Events that use rooms or areas (including outdoor spaces) in ways different than what they were designed for, or involving more than 300 persons in a space or area without fixed seating requires event approval.
University of Nebraska Building & Fire Safety is dedicated to the safety of all individuals and to the efficiency of well‐planned and executed events. The following events and activities require review, approval, and, in some cases, inspection:
- Indoor events involving 300 or more persons
- Events involving tents
- Outdoor events enclosed by a fence
- Fireworks of any kind
- Any use of flame or flame effects
Event Planning Approval Forms
The information provided below is intended as a general guideline for planning Events, based on regulations adopted by the State of Nebraska and administered on all campuses by Building & Fire Safety. For specific questions please contact us.
Please note: Be aware that the maximum occupancy is partially based on the net clear floor area. Stages and other obstructions, seating arrangements and the use of tables will decrease the capacity. The type of event is also a determining factor.
General Room Capacity Information
When planning for an event, consider the following general information:
|| Area Per Person
|concentrated (concerts, dances, lectures)
|| 7 sq ft per person
| less concentrated (dining room, exhibit room)
|| 15 sq ft per person
| fixed seats
|| number of fixed seats
| stage (persons on stage)
|| 15 sq ft per person
The number of exits required is based on the capacity.
| Number of Occupants
|| Number of Exits
| 50 - 499 persons
|| 2 remote exits (minimum)
| 500 - 999 persons
|| 3 remote exits (minimum)
| 1000 or more persons
|| 4 remote exits
Exits must remain unobstructed and provide clear access to the outside at all times. Wires or cables are not permitted to be placed in front of exits or on steps. All wires or cables on floors must be properly taped down or covered to avoid tripping hazards.
Special Events Related Information
If you are planning on hosting a public function, you are responsible for ensuring the safety of all participants. Information on this page is provided to assist you with that process, including requirements for special permits and inspections.
Requirements mentioned on this page can be found in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code 101, and related publications, as currently adopted by the Nebraska State Fire Marshal. While the information set out below does not completely address all regulations contained in the list of applicable documents, it should answer most questions relating to public assembly functions and occupancies. For further information or clarification, please contact Building & Fire Safety.
Special Events Approval Procedures
University of Nebraska Building & Fire Safety (B&S) uses the Special Event Information Form/Permit Form for reviewing events for public assemblies. This form, and the layout drawings required therein, shall designate booth spaces, island spaces, aisle widths, storage areas, relationships of the exhibit and event spaces to the physical requirements of the facility or enclosed space, configuration and width of all emergency exit aisles, and, in general, conformance to the Fire and Life Safety Codes.
The responsible party for each event shall submit an electronic copy of the proposed master set‐up floor plan, drawn to scale, to B&S for review. This plan must be received by B&S no later than 14 days prior to event date. The master set‐up floor plan shall include the following information:
Detailed floor plans, including:
- Facility floor plans drawn to scale and depicting all main perimeters and cross aisles, all booth and table locations and dimensions. Boundaries should be defined and heights shall be specified (i.e., 8’ hard wall, 3’ wing drape, rope and stanchion, etc.). Aisle locations and dimensions
- Distances between rows of chairs and/or tables. Booths or displays are prohibited in any main perimeters or cross aisles, including pre‐function areas
- Cross aisles shall be clearly marked on all floor plans
- Aisles shall flow and converge toward emergency exits
- All exit components (corridors, stairways, doors, etc.) from the event area to the public way
- Keep in mind that required widths shall be maintained
- There shall be no storage, booths, or obstructions in front of exit doors. The width of all exit door(s) shall be maintained
- Concession areas, temporary cafeterias, concession seating areas, and lounges must be specifically identified as such. The type of food preparation equipment shall be provided
- Dimensions and locations of any staging, floor lighting, and emergency lighting
Locations of Fire Protection and Life Safety equipment, including their respective locations and required clearance dimensions:
- Fire extinguisher locations
- Manual fire alarm stations – 36‐inch clear space and a clear 36‐inch path to adjacent aisle/corridor
- Fire standpipe valves – 36‐inch radius and a clear 36‐inch path to adjacent aisle/corridor
- Fire sprinkler control valves – 36‐inch radius and a clear 36‐inch path to adjacent aisle/corridor
- Fire alarm control panel – 36‐inch clear space and a clear 36‐inch path to adjacent aisle/corridor
- Electrical control panels – 36‐inch clear space and a clear 36‐inch path to adjacent aisle/corridor
Keep in mind that:
- Seats shall be securely fastened to the floor. Where fastening of seats to the floor is impracticable, the seats shall be fastened together with approved fastening devices in minimum groups of 3 and maximum groups of 14
- When considering occupant numbers, assembly areas of concentrated use, such as those with no fixed seating or with chair set‐ups, shall have the total square footage for the area divided by 7 square feet per person
- When considering occupant numbers, assembly areas of less concentrated use, such as table and chair set‐ups, shall have the total square footage for the area divided by 15 square feet per person
- When considering occupant numbers, exhibit areas shall be calculated based on the net square feet divided by 7 square feet per person. Each mobile display and exhibit booth shall be figured with an occupant load of 2 and added to the total occupant load
- When the occupant load number is greater than 49, additional exiting and other Fire/Building code requirements shall be required. Contact Building & Fire Safety for additional information
- Carefully review the returned master plan set‐up plans comment sheet from B&S. When required, the master set‐up plan shall be corrected by the event management and an electronic copy re‐submitted for review.
- Should any circumstance require a major and/or significant change in the reviewed plans, the new master set‐up plan must be resubmitted to B&S for review as soon as such changes become known to event management.