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Law Enforcement

Fire and Life Safety

A. Fire and Life Safety (Fire Marshal's Office)

California’s Fireworks, Explosives & Destructive Device Laws

Regulated by the California Fire Code (CFC) Chapter 33-Explosives, and the California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 19

  1. Pyrotechnics – permit needed.
  2. Open flames indoors or in close proximity - advance approval needed from Fire Marshal
  3. The use of candles must comply with the CFC and be approved by the Fire Marshal.

B. Tents and Canopies

Regulated by the California Building Code (CBC), CFC, and the CCR Title 19.

  • TENTS - (def.) – A structure, enclosure or shelter constructed of fabric or pliable material supported by any manner except by air or the contents that protect it.
  • CANOPIES- (def.) – A structure, enclosure or shelter constructed of fabric or pliable materials, supported by any manner, except by air or the content it protects, and is open without sidewalls or drops on 75 percent or more of the perimeter.
  • Approval from Fire Marshal Required For Tents and Canopies


  • Tents have an area in excess of 200 square feet.
  • Canopies have an area in excess of 400 square feet.


  • Tents used exclusively for recreational purposes (camping).
  • Fabric Canopies open on all sides and comply with all of the following:
  1. Individual canopies have a maximum size of 700 sq. ft.
  2. The aggregate area of multiple canopies placed side by side w/o a fire break clearance of 12 ft. does not exceed 700 sq. ft.
  3. A minimum clearance of 12 ft. separates canopies from all structures and other tents.


BEFORE A PERMIT IS GRANTED: The owner or agent shall file with the Fire Marshal a State Fire Marshal Certificate of Flame Resistance , certifying the tent’s sidewalls, drops and tops , canopies, floor coverings, bunting, combustible decorative materials and effects, including sawdust when used on floors or passageways, indicating that they are composed of flame resistant materials, or are treated with a flame retardant in an approved manner and meet the requirements for flame resistance as determined in accordance with CCR Title 19, and that such flame resistance is effective for the period specified by the permit.

C. Fire Extinguishers

  • Must have a current State Fire Marshal (SFM) Annual Maintenance Inspection Tag.
  • Pressure gauge must reflect a fully charged extinguisher (green).
  • Minimum 2 A 10 BC Rating for non cooking.
  • Minimum Class “K” rating for cooking.
  • Maximum Travel Distance of 50 ft. to a fire extinguisher in tents.
  • Must be in a prominent visible and accessible location with the top of the extinguisher between 3-5 feet from floor level.
  • If New, and no SFM Tag, attach the receipt to reflect date of Purchase.

D. Exiting and Seating - Over 49 attendees

  • Maximum travel distance to an exit in a tent must be <100ft.
  • Number of required exits is based upon occupant load. (10-199=2 exits, 200-399=3 exits, 400-999=4 exits).
  • Exits shall be illuminated and maintained at all times. Exit signs must be posted per the CBC.
  • Aisle widths w/o fixed seating in public areas shall not be less than 44” (not less than 1’ aisle width per 50 people served by each aisle).
  • Submit a seating, table, and exiting plan for approval to the Fire Marshal.
  • Chairs must be bonded together in sets of three when there are 100 chairs or more.

E. Separation, Access, Location and Parking

  • Separation– Isolate cooking away from all tents and canopies. Maintain aggregate tent/canopy floor area 15,000 sq. ft. shall be located at least 50 ft. from other tents or structures, unless connected by a corridor, and have exit signs in place.
  • Fire Breaks – Not less than 10 ft. from guy wires.
  • Anchorage– roped, braced, collapse prevention and documentation of structural stability shall be provided to the Fire Marshal.
  • No Parking – maintain >20 ft. clearance between vehicles and all tents, membranes or canopies.
  • Combustible materials – store combustible materials >20 ft. from all tents, membranes or canopies. Clearly post “No Smoking” signs inside tents.
Safety Management

A. Event Site Planning

  • Design a site map of each event describing equipment and activity layout.
  • Location and facilities must be compatible with the event.
  • Address power needs and obstruction clearances.
  • Designate accessible restrooms, litter and/or recycling container locations.
  • Parking needs addressed with load/unload areas identified.
  • Maintain adequate safe access paths and lighting to prevent slips, trips and falls.
  • Significant hazards - establish boundary lines to protect the public.
  • Event Coordinator contact information/location.
  • Ensure accessibility is provided and maintained for attendees with disabilities.
  • Account for changing weather conditions, and develop contingency plans for outdoor events.

B. Electrical Power and Safety

  • Appropriate power source and location.
  • Electrical supply tested and grounded by trained personnel.
  • Proper use of extension cords (not overloaded, away from water, no trip hazard created). Bridges or other means to prevent trip hazards must be used for electrical cords within paths of travel. Rental or Loaned Equipment - proper working condition, no exposed wires, no exposed mechanical hazards, assembled correctly.
  • Generators or Temporary Power Sources - appropriate selection and location (exhaust fumes vented away from personnel/attendees), air pollution control permits for generators, if required.
  • The storage of fuel for generators or cooking, such as propane must be approved by the Campus Fire Marshal.

C. Proper Use of Water

  • Potable Water Only – use potable building water not irrigation water.
  • Use of Recycled Water is prohibited.
  • Use Dunk Tanks safely, and prohibit public access to the water tank.
  • No Waste Water discharges into storm drains.

D. Emergency Procedures

  • Identify closest medical facilities for emergency care.
  • Develop procedures for crisis response (fire, bomb alert, active shooter, etc.)
  • Develop an evacuation plan – identify emergency exits from the venue and assign emergency vehicle access routes/parking area in conjunction with Police and Fire Marshal input.
  • Designate an adequate number of staff to supervise the event.
  • Designate appropriate emergency medical care - first aid kits and properly trained personnel available, Emergency Medical Technicians required on-site for large or high-risk events.
  • Fire Watch or Fire Department Stand-by may be required at the discretion of the Campus Fire Marshal.

E. Special Event Equipment

  • Equipment Safety Inspection.
  • Deploy appropriate inspected safety equipment required for the event.
  • Develop operational safety rules - posted and enforced on-site.
  • Arrange for adequate lighting at night.

F. Animals

  • Campus veterinarian (or equivalent) review and approval required.

G. Food

Regulated by the California Health & Safety Code, Division 104, Part 7.

  1. Food Safety and Permit
    • A food permit is required for “public” events where perishable food is sold or given away.
    • A food permit is not generally required for “private” events (office party, member pot luck, etc.) or if the food service is handled by a campus approved caterer
    • The primary purpose for a permit is to promote serving/sale of food which is free of contamination, and is prepared, served, stored, and handled in accordance with applicable regulations.
  2. Obtaining a Food Permit
  3. Outside Food Vendors
    • Be on the UC Merced pre-approved caterers list. Contact Procurement Services at (209) 228-4669 for information on how to have a vendor added to the list.
    • Meet all applicable UC Merced insurance and other requirements; contact Risk Services (209) 228-4705 for more information.
    • Have a current health permit and acceptable health inspection score from Merced County.
    • Obtain an approved Temporary Food Permit. An approved Merced County permit may be submitted in lieu of a campus issued permit. A new Temporary Food Permit must be obtained for each new event.
  4. Food Safety Principles
    • Ensure that all foods come from a commercial restaurant, market or similar establishment that has a current City or County Health Permit.
    • Ensure that cold foods are kept cold (<41 degrees F.), and hot foods kept hot (>130 degrees F.) until cooked or served.
    • Ensure that employees wash their hands as needed before and during cooking or food preparation.
    • Ensure that all raw meats are thoroughly cooked before being served.
    • Do not leave foods requiring refrigeration out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Risk Management

A. Contracts

  • The Risk Management Office is available for assistance deciphering contract liability clauses and insurance certificates.

B. Proof of Campus Self-Insurance for Outside Entities

  • Vendors may require proof of self-insurance from the campus.
  • When the contract/agreement or Purchase Order is finalized/executed, request a certificate of self-insurance from Risk Management, if needed.
  • Allow adequate notice for risk management review of contracts and issuance of self-insurance certificates.

C. Waivers

  • Require participants to sign releases or waivers prior to their participation in the event. Waivers are essential for high risk events, and events involving minors.
  • Waivers used must follow the template provided by Risk Management.
  • Waivers do not absolve UC from responsibility for our events and how they are planned/operated.

D. Identify and Evaluate Risks

  • Fully document assessment and mitigation of risks associated with each event. Consult with the Risk Management Office for advice and guidance as needed.
  • Alcohol served or sold must be in accordance with all applicable Alcoholic Beverage Commission rules and regulations—consult with Campus Police for details. Donations or purchases of alcohol must be in accordance with UC Procurement Policies—consult with Campus Procurement for details.
  • Vendors or Exhibitors – consider the risks presented by products sold or distributed at events, and implement appropriate controls to reduce exposures.
  • Entertainment presents unique risks – implement controls that protect performers as well as patrons.
  • Events involving minors present additional risks – solicit review by Risk Management and implement controls needed to protect minors from injury.
  • Potentially controversial topics, speakers, concerts, artists, etc. may warrant additional security precautions – consult with Police and implement appropriate controls.
  • Potentially hazardous activities or recreational events (sports, inflatable games, carnival rides, petting zoos) will require waivers for each individual participant.
  • Transportation provided to patrons or performers creates additional risk – contract with licensed, insured commercial transportation providers, and avoid using personal cars. Consult with Risk Management to reduce transportation risks.
  • Money collected on-site requires financial management and security controls to prevent theft, robbery, etc. Consult with Campus Police for advice on security controls.

E. Responsibility/Sponsorship/Supervision of Event

  • Proper organization and supervision of events is important to reduce risks, and the opportunity for injuries during these activities.
  • It is important to know what department (s) or entity is responsible for (sponsoring) the event, so they can exercise effective oversight.
  • The sponsor is responsible for planning, organizing and supervising their events. Careful planning and documentation of risk remediation measures taken to reduce risks is necessary to reduce liabilities associated with incidents or injuries that may arise during an event.
  • Events that are co-sponsored by an entity external to the UC may require special contract and insurance requirements. Consult with risk management for assistance.

F. Report Incidents and Accidents

  • Report incidents and accidents that occur within 24 hours to Sedgwick claims hot-line 1-800-416-4029

A. Procurement (Purchasing or Procurement Office)

  2. Procurement should be brought into event planning early, to provide guidance for the appropriate contracting methods, forms, and requirements.
  3. Procurement sources and awards contract; negotiates pricing, terms, conditions (including contract liability and problematic clauses such as event cancellation, non-refundable deposits, and performer no-show) and signs all contracts or written agreements with any outside entity or vendor. Facilities contracts are handled by Facilities Managers or the campus Real Estate Office.

B. Proof of Insurance

  • Every external event sponsor and vendor is required to provide proof of insurance.
  • When requesting services from an outside vendor, a Purchase Requisition must be submitted to Purchasing unless there is an existing contract or blanket order established though Purchasing or the service requested is with a pre-approved caterer.
  • Purchasing will obtain proof of insurance from the vendor.
  • Minimum Insurance Coverage Limits and types are $1 million for General Liability ($2 million for foodservice); $1 million for auto liability if the vendor uses vehicles to provide their service, and proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance for the vendor’s employees. A separate endorsement naming The Regents of The University of California as additional insured is required.
  • Uninsured and underinsured vendors may obtain coverage through the Marsh Campus Connexions web site.
  • Registered Student Organizations need to obtain insurance through Marsh Campus Connexions for events they sponsor or organize, especially for high risk on-campus events, and all off-campus events.
Law Enforcement

A. Law enforcement (University Police Department)

  2. Identify a lead contact person for the event that will be point of contact for the police department during emergencies and/or incidents likely to cause a disruption to the smooth flow of the event. This person needs to be on-site during the event and have authority to make last minute changes as needed for safety and security of the campus and attendees of the event.

B. Police Office/Security/Community Service Officer Staffing

  • Due to the nature of some on-campus events, it may be necessary to staff the event with one or more police officers, private security personnel, or Community Service Officers to ensure appropriate safeguards to the campus and attendees. The staffing level can be determined upon consultation with police administration.

C. Screening

  • The screening needs for admission will vary from event to event based on the nature of the event and the expected attendees/guests. Screening can be as minimal as “invitation only” to implementation of full person screen devices (metal detectors). The screening needs can be determined upon consultation with police administration.

D. Crowd Control

  • The crowd control needs for each event is based on variables such as nature of the event, expected number of attendees, size of venue, etc. Crowd control may include barricades/fencing, identification badges, and other security personnel/procedures as needed to maintain effective safety and security at all times. Consult with police administration for recommended protections.

E. Dignitary/Celebrity

  • Should there be the intention to invite and/or have a dignitary/celebrity guest attend the event, Police Administration should be notified as soon as practical. Such guests likely require special police services that need immediate planning to ensure their safety and security.

F. Review Event Proposal

  • The safety and security of the campus and all attendees to an event is the primary responsibility of the university police, thus all event proposals prior to final approval should be reviewed by the university police.​​​​​​​