Weights should be secured in a manner that does not create its own safety hazard
Weights should not cause a tripping hazard
Weights should be tethered with lines that are clearly visible
Weights should have soft edges to avoid causing cuts and scrapes
Weights should be securely attached
Weights should be on the ground (NOT above people’s heads)
Canopies are used at markets to shield vendors and their product from sun and rain, but unpredictable winds can come up at any moment creating a safety hazard if the canopy is not properly secured.
Sufficiently weighted canopies will have at least 24 pounds per leg. One canopy manufacturer recommends at least 40 pounds on each corner of a 10×10 tent; double that on a 10×20 tent.
Examples of good canopy weights
- Filling an empty bucket (2.5 gallon works great) with cement and tying this to each corner of the tent with a rope or bungee. It is NOT sufficient to place the bucket on the feet of the canopy.
- Filling buckets/containers with sand/cement that can be anchored or secured with a rope or bungee; these include canvas bags or plastic buckets/containers that have a handle through which a rope or bungee can be secured.
- Sandbag weights that are specially made for securing canopies and weigh at least 24 pounds. These sandbag weights are vertical and can be strapped the legs of the canopy.
- PVC pipe capped and filled with cement can be hung on the inside of canopy poles as long as it is secured so that it does not collide with customers.
- The best weights are strapped to the bottom of each leg, and then tethered via a bungee to the top corner of the canopy, thus lowering the center of gravity of the canopy. In a strong gust of wind, even canopies secured with enough weight, can be broken if the weights are not suspended from the top corners of the canopy.
Examples of Bad Canopy Weights
- Gallon water jugs are not heavy enough for large gusts of wind. One gallon of water weights 8 pounds. One gallon of water on each corner would be the equivalent of a 3 year old child trying to hold down a 100 square foot parachute.
- Tying tents, canopies or umbrellas to tables, coolers or vehicles provides tripping hazards and frequently does not provide adequate weight. Vendor safety is just as important as customer safety.
- Sandbags that cannot be placed upright and securely tied to the tent or canopy should not be used.
- In addition to not providing enough grip to prevent a canopy from taking flight in a strong gust of wind, tent stakes are barely visible to shoppers and can cause a serious tripping hazard to an unsuspecting customer.
- Never use cement blocks! They are hard, easy to trip over, and are very effective toe and shin breakers.
- At all costs, avoid stretched out cords and lines. Customers and their children will get them wrapped around their arms or legs, causing them to trip and fall, and perhaps pull over your displays in the process.