State Fire Marshal issues restaurant guidelines for outdoor dining

Louisiana

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- The Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office is distributing guidelines to restaurants offering outside dining services following Gov. John Bel Edwards’ stay-at-home order extension to May 1.

The following is a letter from State Fire Marshal Butch Browning:
In accordance with Governor John Bel Edward’s COVID-19 Proclamation JBE to be released May
1, 2020, all restaurants that provide outdoor patio venues must adhere to strict mitigation standards
preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The general operating matrix will require spacing of groups,
limiting concentration of people, strict use of PPE, and frequent sanitizing.
Life Safety and Egress:
Existing approved outdoor seating areas, to include balcony and rooftop, must maintain operating
features per approved occupancy (NFPA 101 Life Safety Code). The following modifications are
required:

  • Reduce outdoor capacity to 25% of that allowed by the State Fire Marshal;
  • Space tables a minimum of 10 feet from each other (measured from all edges of the table);
  • Limit table groups to 10 individuals; and
  • Eliminate gatherings in the building when entering or exiting outdoor seating area.


Open Areas and Temporary Tents utilized by existing, approved restaurants, subject to local or
parish rules and ordinances, must meet NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and 2/3 of the sides must be
open. The tent must not be an enclosed tent. The following conditions are required:

  • Two remotely located exits if barriers (fences, barricades, etc.) exist;
  • Capacity based on 110 square feet per person of the gross area (25% space to be occupied);
  • Space tables a minimum of 10 feet from each other (measured from all edges of the table);
  • Limit table groups to 10 individuals;
  • State approved fire extinguisher within 75 feet of tent area; and
  • Minimum 7-foot 6-inch head room (ceiling height).

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