Event Management

Contact EHS for any questions regarding the safety aspects of event management at Bates College.

To schedule an event, please use the Event Management System found here.

Please contact Hunter Smith to schedule event management training at hsmith4@bates.edu.


Purpose and Scope

The purpose and scope of this guideline is to define policies and procedures that will ensure compliance with the State of Maine Fire Marshall’s Office, the Lewiston Fire Department, and the relevant federal and local building codes. These guidelines are activated when an event inside a Bates College building is being attended by 250 or more persons. The individual sponsor, or a representative of the sponsoring organization, must review these guidelines prior to the event and assure compliance with the specified guidelines before, during, and after the event.


Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) – The AHJ shall be the State Fire Marshall, the Lewiston Fire Department Chief, or other relevant onsite authority such as the Captain on scene. Bates Campus Safety and Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) are responsible for enforcing this policy.

Code – The term “code” shall mean NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, which serves as a primary reference for fire and life safety issues in the State of Maine.

Means of Egress – A continuous and unobstructed path of travel from any point in a building or structure to a public space and consists of 3 separate and distinct parts:

  1. the exit access
  2. the exit way
  3. the exit discharge

A means of egress comprises the vertical and horizontal means of travel and shall include intervening room space, doors, corridors, balconies, ramps, stairs, vestibules, horizontal exits, courts, and yards.

Exit – The term “exit” shall have the same meaning as “means of egress”.

Net Floor Area – Represents the total floor area of an EMPTY room.

Occupancy – The term “occupancy” shall mean the use of space or room(s) within a building by a person or group of persons.

Place of Assembly – The term “place of assembly” shall mean a room or space within a building in which more than 50 persons assemble for religious, recreational, educational, political, social or amusement purposes, or the consumption of food or drink.


The following procedures have been established to assure compliance with the State Board of Fire Prevention Regulations, State Building Codes, and Bate College Fire and Life Safety guidelines during events in places of assembly on campus. The event sponsor is responsible for complying with the Event Management Policy.

Responsible Person

A person designated from the Event Management Team will be responsible for complying with all applicable requirements specified in the attached Fire and Life Safety Events Checklist. The responsible person shall be attend and be present throughout the duration of the event to assure compliance with all specified guidelines and procedures.

Planning the Event

Determine the occupancy capacity of the space you plan to reserve for your event. The space must be large enough to accommodate the expected number of attendees. The listed occupancy capacity assumes no furnishings in the room. The use of chairs, tables, bars, stages, etc. will reduce the capacity of the event.

Decorations, Wall Coverings, or Sound Insulation

All decorations, wall coverings, and sound insulation must be flame retardant, as specified in the State Board of Fire Prevention Regulations and NFPA 701: Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films. A Permit for Use of Decorative Materials must be submitted to Bates EHS prior to the event. The Permit shall specify:

  1. The material has been certified as flame retardant
  2. The certifying agency
  3. Certification number
  4. The type of occupancy that the permit is being issued for


  1. Shall not obstruct exits, exit accesses, exit discharges, or visibility
  2. Shall not be placed over exit doors or otherwise be located to conceal or obscure any exit.

Contact Bates EHS with any questions concerning the flammability of materials intended to be used in the space.

Fire Fighter Detail

Venues which will be used for events other than it’s intended use and will have an expected attendance of 1,000 or more persons, an LFD Fire Inspector may be required. The event planner must contact Bates EHS at 6413 or 8222 at least 2 weeks before the event to review the requirements and to request a local Fire Inspector, if deemed necessary.

The cost of the LFD detail is the responsibility of the event sponsor.

Open Flames and Pyrotechnic Devices

The use of open flames, candles, pyrotechnical devices, or smoke machines are strictly prohibited inside any Bates College building. Persons requesting candles for religious purposes should consult with their religious advisor and be reviewed by Bates EHS.

Bates EHS recommends the use of flameless, battery operated candles be used in lieu of real candles.

Tables, Chairs, and Aisles

In each place of assembly where seating is provided, except where seated at tables, the seating shall be arranged in an orderly manner with ample provisions made for aisles leading to exits, and no aisle forming a part of the egress system of the place of assembly shall be obstructed or encumbered. Tables arranged for dining or other purposes in places of assembly shall be located in respect to exit openings, and so space apart, that sufficient means of access to exit openings is provided. Aisles in the direction of exits shall be at least 3 feet in width. Suitable access shall be provided from all tables. Refer to NFPA 101 Section for more detailed information.

Sterno Fuel Gel for Food Warming

When working with Sterno

  1. Use caution when handling open flame products.
  2. Use a blunt object to pry off the lid.
  3. Cup hand over lid when opening can.
  4. Remove excess gel from lid if it is being used as a regulator.
  5. Wash fuel residue from hands.
  6. Place the can underneath the chafing dish or beverage urn before lighting.
  7. Place cans securely in the equipment.
  8. Use a long handled match or butane lighter to light the can.
  9. Use a snuffer paddle, regulator or saucer to extinguish the flame
  10. Wait until the can is cool before touching.

When working with Sterno, DO NOT

  1. Use a sharp knife to pry off the lid.
  2. Use a lit can to light another can.
  3. Carry lit cans.
  4. Carry chaffing dishes or beverage urns with lit cans.
  5. Touch cans while still hot.
  6. Wear loose clothing, napkins, and tablecloths near flame
  7. Allow hair to fall near the flame.
  8. Use hands to extinguish the flame.
  9. Blow out flame of Sterno to extinguish.

Storage of Sterno

Small amounts of Sterno fuel may be stored in closed containers in a cool dry place away from sources of heat or open flames.

Larger amounts of Sterno may be stored in flammable rated cabinets in a cool dry place away form sources of heat or open flames.

Prior to the Event

1 Day Before Event – Facility Inspection

  1. Open all exit doors to check for proper operation and any obstructions.
  2. During winter check for ice buildup around exit door and exit discharge areas.
  3. Check ADA entrances to verify they are unlocked and unobstructed.
  4. Confirm a minimum of 2 exits.
  5. Check all fire safety equipment – fire doors, fire extinguishers, alarm activation devices, emergency lights, exit signs, sprinkler system riser access and fire alarm control panel access.
  6. Check adjoining spaces for fire hazards.

Day of Event – Setup Inspection

  1. Recheck all items from the Facility Inspection (listed above).
  2. Check all paths for direct routes to exits.
  3. Check that chairs are zip tied or secured by other means.
  4. Check stage setup for any recognized hazard.
  5. Check control booth area for any recognized hazard.

Fire Alarm Evacuation Announcement

The following announcement must be made at the start of the event, and between musical sets. The announcement should read:

“In the event of a fire alarm, please proceed calmly to your nearest exit, leave the building and move away from the building. Please note the location of the nearest exit to you. Be aware that the way you entered the building may not be the closest way out. Sitting or standing in the aisles and doorways is not permitted. Smoking is not allowed inside any Bates College building. Please turn off or silence all cell phones. Thank you and enjoy the show.”

During and After the Event

During the Event

  1. Ensure the occupancy capacity of the space has not been exceeded.
  2. Continue to monitor all exits, corridors and stairwells to be sure they are remaining clear and unobstructed.
  3. Asking anyone blocking an aisle or door to move.

After the Event

At the completion of the event, the responsible person shall complete and sign the Event Fire and Life Safety Checklist to verify that all appropriate safety procedures were accomplished.

Occupancy Calculations

Occupancy capacities have been calculated by Bates College and LFD. Occupancy capacity of a room is based on the net square footage of unobstructed available floor space.

  • The Net Floor Area is based on an observation of the room configured for normal usage. Usually the net floor area represents the total floor area of an empty room. However, if the room contains a stage, display case, bar, tables, chairs, or any other permanent or semi-permanent fixture, the space occupied by the obstruction must be subtracted from the total area of the room to arrive at the net floor area.
  • Concentrated Use capacities are based on the number of people standing in a room, and are calculated at 7 square feet per person. Tables, chairs, or other furnishings placed in the room will reduce the capacity by 1 person for every 7 square feet of floor space taken up by the furniture.
  • Less Concentrated Use capacities assume that people are seated at tables.
  • Non-Fixed Seating refers to chairs that are easily removed from the room. Folding chairs and table chairs in classrooms are examples of non-fixed seating. All non-fixed seating will be secured together to avoid tip over and provide unrestricted access in the event of an emergency.
  • Fixed Seating refers to seats in auditoriums or gymnasiums, where the seats or bleachers are permanently affixed to the floor.
  • Dance Functions require 10 square feet per person of net floor area.

Assembly Space Occupancy Counts

Assembly SpaceMaximum OccupancyNear Capacity (85%)
Alumni Gym839713
Chase High Ceiling695590
Gomes Chapel600510
Gray Cage22001870
Merrill Field House33002805
Mays Center320272
Olin Arts Concert Hall300255
Schaeffer Theatre300255
Underhill Arena20401734


Event Sponsors or Department

  1. Groups that sponsor events in college buildings must appoint a responsible person whenever attendance at the event exceeds 100 persons. The responsible person must have training in Event Management.
  2. The responsible person must notify EHS to conduct an on-site inspection and Event Safety Checklist.
  3. The responsible person must contact EHS to determine if LFD is required for the event. Prior to the event EHS will schedule a meeting with team leaders along with the Fire Inspector and/or Police to discuss the details and to discuss any costs associated with the event.
  4. The responsible person shall perform an inspection of the space before the start of the event using the checklist and be present throughout the duration of the event to assure compliance with the Event Fire and Safety Guidelines.
  5. If food warming is required, ensure that the guidelines for the safe use of Sterno fuel gel are followed.
  6. At the completion of the event, the responsible person shall complete and sign the Event Fire and Life Safety Checklist to verify that all appropriate Fire Safety Guidelines have been accomplished.

Facility Services

  1. Assure that the set-up of tables and chairs is done in accordance with fire code specifications.
  2. Complete any work orders submitted for fire safety equipment before the event commences.
  3. Assure that snow and ice have been removed from all entries and exits.

Campus Safety

Many events in Bates College spaces may require a contracted Security detail. A Security detail is required where their are more than 100 persons in attendance and alcohol is being served. The event sponsor should notify Bates Campus Safety or Bates EHS to inquire if a detail is necessary and if so, request detail on the Event Management Form. Large venues open to the public may require local police details.

Bates EHS

  1. Provide Event Management Training.
  2. Schedule LFD sight visit when venue is opened to the general public. Exclusion to this rule includes Schaeffer Theater, Gomes Chapel, and Olin Arts Center.
  3. Assist with crown management for significant large venues upon request.
  4. Review the policy annually and update as needed.
  5. Maintain a list of capacities for all assembly areas.