If you have an outdoor event coming up and you’re planning on using an outdoor marquee, there’s a few things you should bear in mind. While outdoor marquees are a great way of providing shelter and adding versatility to your outdoor events, safe marquee usage is paramount.
There are plenty of factors that affect the safe usage of your marquee, including location, weather conditions, equipment and more. So, to ensure you get the best out of your marquee and nothing spoils your event, we have a list of safe marquee usage tips.
1. Set-up location
While you may not always have a say in where you set up your marquee, it’s important to understand how location can affect your marquee.
If you are able to select your setup location you should always look for flat ground first. Considering your surroundings and how the weather may affect you.
If it’s hot, then some nearby trees may be useful for shade. If it’s windy, you may want to look for wind shelter but you may not want to set up under trees (in case of falling branches). If it’s going to rain, have a think about drainage in your setup location (the last thing you want is water pooling on the ground inside your marquee).
2. Be aware of the weather
As mentioned above, it’s crucial to be aware of the weather conditions for the day of your event. The weather affects a variety of considerations including where you set up, what equipment you may need and what structural accessories you may need.
The most important weather consideration when it comes to marquees is wind. Whether you’re using a marquee in Melbourne, a marquee in Sydney or a marquee in Brisbane, it’s essential to understand what kind of wind tolerances your marquee can safely withstand. Your manufacturer’s instructions will provide information on safe wind tolerances. The team at Outdoor Instant Shelters can also provide further information.
If it does look like being a windy day, you should make sure you have all the necessary accessories including weights and sandbags, extra pegs and tie-downs, and walls to protect the people inside.
If it looks like it’s going to rain, make sure your marquee has the appropriate wet weather accessories (e.g. solid walls, roof guttering, solid flooring).
It’s also important to consider drainage so that water won’t pool on the floor or roof of your marquee. This is especially important if you’re planning on using electrical equipment inside your marquee.
3. Ensure proper set-up
It’s essential to make sure your marquee is erected according to the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications. Make sure that all parts are in good condition and proper working order. It’s helpful to check that you have all the necessary parts before the event day so you can replace anything you may need ahead of time. It also helps to carry spares for any smaller parts (e.g. pegs, tie-downs, leg weights).
The majority of problems affecting temporary structures come from incorrect or insufficient anchorage. The three main factors affecting marquee anchorage are:
1. The type and density of the soil the marquee is being erect on: Loose soils like sand may require special anchors.
2. The inclination of the anchor: Pegs driven into the ground at 45-degree angles provide better anchorage than pegs drive into the ground vertically.
3. The depth of the anchor: The larger the peg and deeper it is in the ground, the better your anchorage will be.
Where proper staking is not possible (e.g. on solid surfaces like concrete or loose soils like sand) heavy weights can be used to withstand uplift forces. The best anchorage setups will use a combination of pegs, weights and tie-downs.
5. Permits and insurance
When erecting some marquees and other temporary structures on public or private land, you may need to apply to the local council for permits such as temporary structure permits or event permits. Some public events also require public liability insurance. Contact your local council to find out if any permits are required before setting up your marquee.
6. Suspended weights
If you need to suspend equipment from the frame of the marquee, you need to be aware of the weight specifications. There is a limit to the amount of weight that can be safely suspended from a marquee structure. Before hanging any weights (like lighting or heating equipment) from the structure it’s important to check the manufacturer’s load specifications. If unsure, talk to the team at Outdoor Instant Shelters for more information.
7. Marquee modifications
Any marquee should be setup and used in line with all manufacturer specifications and recommendations. Any customisation of or modifications to your marquee could cause significant safety risks and compromise its structural integrity.
The Outdoor Instant Shelters team can provide information on how you can extend and modify your marquees while still ensuring safe usage.
8. Gas, electricity and fire safety
If you’re planning on using gas heaters or barbecues or any electrical equipment, you’ll need to make sure you have the appropriate fire safety equipment like fire extinguishers or fire blankets.
Different council regions will have different safety guidelines, codes of practice or hazard guides for using gas and electrical equipment in temporary structures.
It doesn’t matter if you’re using a marquee in Melbourne, a marquee in Sydney or a marquee in Brisbane, safety should always come first.
For further information on safe marquee usage, please don’t hesitate to call the team at Outdoor Instant Shelters on 1300 939 629.