipt of permit. A copy of the approved permit will be forwarded to OEMS for field inspection and enforcement.


Tents will be erected as requested according to design and directions on permit. All utilities must be marked with sufficient visibility so that tent installers will not compromise the integrity of the utility service. The tent installer will contact MS Utility if there are any doubts. Grounds will inspect area to ensure that this action has taken place prior to any installation. OEMS will inspect structure to ensure that all code requirements are met and all safety equipment is installed. OEMS will post permit inside the structure to allow for adequate viewing. If there is a fire/safety watch required, OEMS will review procedures with the designated personnel. Tents are to be installed within an adequate amount of time to allow for all procedures to be performed. Tents are to be removed from the premises as soon as weather and scheduling permits.


All structures used must be in compliance with Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code, Section 108.5.12, Temporary membrane structures, tents and canopies, the International Fire Code, Chapter 24, and NFPA 102. Documentation must be provided, upon request, of maintenance, anchors and fabric inspection certification.