The Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission will adopt those regulations Wednesday morning. The rules are intended to keep fairgoers and concert fans safe from the type of collapse that killed seven and injured dozens last August 13, yet provide flexibility for smaller venues and events to comply.
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Hannum said the structure would still need to be certified by a licensed designer and that all electrical and construction codes are met as are requirements regarding a stage’s ability to withstand certain winds.
“You won’t talk to anybody who goes to more county fairs and festivals than I have,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels. “We’re just going to have to keep our common sense about this, but we are determined that any structure at any time will get a look and an inspection and we’ll just hope that common sense will prevail.”
Operators of county fairs and festivals fear that the regulations will be onerous or too expensive for them to comply with.
“Folks at county fairs and the like say they would like guidance on how to set up their tent or stage or whatever it is,” said the governor, “but also they’d like some common sense. If they’ve made preparations for evacuation, plenty of exits and this can handle it. We’re going to insist that the experts raise the standards in Indiana but I hope we can do it in a way that applies a little common sense in the small and possibly less dangerous venues.”
The commission votes on the new rules at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Conference Room B in Government Center South.