Good advice from Jim Erickson of the Tent Renters Association of the Midwest.
Let’s Create a New Tradition.
The month of May is “Invite your Fire Marshal out for coffee month.” Before you find an excuse, why not just do it. We can suggest one good reason “Building a Relationship”. Pick up the phone and schedule your coffee meeting. Note, our suggestion is a phone call not an email, or text an actual phone conversation. Your face-to-face meeting will require a conversation. So you can start the ball rolling with a phone call. If you still need additional persuasion, continue reading!
What are you going to discuss?
First, come prepared with questions. Start by asking what the Fire Marshal concerns are or problems with tent permits and site inspection. You want to have the Fire Marshal engaged in this conversation. Your job is to listen! The Fire Marshal may contribute by answering a number of your prepared question without you asking. When it is your turn to ask a question about a permit problem, be prepared by offering a solution to the problem.
Explain the nature of your business and use an example such as a client asking you to create an event, and they need it next week. It happens every season! Our example is not about a backyard party. We are talking about an event that can create a significant economic impact on the community, you and Fire Marshal have a responsibility to create an event that is safe. This is where you go and refill your coffee cups.
Another question, you can ask is “What ICC Code year cycle the tent permit is currently referencing and if there is a discussion of adapting to a newer cycle?” If the answer is yes, follow up with how this will affect future permits and inspection. For discussion back at the office how will the changes affect your business?
Building a relationship with your Fire Marshall can prepare you both for the call that starts with “Hey Joe remember the conversation about the last minute client?”