Agricultural Venue Properties
Turning an agricultural site, barn, or other outdoor rustic facility into a venue for a wedding or other event, may seem like a creative and wonderful business idea. However, at the Office of the State Fire Marshal, our focus has to be on the safety of the attendees and those hosting the event.
The State of Kansas has approved the International Building Code (2006), and International Fire Code (2006), as the guiding laws that deal with new and changing structures. It gives guidance on what you are required to do with your facilities. The focus of the codes and our office is safety for everyone attending an event in these rustic locations.
A new code footprint is necessary for any assembly but is not necessary to submit it to the OSFM for review unless capacity is over 2,000 attendees. We remind those changing a barn to an assembly area that non-combustible wall finishes are required. Since this is often impossible due to barn construction, additional safeguards are often required as compensatory measures, along with a code variance approval. You can request a variance with the code consultation form below.
Virtually all barns changed to a wedding venue will have either an A-2 or A-3 occupancy. Those with a multi-level facility are required to have an automatic sprinkler system. We expect this to often be the case with barn-type structures having a loft where part of the ceremony could be leading to attendees on two levels. (IBC 2006 902.2.1, 902.2.1.2, 903.2.1.3)
A-2 or A-3 occupancies must have a manual fire alarm system if the occupant load is over 300. There is an exception if an alarm notification appliance activates upon sprinkler water flow with a fire activated sprinkler system (IBC 2006)
You can contact the Fire Prevention Educational Consultant for more information.
You can learn more about these codes by using the link below.