UCR Policies and Procedures

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Campus Policy Number: 425-64

Occupant Load Control in Campus Facilities

Policy Owner: Environmental Health & Safety
Effective Date: 2/18/92

    1. Title 19, California Code of Regulations, Section 3.27
    2. Title 19, California Code of Regulations, Section 3.10
    3. Title 19, California Code of Regulations, Section 3.30
    4. Title 19, California Code of Regulations, Section 1.12(c)
    5. Section 13108(c), Health & Safety Code California

  3. Facilities exist within Campus owned properties that are subject to the gathering of large numbers of people for purposes that include but are not limited to amusement, entertainment, instruction, worship, drinking or dining, etc. A given room or area is designed to provide proper and safe exiting based upon a calculated occupant load. An increase in occupant load beyond legal limits potentially exposes occupants to undue risk of injury in the event of a panic, smoke, fire, or similar occurrence. Maximum occupant loads are established by statute, and allowing a overcrowding situation is a violation of law, thus a policy for addressing such an occurrence is established.

  5. It shall be the policy of this Campus to comply with existing and future State regulations, to not allow overcrowding to occur within those facilities subject to such occupancy regulations.

    This policy is established to address the monitoring and abatement suspected overcrowding situation occurring within Campus properties or from Campus sponsored activities. This policy shall include the procedures used to recognize a suspected overcrowding situation, appropriate notifications, requests for assistance, confirmation of the overcrowding situation, abatement of the overcrowding, enforcement action, additional inspections, and related issues.

    1. Occupant Load
    2. All public assembly occupancies must have a posted placard indicating the occupant load. The following square feet per occupant factors shall be used for determining occupant loads.


      • Drinking/dining 15
      • Dancing 7
      • Classroom 20
      • Lobby areas 15
      • Waiting/foyer 3
      • Gymnasiums 15

    3. Recognition
    4. The assessment of a suspected overcrowding situation will normally be based upon a quantitative evaluation and/or visual observation.

    5. Notification
    6. Upon recognition of suspected overcrowding during business hours immediate notification shall be made to the Campus Fire Marshal (CFM) at the Environmental Health & Safety Office for resolution.

      During non-business hours notification shall be made to the Campus Police Department who in turn shall notify the Campus Fire Marshal or designee.

    7. Assistance
    8. At the discretion of the Campus Fire Marshal, his designate, or other public safety officer, additional assistance may be requested from UCPD, the City of Riverside or other agencies as necessary to abate the overcrowding condition.

    9. Confirmation
    10. The CFM, or other designated party shall respond to the suspected overcrowding to investigate the occurrence and shall coordinate the response. Given adequate evidence they shall commence confirmation of suspected overcrowding.

      The procedure for confirmation shall be as follows: Responsible personnel supervising the activity shall positioned at all entrances and exits from the facility as directed by the CFM. Such personnel shall not allow any person to enter or to exit that opening and shall direct all persons to the mass staging area designated by the CFM. Management is to announce that all persons must exit the facility in an orderly fashion, using the exit designated by the CFM. Two individuals at the designated exit shall independently count as persons exit the facility. No persons shall be allowed into the facility during this operation. Upon confirmation that all persons have left the facility, the CFM shall receive independent counts from both persons. The CFM shall review the data and compare them to the posted occupant load to determine if an overcrowding condition existed.

    11. Abatement
    12. The CFM will allow the management of the facility to resume activities by allowing a legal number of persons to re-enter the facility. Management of the facility is responsible to assure that the overcrowding condition does not recur. This will be done by assigning facility personnel to monitor the number of persons exiting and entering the facility.

    13. Enforcement
    14. If an overcrowding condition was confirmed the responsible management of the facility may be prosecuted for violation of Title 19, California Code of Regulations, Section 3.27.

      Copies of reports of all activities related to the incident, by participating regulatory agencies involved will be forwarded to the CFM at EH&S within two business days.

    15. Inspections
    16. Any facility suspected or found to have an overcrowding condition may be subject to additional followup inspections by appropriate agencies at any time during normal business hours without prior notification.