Multi‐Level Booths or Ceilings (including tents)
- All multi-level and ceiling booths must be pre-approved by show management and McCormick Place
- Review all requirements below prior to submitting booth approvals
- Requests for approval must include complete renderings with dimensions, showing all views, along with all information required by McCormick Place Fire Safety
Submit the Booth Design Form no later than July 26, 2019. Submissions must include renderings or diagrams of your design with width and height dimensions of all major structures and signage. You can create an account to submit the form or you may skip the login and complete it as a guest.
Submit Booth Design Form
Booths fall into one of the five following booth formats:
- Format 1: Exhibits with two stories under 225 square feet
- Format 2: Exhibits with two stories at or over 225 square feet
- Format 3: Exhibits with ceilings under 225 square feet
- Format 4: Exhibits with ceilings at or over 225 square feet
- Format 5: Multiple‐level exhibits, which require automatic sprinklers or any of the above exhibits with installed automatic sprinklers. Separate fire code items apply.
For booth formats 1–4, you will need to comply with the fire code items marked yes on the following table:
For exhibits using automatic sprinklers, the amount and type of sprinkler coverage needed depends on the booth specifications. If automatic sprinklers are preferred, or are required, contact our Fire Safety Office to discuss your options.
Fire Code Items for Multiple Level Booths
Maximum Dimensions: To avoid the sprinkler requirement, your exhibit must be less than or equal to 2 levels high (maximum 18-foot elevation*) or 5,000 square feet of enclosed area.
* note that the building fire code requirement is 30-feet, but the show height limitation is 18-feet.
Second Level: Second levels must remain open and uncovered. If they are covered, sprinkler protection will be required. Booths with a third level or more must also have special sprinkler coverage.
Staircases: Staircases between levels must be in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act and meet the following requirements:
- Minimum of 3 feet in width
- Provide a handrail on at least one side
- Provide handrails a maximum of 1‐1/2 inches in circumference and turned into walls
- Not be spiral or winding
If the top deck is designed to hold over 10 people, or exceeds 1,200 square feet in area, a second staircase is required which must be remote from the main staircase and meet the same construction requirements.
Smoke Detectors: All areas under the second level or ceiling, including closets, need to be equipped with a UL approved (or similarly approved), battery‐operated smoke detector. If this space is enclosed after hours, the smoke detector must be audible outside the enclosed area.
Fire Extinguishers: A UL‐approved (or similarly approved) 2‐1/2 pound ABC‐type fire extinguisher must be posted in a clearly visible and readily accessible area for each 500 square‐foot enclosure.
Posted Certificate of Fire Retardancy: A certificate verifying the fire retardancy of your booth construction materials must be posted in a conspicuous place within the exhibit.
Certified Approval: After the booth has been designed, the blueprints must be approved and stamped by a licensed professional structural engineer. These blueprints should include dimensions and an isometric rendering. This approval applies to all booth formats outlined previously.
Fire Safety Review: Send stamped blueprints to McCormick Place for review with the Fire Safety Division and by the CFD at least 60 days before the show opens to allow sufficient time for any needed corrections. Show Management approval must be submitted at the same time. Be sure that plans show dimensions and an isometric rendering of your exhibit. In addition, all areas requiring sprinkler protection must be highlighted. If plans are not provided on time, it may cause delays or disapproval of your booth to occur during the pre‐show fire inspection.
Fire Guards: Once a multiple level booth or a booth with a ceiling is built and completed, and whenever the exhibit or show is closed for business, special fire watch coverage is required. Use of individuals designated as fire guards is subject to prior approval by the McCormick Place Fire Safety Manager.
Americans with Disabilities Act: All exhibits must comply with the ADA. For information on compliance, contact the McCormick Place Fire Safety Manager.