Tent Regulations / Digsafe permit

Using Tents on Campus Grounds

Tents are a fun and attractive addition to all kinds of events on campus. However, there are several regulations that commercial grade tents must adhere to in order to be used safely. Many of the concerns that are addressed with regulations have to do with the ground penetrations of tent stakes.

It should be understood that in order to minimize safety concerns and reduce the chance of a disruption of essential services, the only tents allowed to use ‘stakes in the ground’ are the two tents set up on Skinner Green for First Reunion Weekend. Because of the College’s underground utility systems tents that rely on the use of stakes in the ground pose a threat to the installer and tent users. Also, the utilities that may be taken off line – for instance telephone and data lines – can disrupt the Campus immeasurably. Those two tents require a Dig Safe Permit.

All other tents, (those tents which will not use ‘stakes in the ground’), will be secured by water barrels or concrete cylinders. These tents will be held in place in high winds by those weights rather than by stakes – which means no dig safe process. Although no Dig Safe process is need it is required that the tent installer contact the South Hadley Building Commissioner for the necessary permit and the South Hadley District Two Fire Department for an inspection of the tent. The fire inspection, will occur shortly after the tent is in place and before it can be occupied. The department on Campus that is renting the tent has the responsibility of making sure the installer has made these arrangements. The permit and inspection process may require additional safety steps – typically dependent on the size of the tent.

It is the responsibility of those making arrangements for the two tents on Skinner Green for Reunion One to notify Facilities Management of their plans - and they should do this via the Dig Safe application available below. This permit includes sections for each of the regulated areas and all must be checked off as "APPROVED" prior to the tent being occupied.

This protocol for all tent installations has been established to insure that the 'End User' will have no last minute problems at the time scheduled for the installation of the tent. Following this protocol should insure all permitting processes are initiated. All fees associated with this permit remain the responsibility of the sponsoring user or Department.

Procedure for Dig Safe Permit

  1. The 'End User' or Department should contact the FM Office or click the link below for a copy of the Tent Event Application.
    Dig Safe Permit (pdf format)
  2. The 'End User' should fill this form out completely and return it to the FM office AT LEAST TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THE EVENT.
    Mail to: Facilities Management Attn. Tents or,
    Fax to: Facilities Management x2070
  3. This process should initiate the Dig Safe process, resulting Dig Safe Number, and the appropriate marking of the tent site in anticipation of the installation of the tent.
  4. Any approvals received in writing, such as the Dig Safe approval, should be kept with the 'End User' and should be readily available for the duration of the event.

Dig Safe Rules

Commercial grade tents are typically fastened to the ground with long (36") stakes. These stakes pose a threat to the College underground utility systems. A chance collision between a tent stake and one of our systems can pose a threat to the installer and the tent users. Tents that utilize these stakes are subject to the Massachusetts “Dig Safe” laws, and require a Dig Safe inspection and assigned number prior to being erected. This permit process insures that nearby underground utilities will be properly marked so as to avoid damaged systems or harm to individuals. Facilities Management has determined that any stake 8 inches or greater in length poses a hazard to our utility systems, and this will represent our point of applicability.

Any tent secured with stakes 8" or longer must be Dig Safed before erected.

Application must be made using the FM form at least 2 weeks prior to the event.

No tent shall be erected before the application has been approved. This requires an inspection by FM and any outside utilities (i.e. Columbia Gas, South Hadley Electric) affected.

The approved application must be available from the sponsoring Person/Department until the tent is removed.

Facilities Management thanks you for your cooperation, and encourages you to contact us at x2012 if you have any questions.