Having a Special Event

The Fire Prevention Division issues temporary Special Event Permits and establishes conditions to ensure public safety at large public gatherings, charity events and other events such as outdoor cooking, trade shows and high profile events. All events must comply with the content of this booklet, whether or not a permit is required. The fire and building codes apply to all events. 


If you plan to use a public space for your next event, the Community Events Office of Community and Cultural Services (CCS) is your key to understanding the City's rules and permitting process.  In addition to Fire and CCS, you may be required to obtain permits from other departments and divisions. This includes, but is not limited to Building and Safety, Police and the Santa Monica Airport.



Some events only require Fire approval, while others require a fire permit and applicable fees be paid. The Fire Department permits the following uses:

  • Carnivals/Fairs
  • Candles/Open Flame
  • Christmas Tree Lot                                
  • Erect a Canopy, Membrane Structure or Tent
  • LPG/Propane (used for heating or cooking)    
  • Motor Vehicle(s) in Building          

If you plan to have any of these items, please complete the Special Events Permit Application found on our Application & Forms page.

If your event will not have any of Fire’s special event permit uses, please contact Santa Monica Fire about your event at smfireprevention@smgov.net and provide all the following information:

Event Name


Event Description

Event date (including setup and teardown)

Number of persons attending

Site Plan

Use of Generators (Y/N), number and size, if applicable (may require submitting application with Building & Safety) 

Please note that some special events will require a Fire Safety Officer, click here to learn more.



Applications shall be submitted 5 business days in advance of the event to ensure sufficient time for review and processing. Applications submitted less than 5 business days may be subject to the Expedite Review fee. The special event review (includes one resubmittal). Additional site plan changes may be subject to the Special Event Review fee. Please allow a minimum of 2-3 days for your application to be reviewed and approved.

Email: smfireprevention@smgov.net                     
Fax: 310.395.3395
Mail: Fire Prevention
Santa Monica Fire
333 W. Olympic Dr., 2nd Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Monday-Friday 7:30am - 4:30pm



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