• 18th to 22nd of March 2020 Messe Wien
    Wohnen & Interieur


Legal Regulations

Vienna City Council By-laws dated 29 Dec. 1949, Mag.-Abt. 7-4050/49 concerning local police regulations for trade fairs

The following police regulations concerning the installation and operation of trade fairs were enacted pursuant to §§ 77 and 111 of the Constitution of the City of Vienna in the version of 1931 (Provincial Law Gazette for Vienna, No. 41).

Section A: General provisions
Section B: Technical provisions
Section C: Final provisions



Section A: General provisions

§ 1 Procedures
Prior to all trade fairs the organizers must apply to the City Council for approval of the premises. The Council may request the submission of scale plans clearly indicating hall furnishings, the width of circulation routes and exits to the street, and the lighting, emergency lighting and heating systems. In the event of intentions to install or modify any equipment affecting the safety of visitors and employees, such as electrical equipment, emergency lighting systems, hydrants or fire alarms, heating or ventilation systems, plans and technical descriptions shall be submitted prior to the performance of works. The City Council will investigate the suitability of the premises in respect of operational, structural, fire safety and public health aspects, will assess them for compliance with safety and traffic regulations in consultation with the Federal Police Directorate, and will impose such licensing conditions as are necessary for operational safety upon the organizers, who shall be responsible for the observation of these rules by exhibitors and visitors. In the event that adequate safety standards cannot be met by official licensing conditions or that the latter are not being complied with, the Council shall be entitled to prohibit the use by visitors of those parts of the fair that do not meet requirements.

§ 2 Monitoring
Monitoring of compliance with those provisions of these by-laws and with those aspects of the li­cen­sing conditions that concern operational, structural, fire and public health matters is the re­spon­sibility of the City Council; otherwise, responsibility lies with the Federal Police Directorate, par­­ticularly in respect of the maintenance of public order. Should the necessity arise during the event for urgent action to ensure operational safety, the necessary emergency orders shall be en­ac­ted by the authorities responsible for supervision of the facilities. Such emergency orders may be:
a) Under the purview of the Federal Police Directorate, the removal of persons responsible for breaches of the peace, suspension of admission or complete evacuation of the exhibition premises in order to prevent breaches of the peace or danger to persons or property, or closure of the entire facilities.
b) Under the purview of the City Council, the imposition of licensing conditions with a view to meeting the necessary safety standards or, in cases of emergency, the closure of individual exhibition halls or of the entire facilities. In the absence of a Council supervisory officer, the officer of the Federal Police Directorate responsible for supervision of the site shall be entitled to issue such instructions in cases of emergency.



Section B: Technical provisions

§ 3 Site lay-out
Buildings with a floor area of over 300 sqm must be separated from each other by open space which must generally be 12 m wide. If the sum of the heights of the cornices of opposite buildings is greater, then this dimension shall determine the spacing of the buildings. In extensive sites, fire protection strips, which may not be built on and should, if possible, be planted with trees, may be required. Exhibition facilities in residential buildings must have their own emergency exits, which must be separated from other parts of the building by fireproof partitions; connecting doors giving on to parts of the building used for other purposes are prohibited. Buildings with exhibition facilities may not, normally, contain rooms in which inflammable materials are stored, processed or sold, if visitors would be endangered by a fire therein. Small buildings such as kiosks, show houses, stands, etc., must be at least 3 m from adjacent buildings.

§ 4 Fire protection
In multi-storey buildings containing exhibition facilities, the exterior walls, stairwells, and all load-bearing elements, as well as vehicle and pedestrian gateways, must be built of fireproof materials. Ground-floor exhibition halls must be solely constructed of fire retardant materials. Within buildings, fire walls must be laid out as required; these must generally extend 15 cm beyond the roof skin and completely separate the inflammable structural elements from each other. Openings in masonry must be provided with fire retardant doors which must be kept shut outside the event opening hours. In halls which are longer than 60 m and have clear roof spans, fire aprons or protection strips may be required instead of fire walls. Fire aprons must be constructed of retardant materials, and must rise to a height no more than 3 m below the roof skin or ceiling. Fire protection strips must be at least 6 m wide, and must consist of a fireproof roof skin and retardant inner roof (3 cm plaster), while the side walls must consist of fireproof materials descending to the floor.
Where fire aprons or protection strips are located, roof cladding must be separated from connecting elements by retardant materials. Communicating passages between halls are permissible only if adjacent walls are fire resistant or the passages themselves have fire resistant walls and ceilings. The roof skins of large buildings such as halls must be fire retardant. Stands, kiosks, pavilions and other permanent or semi-permanent structures must generally be constructed of retardant materials. Buildings which do not conform to this requirement may only be sited next to each other if a space equal to two-thirds of the height of the ridge of the roof is left between them.

§ 5 Capacity, and traffic/circulation routes
The lay-out, number of width of the circulation routes (passages, exits, doors and stairwells) in buildings with exhibition premises depends on the capacity of the buildings in question. Conditions may be relaxed for small showrooms, pavilions, show houses, etc. The basis for the calculation of capacity is three persons per square meter of floor area usable by visitors. The required clear width of circulation routes is calculated according to a ratio of 1.50 m per 250 persons. Circulation routes may not be constricted by doors, porches, other fixtures and fittings or goods in storage.
Off-stand seating for exhibitors or supervisory staff must be securely fixed, and may not project into the circulation routes. Floor or wall coverings may not be of highly inflammable materials and must, like any pictures, mirrors, etc., situated in or along circulation routes, be securely fitted. Glazing of showcases and doors must be secured against breakage, and must be of sufficient strength.
Stands must be provided with temporary wood flooring, and the edges of the steps thereto must be chamfered. Foot-scrapers must be at floor level. Outdoor traffic routes for public use must be at least 5 m wide, and must be connected with public carriageways either directly or by gateways. Access to the street may be closeable by gates; the provisions applying to the latter are analogous to those for doors (§ 7).
During the event opening hours the use of traffic routes by vehicles shall be restricted or prohibited, and vehicle access or egress specially regulated. For the duration of the event the necessary transport routes and pedestrian circulation routes shall remain unobstructed and usable in their full width.

§ 6 Corridors, aisles and exits
Exhibition facilities must be provided with aisles of at least 2.50 m in width. Wider aisles may be stipulated for exhibition halls likely to attract large numbers of visitors (e.g. at tastings). In the case of exhibition halls where the total length of the aisles is no more than 30 m, where visitor traffic is one way only, or exhibits are only situated on one side, the aisle width may be reduced to 2 m. In halls where the total length of circulation routes is greater than 15 m, there must be at least two exits leading to escape routes. Exits from exhibition halls may not generally be more than 30 m apart, and like emergency exits these must be at least 1.50 m wide and 2.10 m high. Exits must be clearly marked, and wherever possible must be visible from the aisles at some distance. Routes to exits shall also be signposted if necessary.

§ 7 Doors
Doors must be at least 2.10 m high and 1.20 m wide, and must open outwards. Doors which open inwards are, however, permissible in the case of facilities frequented by only small numbers of people, and may also be permitted under exceptional circumstances if so positioned as to allow permanent opening by means of appropriate fittings when visitors are present. Open door leaves may project no more than 0.15 m into circulation routes, and may not reduce aisles to less than the required width.
Door furniture must be easily accessible and clearly visible from within halls, and must open with handles. Flush bolts, sliding bolts, bottom-mounted door-closers and similar door closure fittings are prohibited. Top-mounted door-closers may only be mounted on one door leaf. Smokeproof and fire retardant doors (including frame) must open in the direction of escape, and must close automatically. Revolving doors are prohibited.

§ 8 Stairwells
Stairways must be so designed that no part of any hall accessible to visitors is more than 40 m from a stairwell; they must be constructed of fire-resistant materials and must be straight. The steps must be at least 0.30 wide and may not be higher than 0.16m. Visitors’ staircases must be at least 1.50 m wide; staircases of over 2.50 in width must be divided by central handrails. Staircases must be provided with handrails, the ends of which may not be exposed. Flights of over 20 stairs must be interrupted by 1 m long landings. Landings of 0.45 m in depth must be situated on both sides of doors. Ramps with rises of up to 0.45 m may not have gradients of over 10%. Stairwells should generally have windows giving on to the open air, and must have smokeproof emergency doors to seal off individual floors. The installation of smoke vents which open under their own weight upon actuation of a release mechanism on the ground floor may be required on top floors.
Fire retardant, smokeproof doors capable of sealing off cellar steps from circulation routes and halls frequented by visitors may be required.

§ 9 Stands
Where stands have structural elements that are neither fire resistant nor fire retardant, these must be given a coat of paint containing a fire retardant material. Wooden elements must be planed. Hangings, fabric coverings, curtains and other decorations must be securely hung. Paper coverings must, wherever possible, be pasted to walls. Inflammable artificial silk may not be used for decorations. Stand or aisle ceilings (e.g. Vela) must be rendered fire resistant by treatment with a protective material. Authorization of unusually large stand or hall decorations may be made conditional on the use of fire resistant materials or the provision of additional fire extinguishers. Wall or ceiling elements endangered by gas appliances, electric heaters or other heat sources must be protected by asbestos without obstructing ventilation. Outdoor exhibition structures such as pavilions or show houses must be equipped and furnished in accordance with the above provisions. Packing materials may not be stored at stands.

§ 10 Exhibits
Where exhibits are to be demonstrated, steps must be taken to prevent risk to visitors and employees. Exhibitors must expressly draw visitors’ attention to exhibits in versions that do not conform to Austrian standards or require an official permit for use. Failure to do so may result in the affixing to the exhibit of an official warning. The use of burning, red-hot, inflammable or explosive materials is prohibited in all exhibition facilities. Applications for special permits, e.g. for use to drive exhibits, must be directed to the City Council, which may permit the use and storage of such materials in special cases. Materials such as celluloid must be identified as such, and must wherever possible be displayed behind glass; a maximum amount of 1 kg may be present at a stand. In such cases a bucket of water and fire blanket or other appropriate fire fighting equipment must be kept at the ready.

§ 11 Electrical equipment
Electrical equipment must be installed, maintained and operated in accordance with the relevant regulations, and must be subjected to an official inspection prior to every event. Electrical machinery, transformers and appliances must be provided with regulation protective equipment such as circuit-breakers, earths and TN systems. High-voltage equipment such as fluorescent tubes, X-ray or large high-frequency apparatus requires special permits, for which exhibitors must apply to the City Council in good time, furnishing a technical description and sketch drawn up by themselves or their electrical contractors. Prior to all events applications must be made to the City Council for inspection of all electrical equipment and wiring. The fair management shall appoint a licensed electrician to supervise and maintain electrical equipment – including exhibits – for the duration of the event, and shall inform the City Council thereof.

§ 12 Lighting and emergency lighting
All exhibition halls that are not naturally lit must be illuminated by electric light. Electricity supply from two independent power sources may be required; in such cases the light fittings in question must be evenly distributed around the halls. The main lighting system, electrical standfitting and any outdoor lighting must be so designed as to permit independent all-pole disconnection. Plans of the electrical installations (circuit diagrams and planimetric drawings), indicating the main feed points (switching substations and distribution points) and the layout of the main services in the various buildings, and updated to represent the actual status, must be kept by the fair management. Apart from a main lighting system, all halls, circulation routes and escape routes leading to public transport facilities must be provided with an independent emergency lighting system. The latter is to kept operational from lighting-up time until vacation of the premises by visitors.

The emergency lighting system must be fed by storage batteries. Each light must have a wattage of 5 W. Emergency lighting must be so located that drives and paths remain illuminated as far as the street in the event of failure of the main lighting system. Emergency lights with glass covers, identified by green stripes, shall be provided above the exits.

§ 13 Special regulations for electrical installations
Lines must be laid in accordance with the special regulations for industrial premises and storerooms subject to potential fire hazards, and those for damp rooms where applicable. Main services in exhibition halls may be exposed, provided that they are insulated and are mounted in insulators or porcelain cups, that the live cables are at least 5 cm apart, that they are protected rom possible damage either by their positioning or by other appropriate measures, and that they cannot enter into contact with inflammable materials.
Mobile lines must normally be ordinary or heavy tough-rubber-sheathed (t.r.s.) cables. Use of lightweight cables should be kept to a minimum, and they should not be secured with clamps or nails or laid in contact with inflammable materials. Cables laid on the floor must be protected from mechanical damage. All cable connections must be clamped, soldered or reliably insulated.
Gas and heating pipes may under no circumstances be used to connect earth wires, and water pipes may only be used with the consent of the City Council.
Distribution boards, controllers, resistors, motors, switchgear, heating elements, etc., must be so installed and protected as to be inaccessible by visitors, and to be at a sufficient distance from inflammable materials, if necessary, by placing them on fireproof bases; they must be so installed that fire hazards and accidental contact with live parts are excluded.
Distribution boards and switchboxes shall be made of fireproof materials such as masonry or sheet metal. Electric radiant heating ovens and heaters with exposed elements may only be operated for short periods for demonstration purposes. Resistors must be so shielded as to prevent objects from being deposited on them.
Distribution boards must be mounted at reachable height, and wiring circuits must be clearly and legibly marked. Only regulation fuses may be used. Bypassing of fuse-links by means of metal objects is prohibited. The pins of plugs used to connect appliances must have protective shrouds of sufficient height, and sockets must be installed at the end of the feeder cables. Candle lamps may not have inflammable lampholder carriers or shades.
Filament lamps must be equipped with shock protected lampholders, and may not be surrounded with paper or fabric, or be in contact with inflammable fabrics. Glass globes, or large glass panes in suspended light fittings or on circulation routes, must be equipped with wire mesh reinforcements directly attached to the fittings. Intense light sources must be so fitted or shaded that passers-by are not dazzled.
Battery terminals must have all-pole protection corresponding to the conductor cross-section in question.

§ 14 Gas installations
Gas equipment must be installed and operated in accordance with the current regulations, and must be inspected by the Gasworks before each fair. Mains stopcocks must be protected against tampering by unauthorized persons, and their locations clearly marked.
Gas meters, connections and stopcocks must be locked in protective cabinets. Operational gas appliances must be mounted on fireproof, heat-insulating bases, and should normally be connected with the mains by permanent plumbing. Only hoses with protection against mechanical damage and with secure connections may be used for the supply of mobile gas appliances. Gas pipes should normally be wall mounted. Pipes laid on floors must be protected against mechanical damage.
Exhaust gas from heating appliances must normally be conducted into the open air; exceptions are at the discretion of the City Council. Acetylene generators and dissolved acetylene units may only be exhibited and demonstrated under exceptional circumstances, subject to special permission from the City Council.

§ 15 Heating and ventilation
Exhibition halls may be heated only by central heating systems or, subject to conditions to be imposed on a case-by-case basis, solid-fuel stoves, gas or electric heaters. Liquid-fuelled space heaters are prohibited. Stoves and radiators in circulation routes must be surrounded by stable protective shielding to prevent hazardous physical contact. All exhibition halls must be ventilated; if necessary, artificial ventilation will be required.

§ 16 Sanitary facilities and cloakrooms
Gentlemen’s and ladies toilets, and urinals must be connected to the municipal sewerage network, and must have a vestibule with adequate ventilation, as well a ventilation duct into the open air. Toilets must be clearly marked as such. Vestibules are to be provided with sinks with running water. Cloakrooms may not obstruct the circulation routes and exits; if the counter is situated in a circulation area the latter must be enlarged by one-third of the required width for at least the length of the counter.

§ 17 Smoking ban
Smoking and naked flames are prohibited throughout exhibition premises. Exceptions require express official permission. Signage calling attention to the smoking ban must be clearly visible and legible. In rooms where smoking is permitted ashtrays must be provided.

§ 18 Fire extinguishers and fire alarms

Fire buckets containing water, or buckets and stirrup pumps should normally be present in all exhibition halls. Portable fire extinguishers may not be used unless approved for their intended purpose; they should be inspected and certified as operational before every event. The City Council may require the installation of fire alarms and alarm systems at large premises. Depending on the size of the premises, the installation of hydrants within the building and outdoors may be stipulated. Fire-fighting equipment must always be easily accessible and kept clear of obstacles. Signage of hydrants and fire alarms must be visible at a distance.

§ 19 Fire officers
In the case of large facilities, the City Council may require the presence of fire officers provided by the Fire Brigade for the duration of the event as well as the assembly and dismantling periods.

§ 20 Duty stations
Suitable accommodation shall be provided for the official supervisory services (Police and Fire Brigade) and, if necessary, for fire-fighting equipment. The premises in question shall be on the ground floor, and shall be directly accessible, equipped with lighting and heating, and appropriately furnished; they shall have direct lines to the government telephone system and the in-house switchboard.

§ 21 First aid
At all large exhibition facilities, large quantities of the equipment, medicines, cordials and dressings required for first aid in the event of illness or accident, as specified by the by-laws of Vienna City Council dated 25 September 1930 (Mag.-Abt. 52-1369/30), shall be kept in dustproof storage in a naturally ventilated and lit room (surgery). The permanent presence of a doctor or other person trained in first aid may be required. The surgery must contain a sink with running water, a couch and stretcher.

§ 22 House rules
The fair management shall submit house rules for the approval of the City Council. These shall contain rules for visitors and exhibitors, as well as the conduct of supervisory staff in cases of emergency. The fair management shall, through the supervisory staff, take steps to ensure that the house rules are observed. Upon approval, the house rules shall be issued to the supervisory staff and shall be prominently posted at a number of locations at the fair facilities.

§ 23 Supervisory staff
For the duration of the event and the assembly and dismantling periods the fair management shall provide a sufficient supervisory staff; the latter shall be identified as such and shall be conversant with the house rules.
Before every event half of the supervisory staff shall receive training from the Vienna City Fire Brigade in the use of fire-fighting equipment.

§ 24 Inspections and reports
Safety inspections of installations such as electric lighting and power systems, lightning conductors, podia, rigging and hoisting equipment, central heating and ventilation systems, hearths, gas pipes, smoke outlets and vents, hydrants, valves and hoses, and fire alarm systems, may be required.
The reports thereon must be submitted to the City Council before every event. In addition, the provisions of the by-laws dated 30 September 1930 (Mag.-Abt. 52-2134/30) pertaining to the safety of entertainment facilities shall be observed.



Section C: Final provisions

§ 25 Existing facilities
The City Council is free to exempt facilities in existence at the time of the entry into force of these by-laws from individual provisions thereof shall, operational safety permitting.

§ 26 Exceptions
In the event that compliance with individual technical regulations would lead to unintended difficulties the City Council may permit exceptions, provided that the required standard of operational safety can be met by other means.
The City Council is also entitled to make additional conditions, over and above the provisions of Section B, if this is necessary to protect the life and health of visitors.

§ 27 Penalties
Infringements by organizers, exhibitors or visitors of these by-laws and orders pursuant to them, and of the house rules, are punishable by fines of up to EUR 14.53 or detention of up 14 days.

§ 28 Validity
These by-laws shall enter into force upon the day of their announcement, and shall thereby supersede the Vienna City Council by-laws dated 3 July 1934 (Mag.-Abt. 52-T 46/46/33).
The legal regulations applying to film performances, events subject to the Vienna theatre by-laws, industrial premises, etc., are not affected by these by-laws.

By the Vienna City Council


Edmund Seliger
Edmund Seliger
Category Manager

T: +43 1 72720 - 2102
F: +43 1 72720 - 2184
E: Edmund.Seliger@reedexpo.at

Robert Hirschegger
Robert Hirschegger
Event Coordinator

T: +43 1 72720 - 2137
F: +43 1 72720 - 2184
E: robert.hirschegger@reedexpo.at

Patricia Leeb
Patricia Leeb
Event Coordinator

T: +43 1 72720 - 2139
F: +43 1 72720 - 2184
E: patricia.leeb@reedexpo.at

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