Inspection Course


Places of Assembly

These are structures where groups of people gather. Examples include meeting rooms, restaurants, night clubs, bars, churches, auditoriums, sports areas, exhibit halls, theaters, etc.

Concerned with the safety and hazards of large numbers of people gathered in one place. The minimum occupant load to be considered a place of assembly is 50. Less than 50 persons is usually classified as a business occupancy.

Class A Assemblies:  exceeds 1000 persons
Class B Assemblies:  301 - 1000 persons
Class C Assemblies:  50 - 300 persons

Unlike most other occupancies, places of assembly encompass a wide range of uses, each with different considerations (darkness, tables number of exits, occupant density.)

  • Note the use of the facility. Is there more than I use? (ex. Church / Bingo Hall - multi-use assembly)
  • Has the use of the facility changed since last inspection? Chances are occupant load will likely have changed.
  • Prompt notification of occupants of an emergency condition is necessary. Alarm system should include instructions (posted and verbal) to occupants to reduce possibility of panic.

    Means of egress. Usually require use of panic hardware on doors. These doors can NEVER be chained or padlocked closed. The means of egress must be maintained at ALL times.

    Employees of assembly occupancies are critically important to the life safety of patrons. If the staff is properly trained, they can prevent serious injury or death to many patrons.

    Assembly occupancies can be safely occupied when the following conditions are avoided:

    1. Overcrowding
    2. Blocked or impaired exits
    3. Chained or locked exits
    4. Storage of combustibles in other than proper location
    5. Improper use or control of open flames
    6. Disregard for fire characteristics of materials and decorations.

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    FPT 102 - Fire Prevention and Inspection // Instructor: Kevin M. Kolb        Slide #2