Fire Department Regulations
- Aisles – Aisles in exhibit halls must be at least ten feet (10’) wide. Perimeter aisles must be at least ten feet (10’) from the doors in the ballrooms and fifteen feet (15’) from the doors in the exhibit halls.
- Candles – Candles and open flame devices are not permitted.
- Capacities – Set-up capacities may vary due to additional space required for A/V equipment and/or catering service. Room capacities are affected by the architectural alcoves and offsets designed within the building. Mezzanine Rooms (Show Offices) are available for theatre sets and classroom sets using six foot (6’) tables only. Room capacities are governed by Building Code and Fire Code. Space to be set or occupied at greater capacity than approved is not allowed.
12.1 Compressed Gases and Flammable Liquids
The use, display, or storage of compressed gasses, flammable liquids, or dangerous chemicals is prohibited. Maximum cylinder size is less than one pound (< 1 lb.) for each appliance. Storage of additional cylinders is not allowed inside the facility. All Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders must be removed from trailers and mobile homes. If the cylinder is permanently installed in a vehicle for display, the cylinder must be completely empty.
12.2 Storage of Compressed Gas Cylinders
All fuel storage tanks/cylinders used must meet applicable federal, state, and local fuel storage requirements. This includes storage of all Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders in secured, well-ventilated cages outside of the facility.
LPG gas cylinders
- Stored outside of facility in ventilated cage at designated location in service yard.
- LPG gas cages should be removed from the premises at the end of the event. Gas cages are considered abandoned if left more than 48 hours after the end of the contracted event. For more information, go to Section 28: Abandoned Property Section.
LPG gas cages
- All cages must be “labeled/identified” to indicate:
- The General Service Contractor, A/V Company, or Contractor Company responsible for the cage.
- Phone number to contact with problems and issues.
12.3 Hazardous Chemicals and Materials
Hazardous chemicals and materials are not permitted in the facility without prior written approval. Toxic or hazardous materials are subject to immediate removal if the required information is not received and AFD Fire Marshal instructions are not followed. Clients are responsible for costs associated with safe handling of materials, including insurance. Exhibitors or clients must have immediate access to SDS sheets for all chemicals brought into the facility.
12.4 Crate Storage
Limited crate storage is provided and confined to the area authorized by the AFD Fire Marshal. Crate storage is not allowed in the exhibit halls, meeting rooms, ballrooms, public lobby or carpeted areas, including service corridors. Crate Storage in the service yard must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Storage is not permitted on or next to the loading dock/platform at any time.
- Storage must be contained within the designated area on the service yard floor:
- Maximum of thirty-four feet (34’) by thirty feet (30’) by twelve feet (12’) high (34’x30’x12’).
- Maximum height of twelve feet (12’) with any storage above six feet (6’) must be wrapped and tied to avoid slippage.
- Covered with plastic and then secured to avoid water damage.
- Protected by one (1) 2A10BC fire extinguisher provided by clients or General Service Contractor.
- Storage of loose or scrap packing materials is permitted in sealed crates only. Storage of flammable or combustible materials, mixtures, liquids, gases, hazardous or medical waste is not permitted inside the facility.
For your safety, exit doors may not be obstructed, locked, blocked, or held open, except by an approved smoke detection closing device. Items may not be placed within fifteen feet (15’) of a means of ingress or egress doorway. Exit signs may not be obstructed from view by booth, decorations or any other object or hanging materials.
12.6 Fire Regulations
Clients, service contractors and exhibitors must comply with all federal, state and municipal fire codes that apply to a place of public assembly, as well as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations:
- Fire and emergency equipment exits, aisle/egress access ways may not be blocked or obstructed under any circumstances. All fire hose connections, extinguisher cabinets, and fire alarm call stations must be visible at all times.
- The following are responsible for ensuring all regulations are followed: client, exhibitor, General Services Contractors. It is a requirement for the AFD to review and approve all event preplans and floor plans.
- Chains or locks may not be placed on any facility door.
- All curtains, drapes, decorations and decorative or construction materials must be non-combustible or flame retardant. Documentation affirming non-combustible or flame retardant properties must be available on site.
- Whenever, in the opinion of the AFD, it is essential for public safety in any place of public assembly, the owner, agent, or leasee should employ one or more qualified persons, as required and approved by the AFD, to be on duty. These individuals should be subject to the AFD’s orders and should be in uniform and remain on duty during the times such places are open to the public.
- All event floor plans require Austin Convention Center approval. Your Event Coordinator will submit all floor plans to the Fire Marshal for approval.
- Clients are cautioned not to sell exhibit space until the Fire Marshal has approved the floor plan in an effort to avoid costly changes involving exhibitions.
Approval in advance is required for multi-level exhibits, single-level exhibits with an enclosed/covered ceiling, vehicles, boats, and similar exhibited products having a roof area of over four hundred square feet (400 sq. ft.). For details, please review Section 8: Exhibits.
Any exhibit containing a roofed area of three hundred square feet (300 sq. ft.) or more requires a fire extinguisher to be displayed at such exhibit.
12.7 Floor Plans and Exhibits
Exhibit booths or displays may not block access to fire equipment. A display or an exhibit must not be installed or operated as to interfere with access to, egress from, or with the visibility of any required exit or exit sign.
Events that have pyrotechnics in their planning or production must submit a request for approval sixty (60) days prior to the first contracted date. Any use of pyrotechnics should comply with NFPA-1126, federal, state, and local regulations and industry best practices.
Austin Convention Center is a smoke-free facility. Smoking is allowed in the following designated areas only:
- Public smoking is only permitted outside the facility and not allowed within fifty (50 ft.) feet of the facility.
- Exhibit personnel are not allowed to dock access during show hours for the purposes of smoking.
- For purposes of this policy, electronic cigarettes are considered smoking material and are only allowed in designated areas.
All vehicles, boats and equipment containing fuel must meet and comply with the following requirements before entry into the facility:
- There is to be no more than five (5) gallons of fuel or 1⁄4 the capacity of the fuel tank, whichever is less.
- Fuel tanks used for storage of excess fuel must meet applicable federal, state, and local fuel storage requirements.
- Fuel tanks are to be locked and all portable tanks removed. Locking the vehicle will be sufficient for cars in which the gas cap cover may only be detached from inside the vehicle.
- Ignition keys are to be removed and placed in a central location on-site.
- Vehicles, boats, and similar exhibited products with more than three hundred square feet (300 sq. ft.) of roofed area are to have a smoke detector.
12.11 Construction and Welding in the Facility
- Welding, grinding, or other “HOT Work” Is not permitted inside the facility.
- The use of power saws is prohibited inside the exhibit halls, ballrooms, and meeting rooms.