The threshold for crowd managers dropped from 1,000 to 500 people for certain events.
403.12.3 Crowd managers.
for gatherings exceeding 1,000 people. Where facilities or events involve a gathering of more than 1,000 500 people, crowd managers shall be provided in accordance with Sections 403.12.3.1 through 403.12.3.3.
403.12.3.1 Number of crowd managers.
The minimum number of Not fewer than two trained crowd managers shall be established at a ratio of, and not fewer one trained crowd manager for every each 250 persons or portion thereof, shall be provided for the gathering. Exception: Where approved by the fire code official, the number of crowd managers shall be permitted to be reduced where the facility is equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system or based upon the nature of the event.
- Outdoor events with less than 1,000 persons in attendance shall not require crowd managers.
- Assembly occupancies used exclusively for religious worship with an occupant load not exceeding 1,000 shall not require crowd managers.
- The number of crowd managers shall be reduced where, in the opinion of the fire code official, the fire protection provided by the facility and the nature of the event warrant a reduction.
This section is revised to accomplish two main changes. First, the threshold where crowd managers are required moves from 1,000 to 500 persons. However, two new exceptions allow for occupant load to stay at 1,000 for places of religious worship and outdoor events. Smaller venues sometimes place the public at greater risk than larger ones for many reasons, including the fact that larger facilities have greater requirements for other fire protection features. Many times, the event itself creates additional hazards that impact smaller audiences.
The new Exception 1 for outdoor events with less than 1,000 is intended to recognize the fact that outdoor events are perceived to be less dangerous because egress isn’t restricted as it is in a building. Exception 2 for places of worship with occupant loads up to 1,000 recognizes the fact that people who are in facilities normally have a greater awareness of their surroundings and are more familiar with egress routes because they attend the facility on a more regular basis than those at performances, who tend to be more transient.
Second, the section is modified to prescribe “trained” crowd managers. This concept is no different than requiring that the designated crowd manager is qualified, especially since each crowd manager could be responsible for the safety of 250 people.
The issue of providing crowd managers does not require a facility to hire any additional personnel; rather, it requires that a requisite number of their staff receive approved training in fire prevention, evacuation methods, and other duties. This training is currently provided at minimal cost across the nation. Training is available via the internet and can be found through the ICC Preferred Provider Program.