Fire Prevention Services (FPS) requires permits or special approval for certain activities associated with special events at The University of Texas at Austin's main campus and the Pickle Research Campus. Permits are required for special events that feature any of the following:
- temporary cooking equipment
- open flames
- temporary decorative lighting
- food trucks
- pyrotechnics (fireworks) or flame effects
Permits can be requested online at the FPS Events Permitting Portal (EID required). When requesting a permit you will first be asked to register general information about your event. Once you have registered your event, please apply for each permit type that applies to your event.
Temporary Cooking Permits
Temporary cooking operations using grills, smokers, and other mobile food cooking equipment requires an approved permit and must be conducted in accordance with the FPS SOP for Temporary Cooking. Temporary cooking also requires approval from UT Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), for additional information visit the EHS webpage on Temporary Food Events.
A fire extinguisher is required for all temporary cooking operations. If you do not have a fire extinguisher, you can request one from FPS, for more information click here.
If you are cooking with charcoal, wood, or other solid fuels you are required to submit a plan for extinguishing and disposing of hot coals. Dispose of coals only after they are cool. Empty coals into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is only used to collect coals.
The installation of tents larger than 400 square feet or any tent that will include cooking equipment, heating equipment, or open flames requires an approved permit and must be in accordance with the FPS SOP for Hospitality Tents. Prior to submitting your request for a tent permit please have the following information ready:
- flame resistance information for tent fabric
- for tents larger than 400 square feet - structural details demonstrating that adequate anchoring is provided
- a site plan showing where the tent will be installed
- a floor plan for any furniture or equipment located under the tent
Temporary Decorative Lighting
Temporary decorative lighting, including string lights and holiday lights, are only permitted to be used on a temporary basis, up to 90 days. The installation of temporary decorative lighting requires an approved permit and must be in accordance with the FPS SOP for Temporary Decorative Lighting. Temporary decorative lighting in not permitted in University Housing dormitory rooms.
Only LED and fiber optic type lights are permitted. Temporary decorative lighting shall be tested and listed for conformance with UL 588, Standard for Seasonal and Holiday Decorative Products. When requesting a permit for a Temporary Decorative Lighting installation you will be asked to provide a photograph of the listing label for the lights that will be installed. See below for examples of listing labels that can be found on the product packaging and wiring:
The use of candles, incense, solid alcohol (Sterno), and other open flames at the University of Texas at Austin is prohibited without an approved permit. Where approved by FPS, the use of open flames shall be in accordance with the FPS SOP for Candles, Open Flames and Solid Alcohol (Sterno). Approvals will be granted on a case-by-case basis for specific dates and locations only.
FPS may require a fire extinguisher for your open flame operation. If you do not have a fire extinguisher, you can request one from FPS, for more information click here.
Food Trucks and Mobile Vending
In conjunction with EHS, formal inspections and permitting of all mobile food vending outlets shall be conducted prior to their use on campus and shall comply with the FPS SOP on Fire and Life Safety Mobile Vending Requirements. Prior to submitting your request for a food truck permit please have the following information from the food truck vendor available:
- Contact information for the food truck vendor
- Make, model, and license plate information for the mobile vending unit (food truck/trailer)
- Food vendor license/tax ID
- Local operating permits issued by the City of Austin or Travis County (if not locally permitted an inspection by FPS will be required)
- For food trucks with propane appliances, annual piping pressure test documentation
Food trucks also require approval from EHS, for additional information see the EHS website for mobile vending.
Pyrotechnics and Flame Effects
The use of pyrotechnic displays and flame effects must be approved and permitted by FPS in accordance with the FPS SOP on Pyrotechnic Displays at the University of Texas at Austin. All pyrotechnic displays and flame effects shall be conducted by individuals licensed by the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office. Prior to submitting your request for a Pyrotechnics and Flame Effects permit please have the following information available:
- Contact information for the company and individuals operating the effects
- For traveling performances a local Texas licensed pyrotechnic "shooter" shall be on site, be prepared to provide the contact information for the local shooter
- Certificates of insurance as required by the FPS SOP for Pyrotechnics
- Inventory of products used and material safety data sheets (MSDS)
- A site plan for the display or performance
- Copies of state licenses for pyrotechnic operators or performers
- Any required local, state, or federal permits
For outdoor aerial displays a staffed fire apparatus from the Austin Fire Department will be required to be on site. FPS staff shall monitor all interior and exterior fireworks displays executed on universiy property. Fees as applicable for both services shall apply and are the responsibility of the vendor.