INFORMATION: 425-276-9500 | EMERGENCY: 9-1-1

Updated Info on Use of Tents and Canopies

Updated Info on Use of Tents and Canopies

Helping Our Business Community During COVID-19 – Info on Use of Tents and Canopies

The Renton Regional Fire Authority wants to assist your business in implementing creative solutions to ensuring safe operations during the current COVID occupancy restrictions.  We offer the following for consideration as you navigate through the coming cold weather months.

Tents During the Pandemic and Occupancy Restrictions – Using Outdoor Spaces When Public Health Rules Limit Indoor Assembly Uses

Tents pose a life safety risk due to flammability and collapse considerations.  Larger tents (over 400sqft) are regulated by the fire code.  This page presents a summary of requirements as well as current temporary exceptions we are allowing.


A Renton Fire Tent Permit is required for a temporary tent, canopy, or air-supported structure that is more than 400sqft.  Any that are less than 400sqft do not require a permit.


We are issuing a no-fee tent permit to responsible parties who are moving all or some of their services or business outside due to public health rules limiting indoor use.  The no-fee permit includes conditions you must follow regarding tent materials and installation to comply with safety requirements in the fire code.  These permits are good for 90 days but can be extended if COVID occupancy restrictions still exist at the time of expiration.  Please contact us to discuss the need for an extension PRIOR to the expiration date.

Our permit application can be found by clicking here:  Renton Fire Tent Permit or visiting our website at


If you are purchasing a tent greater than 400sqft, please ensure that it meets flame retardant standards in the fire code.  You will be required to accept responsibility and liability for the proper installation of the tent per industry standards and/or manufacturer’s installation instructions.  Temporary tents are not to be occupied during periods of snow or ice accumulation unless designed for full structural loading per the Renton Building Department.  Tents rented through a reputable tent rental company will meet fire code standards and the tent company will assume liability for proper installation.


We generally require a set-back between tents and buildings of 12 feet, primarily to allow access for emergency responders.  However, during COVID occupancy restrictions, we are allowing tents to abut buildings with zero clearance.  Tents can not extend into the fire lane – so please ensure that these are kept clear when planning the placement of your tent and submitting your permit application.


The City of Renton Building Department may require addition permits, such as mechanical and electrical for items used within your tent.  While we provide a copy of the tent permit application you submit to us to the City of Renton Building Department, it is a good idea to contact them directly to determine any additional permits that may be needed.  You can not occupy or use the tent until they have approved of any additional permits that are needed in addition to the Renton Fire Tent Permit.  You may contact them directly at: 425.430.7200 (select option 1) or

For additional assistance or information, please contact our Fire Marshal’s Office at (425) 276-9580.