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Problem Solver - August 2014

Provide Comfortable, Compliant Spectator Seating


For parades, concerts, sporting events and more, communities rely on bleachers to provide a place for everyone to sit. You can provide the bare minimum, but if you want to ensure safety and compliance with local codes and give everyone a comfortable view, you should consider bleachers with certain features that set them above and beyond the simplest options.

Q: We are looking to add bleachers to our sports field, but are concerned about safety. How can we be sure they are compliant with the most recent safety standards?

A: When purchasing bleachers for your community, be sure to check with the local code requirements for your area, which can cover everything from guardrails and openings between seating components, to non-skid surfaces, accessibility and more. Most municipalities, largely to save on cost, adapt their code requirements from the BOCA, IBC and ICC standards. As with many building codes, each municipality may have particular circumstances or nuances that require specific standards be met for compliance that may have come as a result of an incident or could be a unique environmental cause.

You can find bleachers that are fully compliant with relevant codes, but it's your responsibility to check local building and fire codes to determine compliance requirements in your community. Once your bleachers are in place, you'll need to perform regular inspections to ensure they're still safe.

Q: We want to offer a more comfortable seating experience for spectators at our events. What should we consider as we add bleachers?

A: Look for well-designed bleachers that provide luxurious features. Center aisles make it easier for spectators to get in and out of their seats. A backrest and leg room space will make for more comfortable sitting. Look for commercial quality bleachers that feature handrails to make it easier to climb up and down. Double footboards make for more comfortable and safer footing as patrons navigate the bleachers. You can even find bleachers that provide stair access to the seats and front crosswalk.

It's also a good idea to install bleachers that are elevated above grade to be sure everyone—even the folks in the lower rows—has a nice view of the action.

In addition, don't forget about the importance of accessibility for disabled patrons. Talk to your supplier about their ability to provide accessible seating, too.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Belson Outdoors Inc.
800-323-5664
www.belson.com


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