Any tent or temporary shelter generally made of fabric stretched across structural elements or any inflatable structure made of material stretched solely by air pressure and mounted on the ground.

General requirements

  1. The structural elements (poles, ropes, straps, stakes and anchors, etc.) of a tent or inflatable structure must be solidly anchored to the ground in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
  2. Any tent or inflatable structure presenting a particular risk (e.g. cooking, workshops, hazardous material and electricity) must be at least 3 m from any physical components (tent, inflatable structure, free-standing structure, building, etc.) and must comply with the limiting distance requirements determined by the Québec Construction Code (CCQ) in effect.
  3. No cooking or combustion devices may be used inside a tent to which the public has access.
  4. Cooking appliances with more than 2 baskets used for frying food and used inside a tent or inflatable structure not open to the public shall be protected by a special extinguishing system that complies.
  5. Any tent, inflatable structure or tarp must be in compliance with CAN/ULC-S109-M, "Standard for Flame Tests of Flame-Resistant Fabrics and Films” or NFPA 701, "Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films."
  6. Hay, straw, wood chips and other similar combustible material are prohibited with the exception of daily requirements to feed and care for animals. However, sawdust and wood chips are authorized if they are kept wet.
  7. Any heating system and its components must be installed in accordance with CCQ requirements and the manufacturer's recommendations.
  8. Any heating system and its components must be outside and at least 3 m from any building, tent or inflatable structure. It is also important to ensure that no combustion gases are directed back into one of the structures.
  9. The tents must not obstruct the exits of the neighbouring buildings.
  10. Any tent or inflatable structure of more than 150 m2 must be provided with two means of evacuation at least 1.5 m wide, as far apart as possible and free of any obstruction.
  11. The maximum length of a tent or a group of tents or adjacent inflatable games on a public road must not exceed 25 linear metres (80 feet). 
  12. Any tent or inflatable structure must be at least 1.5 m from any fire hydrants, Siamese connections and natural gas control valves. 
  13. For a conference type arrangement and where the number of persons in the room exceeds 100, non-fixed seats in a row shall be attached in groups of at least eight seats. Seats in a row of less than eight seats shall be attached to each other.
  14. For a banquet-type event, maintain a space of at least 1400 mm between the tables of two consecutive rows. Dead-end aisles are also limited to 6 m. 
  15. Smoking or using devices with an open flame is prohibited inside a tent used by the public, with the exception of devices used to heat food.
  16. Materials used for decorating tents or inflatables shall meet the match flame exposure test of NFPA 705-2009.
  17. The tablecloths under the warming trays must not be made of plastic or paper. 
  18. In the tents, all bulbs and projectors must be at least 600 mm from the fabric and from any combustible material. 
  19. Have at least one approved class 3A-10BC portable fire extinguisher at every exit in the tents to which the public has access or that have a particular risk (e.g. cooking, workshop, hazardous material, generator or heating/air conditioning). 
  20. The inflatable structures used as a meeting site for more than 200 people must have either:
  21. An automatic emergency generatorthat can supply a blower fan for four consecutive hours;
  22. An additional fan operated by a self-starting internal combustion engine.
    a)  An automatic emergency generatorthat can supply a blower fan for four consecutive hours;
    b)  An additional fan operated by a self-starting internal combustion engine. 

Specific requirements

For any meeting site over 150 m2, sleeping site of 100 m2 or occupation of more than 60 people

  1. Any tent or inflatable structure measuring more than 150 m2 must have at least two evacuation routes in compliance with the CCQ. The inside route must have at least 1100 mm of cleared space in width and must lead to exits.
  2. Depending on which of the two is more restrictive, the maximum eligible number of people must be in compliance with the type of event or the evacuation routes as determined by the CCQ. 
  3. The tents must be installed on a site that is exempt of any flammable material or any vegetation likely to spread fire. This site must include the tent dimensions plus an additional 3 m around the entire periphery.
  4. Any tent or inflatable structure must be set up at least 3 m from the other structures on the same property. In addition, all structures must comply with the distance requirements stipulated in the CCQ with regard to the boundaries of the neighbouring properties to prevent fire from spreading.
  5. The tents must be equipped with emergency lighting installed to provide illumination of evacuation routes identified by "Exit" or "Sortie" signs.
  6. Any structure that can accommodate over 1000 people must be equipped with a fire alarm system and evidence of system verification. At least two fire risk control officers who are familiar with the exits and all the safety measures, including the fire safety plan, must be on site. They must also conduct site patrols to verify that the evacuation routes are free of any obstructions and to ensure compliance with all regulations. 
  7. Have a fire safety plan in compliance with the NFC.

The Régie du bâtiment contains information on the following:

  • An event organizer's responsibilities
  • Required permits
  • Regulations to follow, such as required certifications, structure solidity, required clearances, heating, evacuation routes, the fire alarm system, etc.
  • Propane gas and natural gas
  • Electricity