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Emergency Preparedness

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There are many important safety considerations that need to be made for every event. Always have the venue address and event organizer contact information available during the event. For emergencies dial 9-911 from campus lines or 911 from non-SU phones.

It is a good practice to have a first aid kit with a current Emergency Information Card in your event supply box at the venue during the event as well as set-up/tear-down. Review the Emergency Prep Checklist and discuss any questions you have with the venue manager.

Stanford Environmental Health and Safety Department (EH&S) provides information on special events requirements, training and instructions on emergency preparedness (e.g., what to do in case of bomb threat, earthquake, fire, evacuation procedures, etc.) and various other safety requirements for special events.

Learn more about emergency preparedness on the EH&S website.


The Stanford Emergency Medical Service (StEMS) is a student group of certified EMT-basics that provides standby medical support for on campus events. Contact StEMS to discuss your needs.

Fire Marshal

The Stanford University Fire Marshal's Office (SUFMO) oversees fire and life safety code compliance for the entire campus including all events. Services provided by this office include event inspection, availability of fire extinguishers and sale of fire retardant solutions to treat paper and fabric decorations. Fire safety training is also available for event staff.

Fire Safety

In any situation, know the location of fire alarms and extinguishers in and around your venue, and know how to use them. Assign an on-site person and alternate to call 9-911 (or 911 from a non-SU phone) in the event of an emergency. Provide their contact information to SUFMO.

For indoor events

Review specific instructions that apply to indoor events. Some venues may have additional restrictions.

  • Assign an on-site person, and alternates, to supervise evacuation of the building, pulling fire alarms, etc., in the event of a fire. Provide these names to SUFMO.
  • If required by the SUFMO, provide on-site emergency power for lighting.
  • Do not exceed the Maximum Allowable Occupant Load capacity posted inside the assembly area.
  • Make sure all exits are maintained clear and unobstructed at all times during the events.
  • Decorations shall be either non-combustible or treated with a fire-retardant solution. The fire-retardant solution available from SUFMO. Only fresh-cut foliage (cut on the day of the event) may be used in decorations.
  • Decorations shall not obstruct exits or fire protection equipment; including fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarm pull stations, fire hose stations, or emergency lighting and exit signs.
  • No smoke machines may be used for special effects unless approved by SUFMO in advance.
  • Extension cords, used in accordance with the fire code, shall be properly taped to the ground to reduce tripping hazards.

For outdoor events

Please note that permits and approvals from SUFMO may be required, particularly if you are placing tents or canopies at your event site. Consult with SUFMO fourteen (14) days in advance of the event.

  • No events with open flames or barbecues will be allowed on spare the air days or during red flag warnings.
  • Provide site plan to SUFMO indicating locations of tents and canopies, propane heaters, booths, etc., to verify that proper clearances and Fire Dept. access is maintained.
  • Rented tents and canopies shall have permits, which are obtained by the rental companies from the Santa Clara County Fire Marshal's Office (SCCFMO) if the tent is larger than 200 square feet, or if the canopy is larger than 400 square feet. Duplicate copies of the permit application shall be forwarded to SUFMO.
  • Provide fire extinguishers throughout the site. Consult with SUFMO for the number and locations of these fire extinguishers.
  • Portable cooking booths:
    • Must be located a minimum of 20 feet from any permanent structure.
    • Maintain a minimum of 10 feet of separation between cooking booths and non-cooking booths.
    • Cooking booth vendors shall provide a portable fire extinguisher for each cooking booth.
    • Charcoal barbecue cooking shall be located a minimum of 10 feet from any booth and a minimum of 15 feet from any permanent structure.
    • Charcoal barbecue cooking is prohibited inside of any booths.