Tents and Temporary Structures

Tents and temporary structures are considered for a permit on a case by case basis. All requesters planning to erect a tent or temporary structure on university properties shall adhere to this guideline, and apply for a Tent and Temporary Structure Permit through the Environmental Health and Safety Building Code Office. This review and permit process is intended for a temporary installation lasting less than 90 days. All others must go through the UCF Facilities Improvement and full UCF Building Code permit process.

Permit-exempted structures are not required to obtain a Tent and Temporary Structure Permit, but must still comply with all university rules and standards, including but not limited to: the requirements in this guideline and checklist, the SAFE Form process, the provisions for liability insurance, and be subject to a safety inspection at any time. All structures must be supported by tie-down means that do not require staking. Ground penetrations by anchors, stakes, and digging are strictly prohibited.

Exempt Temporary Structures are items such as:

  • an inflated amusement type bounce house or a similar amusement attraction
  • a climbing wall
  • a single canopy or tent erected by private persons not exceeding 120 square feet for personal use
  • a display booth or small stage
  • a structure, regardless of size, erected for external viewing purposes only (display only items)

When in question, the final interpretation of the application of this procedure to any structure is determined by the UCF Environmental Health and Safety Department.
The Tent and Temporary Structure Permit request must be submitted a minimum of five (5) business days in advance of the event with all required attachments.

These attachments shall include the following:

  • Certificate of Liability Insurance
  • Flame Spread Certificate
  • Site Plan
  • Egress Plan
  • Seating Plan, (where applicable)
  • Services, Equipment and Utilities Plan, (where applicable)*
  • Details on manufacture approved alternative methods of structural member connections where original equipment is not supplied
  • Details on ground support methods: All tents and temporary structures must be supported by alternative anchoring and support methods that do not require staking. Ground penetrations by anchors, stakes, and digging are strictly prohibited

*There is no fee for the permit application through temporary utilities associated with the temporary structure may have installation and inspection costs. A Facilities Operations work order with a billable account number or direct billing information must be filed to request connection to temporary utilities. The event will be charged for excess refuse and or damages to university properties arising from the event or the delivery, installation, and removal of the structure.

The Environmental Health and Safety Department reserves the right to inspect any temporary structure on UCF properties including permit-exempted structures. Any structure found to pose a risk to health or safety, placed without a permit, or installed with a questionable structural assembly will be denied occupancy and removed.

All structures subject to human occupancy shall be manufactured of materials with adequate fire resistance. Improvised tarp or plastic materials are not acceptable.

Overnight camping is not permitted within the areas bordered by Gemini Boulevard and the east property lines of east Greek Park Drive facilities. Additional site use limitations are listed in the minimum requirements below.

All permits for tents and temporary structures are conditional upon safe weather. Where inclement weather occurs after a permit is obtained and prior to set-up, the permit is voided unless the site is verified to be safe for use. Where unsafe conditions develop during use it shall the responsibility of the requester and event manager to monitor the site and suspend activities until the structure is again safe to occupy.

Please see the Facilities and Safety Tent and Temporary Structure Permit Procedure for more information.

Applications will be reviewed by the Environmental Health and Safety Department, and the permit will be issued upon verification of compliance. All sites are subject to inspection at any time. If a pre-event inspection is also required it will be noted on the permit application and an appointment made with the Vendor/Requester. All structures may be subject to a safety inspection at any time.
Minimum requirements and guidelines to be considered in addition to permit are as follows:

Insurance and Area Use Approvals

  • Non-university organizations must provide with their application a certificate of insurance provided by a company licensed to do business in the State of Florida, indemnifying and holding harmless the university, the Board of Trustees, and the Florida Board of Governors, and their officers and employees, from any and all liability, whatever its nature or description, caused by or resulting from the use or proposed use of the university facilities, in an amount not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence. The applicant must provide with the application a certificate of insurance showing the Board of Trustees as an additional insured.
  • All temporary structures including permit-exempted temporary structures are subjected to additional permits and approvals as applicable. These may include but are not limited to Facilities Operations Work Control Work Orders, SAFE forms, local building coordinators, Recreation and Wellness administration, the Student Union, Arena, and Landscape and Natural Resources. Requests for the Lake Claire recreation area and all RWC facilities and the Union patio require a reservation.

Construction and Assembly

  • Tents and canopies must be erected in accordance with manufacturer recommendations, industry standards, and code requirements. An improvised joint connection such as duct tape will not be permitted.
  • All structures intended for human occupancy must be fire-resistant.
  • All structures must be of sound construction. Methods of securing the structure against winds and fall over are required.
  • All tents and temporary structures must be supported by alternative anchoring and support methods that do not require staking. Ground penetrations by anchors, stakes, and digging are strictly prohibited.

Location and Spacing

  • Requests for temporary structures on the Memory Mall area shall be limited to a 48-hour maximum duration. Tents with bottoms, camping, and overnight habitation are not permitted on Memory Mall.
  • The Memory Mall area is not available for any temporary structure requests for the seven (7) days following a UCF home football game.
  • The Memory Mall area is not available for use for placement of amusement rides or heavy concentrated loads.
  • Any organization employing the use of a vehicle, including tent delivery vehicles, will be held liable for repair costs for any damages done to the Mall or any other landscaped area.
  • Many sidewalks on campus are fire lanes and cannot be blocked. Be sure to clearly indicate the location of your proposed structure on your site plan or aerial away from major sidewalks, service driveways, service parking, gates, or similar. Applications lacking sufficient location details will be denied.
  • Do not set up in proximity to hydrants or fire department connections, any utility connection or area requiring maintenance access.
  • A minimum of 50 feet of clearance is required from any adjacent building exit and minimum of 20 feet from the building itself. Requests for closer proximate set-ups will require the approval of the local building coordinator.
  • A minimum of 10 feet is required to adjacent temporary structures. This dimension may be increased or decreased as determined by review of the structures and site layout.

Fire Safety

  • All fabric coverings, barriers, and enclosures shall be flame resistant as meeting the applicable requirements of NFPA 101 Life Safety Code or NFPA 701. A certificate of flame resistance or copy of independent testing results from a nationally recognized testing lab shall be provided for all installations. Applied aftermarket fire retardants will be considered where appropriate for the material to be protected.
  • The grounds beneath and around the temporary structure shall free of large accumulations of dry vegetation or combustible materials.
  • Flammable or combustible materials and decorations shall not be stored or placed in or near the site while it is available for public use.
  • Combustible construction and scenery for effects must be provided with fire retardant treatments.
  • No smoking, open flame, fuel-fired grill, fryer, tiki, candle, or other device emitting fire or flame or producing grease-laden vapors shall be used in or immediately adjacent to a temporary structure for a minimum of 10’. Cooking is not permitted in or under the structure. Food warming trays utilizing single gel fuel type cans are permitted but must be protected and attended at all times with a fire extinguishing device present.
  • Fuel fired equipment such as generators supporting the event must be located a minimum of 10’ from the temporary structure with adequate barriers from guest access. All equipment must be listed for the application. Improvised electrical charging methods are not allowed.
  • Fireworks are not permitted on campus except by separate permit to authorized pyrotechnic vendors.
  • All temporary structures with special contents or activities such as cooking or shall have access to a portable fire extinguisher within a maximum 75’ travel distance. The fire extinguisher arrangements should be made with the vendor supplying the temporary structure, to include what is commonly called a “fire package”, or to obtain a fire extinguisher from a local vendor. Limited numbers of extinguishers are available for check out form the Office of Environmental Health and Safety with advance notice.


  • Temporary structures shall be set on level, stable ground with adequate drainage, and areas open for public access shall be free of trip hazards. A dedicated pedestrian path shall be provided to the public way for free egress.
  • Structures enclosed in whole or part shall be provided with adequate egress, depending on the size and arrangement of the enclosure. Generally, at least 2 remotely located means of egress are required, with additional openings added contingent on occupant load and area enclosed. A detailed layout to scale is required for permit review, and you will be advised of any required adjustment to the egress provided.
  • All structures are to be arranged to provide clear and obvious egress under all conditions. There shall be a minimum of 10-ft between stake/weight lines. Adjacent temporary structures shall be spaced to provide clear egress around the perimeter as needed. Indicate stake lines on the site diagram.
  • Site fencing where applicable shall also be arranged with adequate egress openings and reflected on the site plan.
  • Exit openings shall be identified. In vendor-supplied tents, exit signs can be included in the “fire package”. Alternative identification methods may be specified on the site plan.
  • Means of emergency announcement shall be provided for any temporary structure with an occupant load exceeding 300.
  • Emergency lighting shall be provided for any temporary structure exceeding 1200 sq. ft., and when deemed appropriate for the planned event as indicated in the permit review.

Electrical Service

  • Electrical installations shall meet the requirements of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
  • Temporary connection to university utilities beyond a standard plug to an existing receptacle requires coordination with Facilities Operations with a work order request or coordination with the designated building’s maintenance staff for facilities not covered by FO.
  • Extension cords are not permitted to be run through openings into adjacent facilities. Connection to adjacent facilities may require the approval of the local building coordinator.
  • All cords subject to pedestrian traffic must be protected and secured to prevent trip hazards.
  • Cords may not be run across vehicular pathways or obstruct means of egress.

Electric Heaters and Fog Machines

  • Heaters are not recommended for use in temporary structures. UL labeled heaters will be considered with adequate justification and proof of proper wiring and protection.
  • Fog machines are not approved for use in enclosed spaces without adequate ventilation.

Housekeeping and Facilities Coordination

  • All events must coordinate with Facilities Operations to provide adequate waste management for the event. Work requests should be filed in advance to request receptacles. Excessive waste left behind will result in charges to the requesting organization.
  • Work requests should also be filed when irrigation timing needs to be modified.