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  4. Special Event Permits

A Special Event is generally defined as:

  • A public gathering, for purposes of pleasure or entertainment that in all likelihood will result in large numbers of people being present.
  • Any event involving actions or materials that must be monitored to provide for the highest level of safety for all individuals at the site; whether work force, performers, or the observing public.
  • Any commercial filming or photography that uses pyrotechnics, aerial operations or involves stunts.

The San Bernardino County Fire Protection District works all special events in conjunction with local law enforcement, California Highway Patrol, the Inland Empire Film Commission, County Land Use Services (Planning, Code Enforcement, Building and Safety), Department of Public Works, County Public Health, and any other local city, State, or Federal agencies involved.

Examples of regular Special Events venues within the County

  • Motor Racing events at California Speedway (Fontana)
  • Concerts at Glen Helen Amphitheater (Devore)
  • Adelanto Stadium (Adelanto)
  • San Manuel Stadium (San Bernardino)
  • National Orange Show (San Bernardino)

Purpose of Special Events Permits

The purpose of Special Events Permits is to ensure that all large public events provide for a safe, enjoyable experience for both the citizens of, and visitors to, our County.

Special Event Coordinator

Special Events permits are under the oversight of a departments Special Events Coordinator, who meets with the applicants and/or event promoters, reviews permit applications, and determines the conditions and requirements. The Special Events coordinator will also assign Fire Prevention Officers or Fire Prevention Specialists to perform inspections or standby duty at an event.

Individuals seeking information related to any Special Event within the San Bernardino County Fire Departments jurisdiction that is not found or available on the department website may contact our office or email EZOP.

To Obtain a Special Event Permit

Permit Requirements

A special event permit is required for but not limited to:

  • Auto shows
  • Carnivals
  • Circuses
  • Commercial filming and photography (exception: news media)
  • Concerts
  • Exhibitions and displays
  • Fireworks displays or booths, pyrotechnics displays
  • Holiday Festivals, pumpkin patches or Christmas tree lots
  • Parades
  • Racing events
  • Religious gatherings
  • Rodeos
  • Sporting events
  • Street fairs

and any other outdoor public assembly that may have an attendance of 200 people or more at one time.

Indoor or outdoor events at facilities with a standard or pre-approved seating layout, shall require a Special Event permit if one or more of the following is present:

  • Use of candles or open flames
  • Bonfires, revivals, ceremonial events using open fires
  • Use of fireworks or pyrotechnics, explosives
  • Temporary membrane structures, such as any canopy or group of canopies over 700 square feet, or tent structure over 400 square feet
  • Special Amusement (includes Haunted Houses or similar)
  • Any event that is not the primary use of the facility

In order to launch a model rocket in San Bernardino County, you must first obtain permission from the property owner, even on public land. For example, if you’re looking at a local park for your launch site, you will need to contact your local parks and recreation office to receive permission.  Once you have permission from the property owner you must complete a Model Rocket Launch Authorization Form.

Application Requirements

Applications must be submitted for review and approval at least 30 days prior to the event. In addition, commercial filming and photography must be submitted to the Inland Empire Film Commission by calling 909-888-9011.

A complete application for a Special Event Permit will include the following:

  • Event Description
  • Event Site Plan
  • Certificate of Insurance and landowner’s permission in writing.
  • Payment of appropriate fees

Please see the check list forms below for guidance on the information required.

Application Form/Cover Sheet must include the following:

  • Name of The Event
  • Date(s) of The Event
  • Set up and move-out dates
  • Details of all the activities to occur at the event
  • Estimated number of workers at any one time
  • Estimated number of persons to be in attendance at any one time
  • Event representative contact information – name, address, phone number(s)
  • Site representative contact information – name, address, phone number(s)

Note: This would include contacts for any other individual(s) that can provide detailed information about set-up and operation of the event.

The event site plan must include the following:

  • Detailed physical layout of the event to include exhibit/booth floor plans
  • Layout of all equipment, i.e. power sources, LPG storage, generators, fencing, etc.
  • Food & vendor booths and consumption areas
  • Tent & canopy locations, with dimensions
  • Size and location of stage(s) or other performing area including circus ring, etc.
  • First-aid location
  • Vendor and public parking areas
  • Fire protection equipment (fire hydrants, fire extinguishers, hose stations, fire alarm pull stations, etc.)
  • Fire access roads and markings
  • Evacuation points, exits and exit access points
  • Street closures (including number of lanes to be closed) the direction of travel of any parade, race, run or walk; and all other proposed event activities

To submit a special event application please visit ezop.sbcounty.gov. For questions about special events please contact our office.

Plans must be approved and permit issued prior to conducting any event. Any modifications to the event that affect Fire Department requirements shall have prior written approval. A copy of the approved plans and permit shall be onsite during the event.

Prior to approval and issuance of permit, fees for the estimated cost of fire suppression equipment, firefighting personnel, or fire safety officer standby time shall be paid by the applicant. Any additional costs incurred by the department during the event shall be billed to the applicant upon conclusion of the event. Any pre- payment for services not necessary or not provided will be refunded to the applicant.

Prior to approval and issuance of permit, the applicant shall furnish proof of liability insurance, naming the County of San Bernardino and its employees as additional insured on the policy. For information on this requirement, see Important Documents below.


In order to maintain compliance with the conditions and requirements; initial inspections, and if necessary, periodic inspections; shall be conducted by the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District.

These inspections may include:

  • A walk-through inspection with the property manager or the authorized representative, the event coordinator, during the move-in/set-up period. Any violations noted shall be corrected immediately or within the time frame agreed upon.
  • Daily visits by Fire Department personnel once the event has opened. On-duty personnel at the local fire stations may tour the event as necessary. Sources of ignition, combustible materials, clearance of fire access, and other hazards and uses will be spot checked for continual compliance.
  • During the closing (move-out) of the event, inspections may be made for the purposes of minimizing hazards and for the maintenance of firefighting accessibility and equipment.

Whenever, in the opinion of the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District, the safety of the public could be imperiled, due to the number of the persons present or the nature of the activity,  one or more Fire Safety Officers (FSO) and/or fire suppression personnel shall perform Standby at the current cost recovery rates. Duties of standby personnel include the ensuring of fire department conditions and requirements are met, fire and life safety hazards are minimized, and emergency personnel can be contacted more quickly.

Upon finding any overcrowded condition or obstruction to means of egress, or upon finding any condition which constitutes a serious fire hazard or danger to health or safety of the public, or the terms of any permit or agreement are violated, the Fire Department SHALL cause the event to be stopped until such condition is corrected. Failure to comply may result in citation, criminal prosecution, and/or revocation of permit.

Important Documents

Type Name Category Modified Date
pdf Submittal Checklist Special Events 2019
pdf Model Rocket Launch Authorization Special Events 2021
docx Insurance Requirements 2021

Office Locations

San Bernardino Office

Hours: Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm

598 S. Tippecanoe Ave,
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0179