When you’re starting to dream up your next exhibit booth design, you probably aren’t envisioning fire-proof trade show booth material. Thinking up creative graphics and interactive displays are the fun part, while finding trade show booth drapes or graphics and other materials that are fire code compliant just isn’t.
However, fun or not, it’s important that you design your next exhibit booth to meet the approval of the fire marshal. If you don’t, your booth could quite literally go up in flames (rare, but it has happened), or you could be told to take it down for safety’s sake and exhibit at the show without a display. Here are some things to keep in mind about fire safety compliance at your next trade show.
Check the Lighting
You may have heard that halogen lights are dangerous, but did you know that some trade show venues actually don’t allow certain types of halogen bulbs at all (since they’ve been known to explode)? Make sure you verify what forms of lighting are allowed at your particular venue, and to be on the safe side, avoid using halogen lights altogether if possible.
When it comes to lighting, remember that how it’s wired matters too. In fact, McCormick Place in Chicago was engulfed in flames in 1967 before a trade show due to many factors, including poor electrical wiring and other fireproofing inadequacies. To protect yourself, your booth, and your venue, your electrical installations must comply with the Uniform Building Code and the National Electric Code, and your electrical equipment needs to be approved by the Underwriter Laboratories (UL).
Electrical equipment and lighting are not all you need to think about in an exhibit booth. In your exhibit booth design, make sure to designate space for storing items you will actually need to have with you on the show floor. Your swag, handbags, snacks, etc. should be stored in safe places in your exhibit, away from any potential hazards.Furthermore, consider whether your exhibit is two-story. If you build an enclosed, double-deck exhibit, you will likely need to install a full sprinkler system, approved smoke detectors and/or ensure fire extinguishers are nearby. All of these precautions will help protect you and other attendees, and the venue building, in the event that something catches fire.
Review All Fire Regulations
If you have any further questions about how to fire-proof trade show booth material, take a look at the standards from the National Fire Protection Association. You can also usually find the specifics in your venue’s guidelines that should come with your exhibitor materials. If you’re unsure about anything, you can always give the fire marshal a call.
So although it might not be the most enjoyable part of planning your next booth exhibit, beware of fire hazards and be sure to fire-proof trade show booth material. It’s worth the time and attention, and could mean a safer trade show experience and better protection on your monetary investment. Contact us to learn more.