Crowd Management

Crowd management is the ability to control crowd dynamic features such as space, energy, time, and information.  The goal of proper crowd management is to ensure that all occupants are safe during both normal and emergency operations.  Every assembly occupancy, with the exception of places of worship, in the State of Rhode Island is required to have at least one crowd manager on duty during hours of operation.  For occupancies exceeding 250 people, additional crowd managers will be required per NFPA 101.

A crowd manager is responsible for:

  • Maintaining clear egress
  • Possessing knowledge of how to initiate a fire alarm
  • Ensuring the posted occupant load is not exceeded
  • Facilitating audible announcements of exit locations prior to any performance
  • Understanding the hazards of an occupancy and how to mitigate those hazards in an emergency


What is a Place of Assembly?

The National Fire Protection Association defines an Assembly Occupancy as:

NFPA 101* Assembly Occupancy. An occupancy (1) used for a gathering of 50 or more persons for deliberation, worship, entertainment, eating, drinking, amusement, awaiting transportation, or similar uses; or (2) used as a special amusement building, regardless of occupant load.


Training and Certification

The Rhode Island Office of the State Fire Marshal currently has a reciprocity agreement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the use of their Crowd Management Program.  This program is free of charge and fully online.  To access this training, please visit:

Proof of completion and the reciprocal certification registration form must be sent to the Rhode Island Office of the State Fire Marshal to activate the certification.  Inquires and paperwork should be directed to Chief of Inspections Bill Leahy.