Occupant and spectator safety is of the utmost importance when you are renting bleachers for an event. In many cases, your insurance company will want to make sure your bleacher installation passes an inspection, or that you have received permitting from the city/county for your temporary bleacher installation.
Here are just a few areas that need to receive your attention when you are considering rental bleacher safety:
1.) Do the bleachers have the required safety features for the location of installation?
- Structural Integrity
- Safety fence and fall prevention measures.
- Any gaps greater than 4” above 30” elevation?
- Aisle ways (if required) for access to seating. Do they have handrails and aisle extension boards with a contrasting nose?
- Adequate egress from the bleachers for the crowd to move away from stands?
Since requirements can vary from safety fence to full gap closures depending on the facility or event location. Some agencies go by the ICC 2000 codes for bleachers while some use FBC (Florida Building Code) This needs to be decided prior to the installation of the temporary bleachers so that the correct materials are delivered to the event location. Many facilities or building departments may require “sealed” engineer drawings for the bleachers. These need to be requested with enough time to deliver them and must reference the appropriate requirements for that area.
Because some codes and requirements for bleacher use actually refers to the site the bleachers will be installed it is crucial that the bleachers be located in an area that is suitable for the spectators to get to easily and safely. A clear unobstructed path is needed as well as egress areas in front and if needed behind the bleacher system. These items are the responsibility of the facility or the venue and must be discussed prior to installation if any concerns are apparent.
2.) Will the bleachers need to be anchored to meet wind loads?
This is very uncommon for temporary bleachers but some location require the bleachers to be anchored to prevent uplift in a major storm. This can be done by using hurricane straps in the dirt or if the bleachers are on concrete by using tapcon anchor bolts. For rental bleachers, this typically needs to be considered when you are renting for longer terms vs. a few day rental.
3.) Do the bleachers need to have ADA spaces and companion seating?
If the rental bleachers are the only seating for the event it is likely that they will need to have designated locations for ADA. This can be done by adding a few “cut ins” on non-elevated bleachers but if the bleachers are not on concrete and do not have a pathway from the parking areas and the bathrooms then the ADA codes are still not met. In those instances, that would be a site issue and not a bleacher issue. For more details please reference the Americans with Disabilities Act
This is not an exhaustive list of items or requirements however it is a starting point and as always we are available to help with your event needs and available by email or phone.
For more information, see a recent article we wrote on Bleacher Safety