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Vendor & Cooking Booth Inspections

Housekeeping and Fire Safety Tips

  • The Fire Chief encourages the use of noncombustible materials in the cooking areas.
  • Remove trash accumulations regularly.
  • Clean all cooking surfaces regularly to prevent the build-up of grease.
  • Know where the fire extinguisher is located and how to use it.
  • Do not leave food cooking unattended.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothing when cooking.
  • Keep combustibles away from heat sources.

Booth Construction & Location

  1. Booths shall be located a minimum of 20 feet from any permanent structure.  If conditions warrant, distance may be reduced as approved by the Fire Chief.
  2. Cooking booths must be separated from non-cooking booths by 10 feet.
  3. All fabric or pliable canopy covers, side/back drops and decorative material must be:
    1. Inherently fire resistive and labeled as such; or
    2. Treated by a State Fire Marshal licensed applicator. If the booth is owner-occupied, then it may be treated by the owner with a State Fire Marshal approved fire retardant chemical (empty can and dated sales receipt serve as proof).
  4. Exit openings shall be a minimum or 3 feet wide and 6 feet 8 inches in height.
  5. Vehicles shall be parked a minimum of 20 feet from a regulated canopy or tent. (The provisions of this standard shall apply to any tent or temporary membranes structure having an area in excess of 200 square feet, or any canopy in excess of 400 square feet.) Canopies are defined as without sidewalls or drops, on 75% or more of the perimeter.
  6. Vehicles shall be parked a minimum of 10 feet from a cooking booth and/or cooking appliances. (Cooking booths joined or located within 10 of each other will be considered regulated canopies or tents if the area is in excess of 200 square feet for a tent, or 400 square feet of a canopy).

Cooking Equipment

  1. All cooking equipment shall be of an approved type.
  2. Coleman stoves or equivalent may used only with approved fuel and the following conditions:
    1. No gasoline or kerosene is to be used.
    2. No fueling of stoves in booth.
    3. No storage of fuel in booth.
  3. Butane or propane equipment shall conform to the following:
    1. The maximum size for LPG tanks used inside of booths is 5 gallons.
    2. Tanks shall have a shutoff valve.
    3. Stove must have an on/off valve.
    4. Hoses must be of type approved for use with this equipment. Propane hoses must be soap tested to ensure safety.
    5. Fuel lines must be secured (or taped) to prevent damage.
    6. Tank must be far enough away from stove to be shut off in case of fire—not under table with stove on top.
    7. Tank must be protected from damage and secured in upright position.
    8. Tanks located outside of booths must have a pressure regulator if in excess of 5-gallon capacity.
    9. Tanks must be at least 10 feet from a membrane structure.
    10. No storage of extra butane or propane tanks in booth.
    11. Turn off tank when not in use.
  4. A minimum of 18 inches shall be provided between the booth backdrop material and cooking appliances. Clearance may be reduced as approved by the Chief.
  5. Deep fryers shall be placed no closer than 18 inches from the membrane structure. (Note: The Sonoma County Department of Environmental Health may prohibit outside cooking.)

Fire Extinguishers

Each booth shall be provided with a minimum 2-A: l0-B: C rated portable fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers shall conform to the following:

  • The fire extinguisher must be mounted or secured so that it will not fall over.
  • It must be visible and accessible and away from the cooking area.
  • It must be serviced within the last year, with a service tag attached.
  • A Class K extinguisher must be readily available for deep fryer operations.

Charcoal & Wood Barbecue Cooking

Charcoal Barbecue Cooking

  1. Charcoal barbecue cooking is prohibited inside of booths.
  2. Only commercially sold charcoal fuel may be used.
  3. Charcoal cooking shall be performed only in areas away from public access and shall be located a minimum of 10 feet from any booth with a minimum of 15 feet from any permanent structure.
  4. Only commercially sold charcoal lighter fluid or electric starters may be used; no gasoline, kerosene, etc.
  5. No storage of starter in booth.
  6. Coals shall be disposed of only in metal containers that have been designed for such use and approved by the Chief.

Dumping coals in trash containers is prohibited!

Wood Barbecue Cooking

  1. Wood barbecue cooking is prohibited inside of booths.
  2. Wood barbecue cooking shall be performed only in areas away from public access.
  3. Distances from wood barbecues to permanent structures or festival booths shall be as approved by the Chief.
  4. Fuel wood shall not be stored inside of booths.
  5. Coals shall be disposed of only in metal containers that have been designated for such use and approved by the Chief.

Dumping coals in trash containers is prohibited!

Deep Fat Fry / Flambé Cooking

Deep fat frying (using hot oil of any kind) or flambé cooking operations shall be located in a separate enclosure where only cooking operations are performed. Such enclosures shall conform to booth construction requirements as previously outlined, but the top of the enclosure shall be OPEN or, when required by the Health Department, shall be provided with METAL SCREENING with a minimum height of 7 feet. 

(Note: In lieu of using a separate enclosure, deep fryer operations may be outside of the membrane structure 18 inches. The Sonoma County Department of Environmental Health may prohibit outside cooking.)

Gasoline Powered Generators

All gasoline-powered generators shall be maintained a minimum of 10 feet from all combustible materials and/or LPG tanks.

  1. Refueling procedures:
    1. Stop engine.
    2. Use only an approved “safety can.”
    3. Storage of fuel shall be outside area away from all combustibles or ignition sources.
  2. Fire Extinguisher
    1. Provide one 2-A: l0-B: C rated fire extinguisher.
    2. Fire extinguisher must be visible and accessible, away from the generator.
    3. Serviceable fire extinguisher(s) must have been serviced within the previous 12 months and must bear a State of California service tag showing the date of service.
    4. Non-serviceable fire extinguisher(s) must have been purchased within the previous 12 months and must bear the sales receipt with the imprinted date of sale.

Contact Information

James Williams

Fire Warden/Fire Marshal

Permit and Resource Management Department

County of Sonoma

Contact us by Phone
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Emergency Dial 9-1-1

If you are currently experiencing an actual emergency, please dial 911.