Get an Occupant Load Certificate

Do you own a place of assembly (restaurant, bar, club, etc.) that hosts 50 people or more in one room, and need an Occupant/Occupancy Load Certificate? If you are opening a new business, renovating a business, changing a business name, and/or applying for a Certificate of Use, you will not pass your fire inspection without this certificate if applicable. Occupant loads are required for all interior assembly areas and enclosed exterior assembly areas.

NOTE: If you have been operating without an Occupancy Load Certificate, you will receive a violation and need to complete this process. Once you complete this process, your violation will be removed. 

Every room constituting an assembly occupancy, and not having fixed seats shall have the occupant load of the room posted in a conspicuous place near the main exit from. (Florida Fire Prevention Code 1: 

View the Florida Fire Prevention Code (Chapter 6) for a definition of what constitutes an assembly occupancy. 


Collect Documents

In order to apply for your Occupant Load Certificate, you will need:

    • Floor plan with measurable scale for calibration. Seating and table/bar arrangements must be shown with appropriate travel paths and width measurements for the following:
      • Between seating.
      • Isle width clearances.
      • Business name and address must be documented on the plan.
    • All assembly occupancies require gross and net measurements to include measurements and square footage of each room. See FBC table 1004.5.
    • All areas must be labeled indicating their use on the floor plan.
    • Designer/Architect to include all occupant load calculations on the plans.
    • Door measurements, stairs, and corridor widths shall be included on the plan.
    • Plans are to show all occupant load calculations for the different areas.
    • Advise of any life safety equipment, i.e. fire sprinklers, fire alarm, etc. installed.
    • Advise if Panic hardware is installed for exit doors with loads of 100 or more occupants.
    • Fire occupant loads must be included for all interior spaces and enclosed exterior spaces.
    • All assembly occupancies shall provide proof of crowd manager training per NFPA 101:12.7.6.
    • Seating arrangements must be shown with all dimensions and number of chairs. FBC 1004.6.
    • For plumbing fixture calculations use formula on, FBC Plumbing volume, section 403.1.1 Fixture calculations. E.g., A restaurant that also contains a bar calculation must reflect the bar and the restaurant calculated separately since requirements are different.
    • Indicate on the life safety plans any required life safety equipment such as fire sprinkler, fire alarm or fire suppression. See FBC 903 & 907.
    • Show a note on the plans indicating panic hardware on exit doors with loads of 50 or more. See FBC 1010.1.10.
    • Means of egress path to be 44” min width. See FBC 1011.2 and 1005.1
    • Two means of egress or more, might be required if occupant load exceeds values listed on table 1006.2.1.
    • Make sure to comply with the following, if applicable:
  • Accessible means of egress FBC section 1009.
  • Area of refuge FBC section 1013.4
  • Common path of egress travel FBC section 1029.8
  • Corridor requirements FBC section 1020.
  • Exit signs FBC section 1013.
  • Means of egress illumination FBC section 1008.
  • Stairways FBC section 1011.

You must have the address of the business and occupant load calculations on the life safety page. Please provide one table on the life safety sheet with plumbing fixture count as per FBC Plumbing volume, section 403.1.1, NFPA chapter 7 and FBC table 1004.5.

  • Please note that if the records are not available, you will need to apply for a building permit.
  • Any deviations from the latest approved life safety plan will require a new building permit

Apply for Certificate

Occupant Load Application

Upload Documents

You will receive an email from ePlan/ ProjectDox to proceed with uploading drawings into ProjectDox. You will need to create an account. If you need help, we have directions for submitting documents and drawings.  About ePlan. 

How to Submit Plans (Drawings) & Documents Electronically

Access ePlan/Project

Await Inspection

After your documents have been reviewed, we will reach out to schedule an inspection. 

Download Certificate

After the inspection is complete (assuming you passed), your certificate will be added to your ProjectDox folder and available for download.