Fire Safety For Special Events

Tents & Canopies

All canopies 400 square feet or larger and tents 200 square feet or large require a Fire Department permit and site inspection. To obtain a permit for one of these temporary structures please provide the following information for review:

  1. The proposed location
  2. Proposed time of install, use and teardown
  3. The exact dimensions
  4. Distances to other structures
  5. The proposed use (wedding reception with tables and chairs, etc.)
  6. The proposed number of occupants
  7. Will fire (candles) be used inside?
  8. Will electricity be used inside?
  9. Is heat being provided?
  10. Will cooking or warming take place inside?

Cooking & Open Flames

Cooking using open flame cannot take place within any tent or canopy unless the material is specifically approved for use near heat or open flame. Read the information provided by the manufacturer (label attached to the material) before your event to ensure the material used is compliant. For inquiries regarding the material used with your tent or canopy, please contact our Fire Prevention Division directly at, 619-628-1392.

Food Trucks & Concession Trailers

Fixed automatic fire suppression systems within food trucks or concession trailers with shall be maintained every 6 months in accordance with California Code of Regulations Title 19 and shall have a current certification tag present. Cooking vendors with expired certification tags will not be permitted to operate, with no exceptions. Non-compliant vendors shall be reported to the San Diego Department of Health.

Fire Extinguishers

Each cooking vendor shall have a fire extinguisher for every applicable hazard below.

If you have:

•     Paper products, combustible liquids, or electricity (2A:10B:C Fire extinguisher)

•     Wok, fryer, kettle corn, or cooking oil (Class K Fire extinguisher)

•     Charcoal, wood, or similar solid fuel (4A:60B:C: Fire extinguisher)

You will not be permitted to cook without your required fire extinguisher(s)

Fire Department Access

A special event permit does not allow for the blocking of sidewalks, disabled access ramps, fire lanes, or fire hydrants at any time. Parking regulations are regularly enforced at events and towing is possible if compliance cannot be reached.

Temporary Power

Extension cords shall be secured and protected. No multi-plug adapters are allowed without over-current protection and outdoor use rating. Tread devices shall be used wherever cords may come into contact with pedestrians or other traffic. Power cords shall not be placed where standing water may accumulate.


All consumer fireworks are illegal in the City of Imperial Beach and throughout San Diego County. Any person found in the possession of or found discharging fireworks faces significant fines and or criminal prosecution. Consumer fireworks include but are not necessarily limited to sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, and aerial shells.

All professional firework displays require an additional Fire Department permit. Please email our Fire Prevention Division for more information.

Electrical Generators

3A:40: B: C or higher rated portable fire extinguishers shall be provided for each electrical generator with a fuel capacity exceeding 2 gallons. Electrical generators regardless of size shall not be used within 20 feet of any unrated tent.

Fire Department Inspection

Fire Department inspections are required when in the opinion of the Fire Marshal the proposed activities or operations necessitate site assessment to ensure compliance with applicable codes and standards. An additional fee is assessed for this inspection and shall be paid directly to the Finance Department prior to the event.

IBFD Firefighter / Paramedic Staffing

For athletic events, events with large anticipated attendance, or when deemed necessary by the Fire Chief Firefighter, Paramedics shall be provided. An additional fee is assessed for this service and shall be paid directly to the Finance Department prior to the event.