State to Address Concerns with Outdoor Tents

May 31, 2012

FRANKFORT – In the past year, sudden and dangerous storms caused eight deaths and several dozen more injuries during the collapse of an outdoor concert stage at the Indiana State Fair and a beer tent in St. Louis. These events have prompted the Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction (HBC) to join with industry representatives to form a committee to elevate the discussion over whether such tents and structures need closer scrutiny and whether building codes should be enhanced, according to a press release from the state's Public Protection Cabinet.

“We believe our current codes need to be examined and, if necessary, adopt amendments to the current statewide building code to establish an approval system for tents; review and make recommendations of the codes that regulate such structures; and establish site placement and inspection requirements for tents,” HBC Commissioner Ambrose Wilson IV said in the press release. “Throughout the year there are a number of outdoor events that utilize large temporary enclosures and we want to be certain that everyone attending has every confidence that the structures are installed properly and safely.”

The 19-member panel will hold its first public meeting Thursday, June 7, at the HBC offices in Frankfort. The advisory committee members and their affiliations as well as the time, location and agenda for the meeting follow.

The Tent/Temporary Structures Advisory Committee members include Nicole Rivera, of the Kentucky Horse Park; Mike Sausman, Kentucky Fair Board; Richard Nix, Steven Schaefer Associates; Jamie Link, Kentucky Finance Cabinet; Elizabeth Barnes, All Occasions Event Planning; Phil Kelling and Maura Paternoster, American Rental Association; Jan Schieffer, IFAI Tent Rental Division; Terry Bryant, Bryant’s Rent-All; Sam Purdon, Purdon Rentals; Mike Holland, representing Chattanooga Tent Company; Joey Ruffin and John Fuchs, Anchor Industries; Nancy Marinaro, Lexington Fayette Urban County Government Code Enforcement; George Pate, Metro Louisville Code Enforcement; Gary Feck, HBC Code Enforcement; Ric McNees, a technical advisor with HBC; Dawn Bellis, general counsel with HBC; and Jack Coleman, deputy commissioner of HBC.