Special events permit process streamlined in Fire Prevention Services portal

There are many moving parts when it comes to planning campus events. Fire Prevention Services (FPS) understands some things can fall through the cracks in the planning process. This is why FPS, in collaboration with Technology Resources (TRecs), developed the FPS Special Events Permitting Page at the beginning of 2020.

According to Assistant Director of FPS Josh Lambert, the Special Events Permitting Page is meant to act as a one-stop-shop for requests related to temporary cooking equipment, tents, open flames, temporary decorative lighting, food trucks, pyrotechnics (fireworks) or flame effects.

The permitting page features a new application developed by TRecs that provides a centralized system for FPS to manage on-campus event requests, approval processing, record retention, data analysis and a customer interface that provides request statuses. These capabilities allow FPS to manage event requests more efficiently and make more of their time available for important field work.

“We want planners to know about our landing page before creating and registering an event because of all the information and resources on it,” Lambert said.

Some examples of the information and resources available are standard operating procedures for open flames and where and how to acquire a fire extinguisher. Lambert explained that instead of spending time looking for these pre-requisites to an event, planners can find what they’ll need on this one page.

TRecs software development team members Dolores Wheele, Elliot Reymond-Christensen, Aleksandra Sivolob, Nikolas Suh, Ariana Reyna and Chris Dominy worked with FPS to build and support the custom FPS Special Events application, which can be accessed from a mobile device.

“Having event information easily available on mobile devices will assist FPS staff when performing fire inspections and investigating fire safety issues on campus, saving time and increasing the quality of information available to them,” Wheele said.

The Special Events Permitting page also eliminates the need to track down the right person to contact regarding your event by sending requests directly to them, Lambert said. Planners log in to the portal with an EID where they create an event request, register the event and request permits in one streamlined process.

Lambert explained that after submitting an event, planners will receive an email from FPS and can view their requests through the portal. To make a change to a request, like what kind of open flame will be present at an event, planners should reply to the email from FPS. Any additional needs may be added to the already submitted request. For example, if you’ve learned it’s going to rain on the day of an event, you may add a tent permit request.

Changes and additions can be altered any time before the event but a two-week notice prior to the event is encouraged.

Another new FPS resource is the Hot Works Permitting portal. This portal, tailored to construction services and requests rather than to event planners, was also developed in collaboration with TRecs and many of the requests are sent to a unit’s own appointed safety authority.

“Whatever planners may need, we encourage them to go through the Special Events Permitting Page before submitting any requests to ensure they are equipped with the necessary information and resources,” Lambert said.