Tent, Stage and Amusement Device Procedures



Checklist for Temporary Permits (Tents-Stages-Amusement Rides) March 2016

*APPLIES TO: All UMW Campuses (Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Dahlgren) and Properties (James  Monroe Museum and Memorial Library; Gari Melcher’s Museum, etc…)
*PURPOSE: To establish procedures to obtain temporary permits for tents, platforms and other temporary structures.
  • Amusement device: A device or structure open to the public by which persons are conveyed or moved in an unusual manner for diversion or passenger tramways.
  • Platform: A raised area used for worship, the presentation of music, plays or other entertainment; the head table for special guests; the raised area for lecturers and speakers; boxing and wrestling rings; theater-in-the-round stages; and similar purposes wherein there are no overhead hanging curtains, drops, scenery or stage effects other than lighting and sound.
  • Stage: Applies to both indoor and outdoor stages
  • Private inspector: A person performing inspections who is independent of the company, individual or organization owning, operating or having any vested interest in an amusement device being inspected.
  • Temporary structure: Those structures erected for a period of less than 180 days.
  • Tent: Any structure, enclosure or shelter with or without sidewalls or drops that is constructed of canvas or pliable material supported in any manner except by air or the contents it protects.
  • User: Faculty or staff person, department, or office responsible for permitted tent or platform.
  • Vendor: Individual or contractor responsible for supplying and erecting permitted tent or platform, amusement device, or other temporary structure.
*POLICY STATEMENT: A permit and/or inspection are required for all subject temporary structures erected on the property of the University of Mary Washington. As these and similar structures present a very high potential for accidents and injuries in the case of fire or collapse; the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC) the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (VSFPC), and the Virginia Amusement Device Regulations (VADR) require permits be issued for tents, platforms, amusement devices, and other temporary structures.  These permits must be submitted to the Bureau of Capital Outlay Management (BCOM), serving as the state Building Official.  Requests for permits should be submitted to Facilities Services. For more information regarding permitting requirements, please contact Bruce Blair at (540) 654-2098.


Required Permits:

  • An operational permit is required to operate an air-supported temporary membrane structure or a tent as required by VSFPC 2012 Section 107.2. Exceptions include fabric tents open on all sides which comply with all of the following:
    • Tents and air-supported structures that cover an area of 900 square feet (84 m2) or less, including all connecting areas or spaces with a common means of egress or entrance and with an occupant load of 50 or less persons
    • A minimum clearance of 12 feet to all structures and other tents. For the purpose of distances, support ropes and guy wires shall be considered as part of the temporary membrane structure or tent.
  • Permits are required for platforms. Exceptions include:
    • Platforms for performance sets that are owned and erected (not rented locally) by contract performance groups (e.g. Private Bands and Theater Groups), that are exclusively for the use of the contract performance group and from which the public are excluded, are considered equipment of the performing group; therefore, such stages / equipment do not require a permit.
    • Platforms that are not greater than 4 inches in height.
  • Permits are required for all amusement devices unless specifically excluded by code.
  • There will be a fee required to reimburse BCOM for tent/platform permits.
  • A Life Safety Inspection by the Emergency Management and Safety Office is required for all tents, platforms, and other temporary structures regardless of whether a permit was required!  Amusement devices will require an additional inspection by a licensed independent inspector.



  • Submit an application with the following information at least 15 working days prior to the event to allow sufficient time to process an application package:
    • Applicant/user name, phone, and email information.
    • Name of the event with dates and times
    • Site plan indicating location of event including tents, platforms, and amusement devices, as applicable. Site plan should indicate distances to nearest building(s).
    • For tents –
      • Include floor plan indicating the furnishing layout such as platforms, tables, chairs, food service, egress aisles and exits.
      • Tent/platform vendor contact information.
      • Tent certificate of flame resistance conforming to NFPA 701. All tents must have the certification of flame resistance affixed to each separate tent panel.
      • Method of tent anchorage.
      • Product catalog data for the tent/platform indicating the overall size of tent/platform.
      • Dimensions and load capacity.
      • Electrical Power Requirements (if applicable), including: total number and location of 120 volt, 20 amp outlets needed as well as voltage, amperage, and location of any special outlets.
    • For platforms –
      • Vendor name or owner
      • Size of platform (L,W, H)
      • Floor live load (lbs/sf)
      • Who will assemble platform
      • Manufacturer’s erection manual
    • Amusement Devices –
      • Name and description of ride or amusement device
      • Name of vendor or owner
      • Required proof of insurance
      • Serial number
      • Dimensions
      • Operator’s manual
      • Licensed, independent inspector
    • A checklist is included as an attachment to assist in the preparation of the application and inspection of temporary structures.
    • Please provide your department’s FOAP to reimburse BCOM for the cost of permit review; typically $100 per permit.
    • For further assistance in preparing a permit application package, please contact Bruce Blair, Facilities Services, at (540) 654-2098.
    • Please note that incomplete or partial applications cannot be submitted to BCOM for processing.


Permit Process:

  • The application package must be submitted to the State Building Official, Bureau of Capital Outlay Management (BCOM), at least 10 days prior to the event so that the necessary paperwork can be reviewed and a permit issued in time for the event.
  • The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) will also be notified when an application is submitted to BCOM and provided a copy of the permit once issued.
  • A Building Permit for Temporary Structure, Form CO-17TMP, will be issued to the applicant and the tent, platform or amusement device may be erected. A copy of the Building Permit will be forwarded to Emergency Management and Safety Office for inspection of the temporary structure.
  • When requested, an ANNUAL PERMIT for temporary structure configurations used repeatedly throughout the fiscal year may be issued to avoid the need for a separate application and permit for each use. The user must notify Facilities Services, Capital Outlay each time the Annual Permit is used.



  • Once the temporary structure is erected, the User should contact the Emergency Management and Safety Office for coordination of inspections. For amusement devices, the User should coordinate directly with the Private Inspector and insure a copy of the report is submitted to Facilities Services and the Emergency Management and Safety Office after the inspection.
  • The SFMO may also inspect the temporary structure at any time for conformance to the applicable codes and permit conditions.
  • All temporary structures (tents, stages, etc…) regardless of size, occupancy, or location, must be inspected for LIFE SAFETY.


User Obligations:

  • Insure that all tents have a Certificate of Flame Resistance conforming to NFPA 701 affixed to each separate panel of the tent.
  • Comply with Permit Special Conditions and Stipulations.
  • Prohibit smoking and the use of open flame producing devices within 20 feet of the tent.
  • Provide and maintain adequate clear paths for egress.
  • Provide and maintain required number of self-illuminated exit signs.
  • Provide and maintain required barriers, guards and safety appurtenances.

Tents shall be struck in the event of winds exceeding 40 mph are predicted in the vicinity of the tent location.


Required information for Tents, Stages, Inflatable Amusement Devices

All of the following Information applicable to your event is required.

Date of Event

  • Location of event. (A pdf map of location will be sent to you for further information)
  • Information for Tents:
  1. a) Name of Vendor or Owner of Tent.
  2. b) Size of Tent (L,W,H).
  3. c) Flame Certificates for all components of Tent.
  4. d) Anchoring method.
  5. e) Tent sides? Y/N.
  6. f) Mark location of Tent on map provided.
  • Information for Stages:
  1. a) Name of Vendor or Owner of Stage.
  2. b) Size of Stage (L,W,H)
  3. c) Floor “Live Load” in lbs. per Sq. Ft.
  4. d) Stage assembled by?
  5. e) Mark location of Stage on map provided.
  6. f) Manufacturers Manual.
  7. g) Layout of Furniture on stage ( if Any )


  • Inflatables Information.
  1. a) Name and description of ride/device.
  2. b) Name of Vendor.
  3. c) Vendors proof of Insurance.
  4. d) Ride/Device serial number.
  5. e) Ride/Device dimensions.
  6. f) Operators manual. These manuals must be onsite on the day of the event.
  7. g) Mark location of Tent on map provided.


There will be a fee for the permits from Bureau of Capital Outlay Management. The current fee is $100 per permit for review and issuance (One hour minimum). Please contact Connie Souza for billing information. csouza@umw.edu . (540) 654-2079

A Facilities Services Work Request must be submitted for Electrical and/or Water needs. Work request forms can be accessed by logging into EagleNet.  Click on “My University Resources”. Select “Working at UMW”. Under Facilities Work Management Select “Create Work Order Request”. Follow instructions provided.


You must also contact UMW Office of Emergency Management and Safety for Tent/ Stage Inspections and Final Approval of Amusement Devices.

Mike Muckinhaupt – mmuckinh@umw.edu – (540) 654-2108


Amusement Rides Only

You will need to retain a Virginia DHCD certified Amusement Ride Inspector. We suggest Kenneth Martin, ken.martin.safety.usa@gmail.com . There will be a fee for this service.