High-piled combustible storage shall be in accordance with this chapter. In addition to the requirements of this chapter, the following material-specific requirements shall apply:
- Aerosols shall be in accordance with Chapter 28.
- Flammable and combustible liquids shall be in accordance with Chapter 34.
- Hazardous materials shall be in accordance with Chapter 27.
- Storage of combustible paper records shall be in accordance with NFPA 13.
- Storage of combustible fibers shall be in accordance with Chapter 29.
- Storage of miscellaneous combustible material shall be in accordance with Chapter 3.
At the time of building permit application for new structures designed to accommodate high-piled storage or for requesting a change of occupancy/use, and at the time of application for a storage permit, plans and specifications shall be submitted for review and approval. In addition to the information required by the International Building Code, the storage permit submittal shall include the information specified in this section. Following approval of the plans, a copy of the approved plans shall be maintained on the premises in an approved location. The plans shall include the following:
- Floor plan of the building showing locations and dimensions of high-piled storage areas.
- Usable storage height for each storage area.
- Number of tiers within each rack, if applicable.
- Commodity clearance between top of storage and the sprinkler deflector for each storage arrangement.
- Aisle dimensions between each storage array.
- Maximum pile volume for each storage array.
- Location and classification of commodities in accordance with Section 2303.
- Location of commodities which are banded or encapsulated.
- Location of required fire department access doors.
- Type of fire suppression and fire detection systems.
- Location of valves controlling the water supply of ceiling and in-rack sprinklers.
- Type, location and specifications of smoke removal and curtain board systems.
- Dimension and location of transverse and longitudinal flue spaces.
- Additional information regarding required design features, commodities, storage arrangement and fire protection features within the high-piled storage area shall be provided at the time of permit, when required by the fire code official.
The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this chapter and as used elsewhere in this code, have the meanings shown herein.
ARRAY. The configuration of storage. Characteristics considered in defining an array include the type of packaging, flue spaces, height of storage and compactness of storage.
ARRAY, CLOSED. A storage configuration having a 6-inch (152 mm) or smaller width vertical flue space that restricts air movement through the stored commodity.
AUTOMATED RACK STORAGE. Automated rack storage is a stocking method whereby the movement of pallets, products, apparatus or systems are automatically controlled by mechanical or electronic devices.
BIN BOX. A five-sided container with the open side facing an aisle. Bin boxes are self-supporting or supported by a structure designed so that little or no horizontal or vertical space exists around the boxes.
COMMODITY. A combination of products, packing materials and containers.
DRAFT CURTAIN. A structure arranged to limit the spread of smoke and heat along the underside of the ceiling or roof.
EARLY SUPPRESSION FAST-RESPONSE (ESFR) SPRINKLER. A sprinkler listed for early suppression fast-response performance.
EXPANDED PLASTIC. A foam or cellular plastic material having a reduced density based on the presence of numerous small cavities or cells dispersed throughout the material.
EXTRA-HIGH-RACK COMBUSTIBLE STORAGE. Storage on racks of Class I, II, III or IV commodities which exceed 40 feet (12 192 mm) in height and storage on racks of high-hazard commodities which exceed 30 feet (9144 mm) in height.
HIGH-PILED COMBUSTIBLE STORAGE. Storage of combustible materials in closely packed piles or combustible materials on pallets, in racks or on shelves where the top of storage is greater than 12 feet (3658 mm) in height. When required by the fire code official, high-piled combustible storage also includes certain high-hazard commodities, such as rubber tires, Group A plastics, flammable liquids, idle pallets and similar commodities, where the top of storage is greater than 6 feet (1829 mm) in height.
HIGH-PILED STORAGE AREA. An area within a building which is designated, intended, proposed or actually used for high-piled combustible storage.
LONGITUDINAL FLUE SPACE. The flue space between rows of storage perpendicular to the direction of loading.
MANUAL STOCKING METHODS. Stocking methods utilizing ladders or other nonmechanical equipment to move stock.
MECHANICAL STOCKING METHODS. Stocking methods utilizing motorized vehicles or hydraulic jacks to move stock.
SHELF STORAGE. Storage on shelves less than 30 inches (762 mm) deep with the distance between shelves not exceeding 3 feet (914 mm) vertically. For other shelving arrangements, see the requirements for rack storage.
SOLID SHELVING. Shelving that is solid, slatted or of other construction located in racks and which obstructs sprinkler discharge down into the racks.
TRANSVERSE FLUE SPACE. The space between rows of storage parallel to the direction of loading.
Class I commodities are essentially noncombustible products on wooden or nonexpanded polyethylene solid deck pallets, in ordinary corrugated cartons with or without single-thickness dividers, or in ordinary paper wrappings with or without pallets. Class I commodities are allowed to contain a limited amount of Group A plastics in accordance with Section 2303.7.4. Examples of Class I commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Alcoholic beverages not exceeding 20-percent alcohol
Appliances noncombustible, electrical
Cement in bags
Dairy products in nonwax-coated containers (excluding bottles)
Foods in noncombustible containers
Fresh fruits and vegetables in nonplastic trays or containers
Glycol in metal cans
Inert materials, bagged
Noncombustible liquids in plastic containers having less than a 5-gallon (19 L) capacity
Noncombustible metal products
Class II commodities are Class I products in slatted wooden crates, solid wooden boxes, multiple-thickness paperboard cartons or equivalent combustible packaging material with or without pallets. Class II commodities are allowed to contain a limited amount of Group A plastics in accordance with Section 2303.7.4. Examples of Class II commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Alcoholic beverages not exceeding 20-percent alcohol, in combustible containers
Foods in combustible containers
Incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs in cartons
Thinly coated fine wire on reels or in cartons
Class III commodities are commodities of wood, paper, natural fiber cloth, or Group C plastics or products thereof, with or without pallets. Products are allowed to contain limited amounts of Group A or B plastics, such as metal bicycles with plastic handles, pedals, seats and tires. Group A plastics shall be limited in accordance with Section 2303.7.4. Examples of Class III commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Aerosol, Level 1 (see Chapter 28)
Food in plastic containers
Furniture: wood, natural fiber, upholstered, nonplastic, wood or metal with plastic-padded and covered armrests
Glycol in combustible containers not exceeding 25 percent
Lubricating or hydraulic fluid in metal cans
Mattresses, excluding foam rubber and foam plastics
Noncombustible liquids in plastic containers having a capacity of more than 5 gallons (19 L)
Paints, oil base, in metal cans
Paper, waste, baled
Paper and pulp, horizontal storage, or vertical storage that
is banded or protected with approved wrap
Paper in cardboard boxes
Pillows, excluding foam rubber and foam plastics
Plastic-coated paper food containers
Rugs, without foam backing
Wood doors, frames and cabinets
Yarns of natural fiber and viscose
Class IV commodities are Class I, II or III products containing Group A plastics in ordinary corrugated cartons and Class I, II and III products with Group A plastic packaging, with or without pallets. Group B plastics and free-flowing Group A plastics are also included in this class. The total amount of nonfree-flowing Group A plastics shall be in accordance with Section 2303.7.4. Examples of Class IV commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Aerosol, Level 2 (see Chapter 28)
Alcoholic beverages, exceeding 20-percent but less than 80-percent alcohol, in cans or bottles in cartons
Clothing, synthetic or nonviscose
Combustible metal products (solid)
Furniture, plastic upholstered
Furniture, wood or metal with plastic covering and padding
Glycol in combustible containers (greater than 25 percent and less than 50 percent)
Paints, oil base in combustible containers
Pharmaceutical, alcoholic elixirs, tonics, etc.
Rugs, foam back
Thread or yarn, synthetic or nonviscose
High-hazard commodities are high-hazard products presenting special fire hazards beyond those of Class I, II, III or IV. Group A plastics not otherwise classified are included in this class. Examples of high-hazard commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Aerosol, Level 3 (see Chapter 28)
Alcoholic beverages, exceeding 80-percent alcohol, in bottles or cartons
Commodities of any class in plastic containers in
Flammable solids (except solid combustible metals)
Glycol in combustible containers (50 percent or greater)
Lacquers, which dry by solvent evaporation, in metal cans
Lubricating or hydraulic fluid in plastic containers
Mattresses, foam rubber or foam plastics
Pallets and flats which are idle combustible
Paper and pulp, rolled, in vertical storage which is unbanded or not protected with an approved wrap
Paper, asphalt, rolled, horizontal storage
Paper, asphalt, rolled, vertical storage
Pillows, foam rubber and foam plastics
Vegetable oil and butter in plastic containers
Group A plastics are plastic materials having a heat of combustion that is much higher than that of ordinary combustibles, and a burning rate higher than that of Group B plastics. Examples of Group A plastics include, but are not limited to, the following:
ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer)
Acrylic (polymethyl methacrylate)
EPDM (ethylene propylene rubber)
FRP (fiberglass-reinforced polyester)
Natural rubber (expanded)
Nitrile rubber (acrylonitrile butadiene rubber)
PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)
Polystyrene (expanded and unexpanded)
Polyurethane (expanded and unexpanded)
PVC (polyvinyl chloride greater than 15 percent plasticized, e.g., coated fabric unsupported film)
SAN (styrene acrylonitrile)
SBR (styrene butadiene rubber)
Group B plastics are plastic materials having a heat of combustion and a burning rate higher than that of ordinary combustibles, but not as high as those of Group A plastics. Examples of Group B plastics include, but are not limited to, the following:
Cellulosics (cellulose acetate, cellulose acetate butyrate,
Fluoroplastics (ECTFE, ethylene-chlorotrifluoroethylene
copolymer; ETFE, ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene
copolymer; FEP, fluorinated ethylene-propylene copolymer)
Natural rubber (nonexpanded)
Nylon (Nylon 6, Nylon 6/6)
PVC (polyvinyl chloride greater than 5-percent, but not exceeding 15-percent plasticized)
Group C plastics are plastic materials having a heat of combustion and a burning rate similar to those of ordinary combustibles. Examples of Group C plastics include, but are not limited to, the following:
Fluoroplastics (PCTFE, polychlorotrifluoroethylene; PTFE, polytetrafluoroethylene)
Melamine (melamine formaldehyde)
PVC (polyvinyl chloride, rigid or plasticized less than 5 percent, e.g., pipe, pipe fittings)
PVDC (polyvinylidene chloride)
PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride)
PVF (polyvinyl fluoride)
Urea (urea formaldehyde)
- This figure is intended to determine the commodity classification of a mixed commodity in a package, carton or on a pallet where plastics are involved.
- The following is an example of how to apply the figure: A package containing a Class III commodity has 12-percent Group A expanded plastic by volume. The weight of the unexpanded Group A plastic is 10 percent. This commodity is classified as a Class IV commodity. If the weight of the unexpanded plastic is increased to 14 percent, the classification changes to a high-hazard commodity.
Where required by Table 2306.2, fire detection systems, smoke and heat removal, draft curtains and automatic sprinkler design densities shall extend the lesser of 15 feet (4572 mm) beyond the high-piled storage area or to a permanent partition. Where portions of high-piled storage areas have different fire protection requirements because of commodity, method of storage or storage height, the fire protection features required by Table 2306.2 within this area shall be based on the most restrictive design requirements.
|COMMODITY CLASS||SIZE OF HIGH-PILED STORAGE AREAa (square feet) (see Sections 2306.2 and 2306.4)||ALL STORAGE AREAS (See Sections 2306, 2307 and 2308)b||SOLID-PILED STORAGE, SHELF STORAGE AND PALLETIZED STORAGE (see Section 2307.3)|
|Automatic fire- extinguishing system (see Section 2306.4)||Fire detection system (see Section 2306.5)||Building access (see Section 2306.6)||Smoke and heat removal (see Section 2306.7)||Draft curtains (see Section 2306.7)||Maximum pile dimensionc (feet)||Maximum permissible storage heightd (feet)||Maximum pile volume (cubic feet)|
|I-IV||0-500||Not Requireda||Not Required||Not Requirede||Not Required||Not Required||Not Required||Not Required||Not Required|
|501-2,500||Not Requireda||Yesi||Not Requirede||Not Required||Not Required||100||40||100,000|
|2,501-12,000 Public accessible||Yes||Not Required||Not Requirede||Not Required||Not Required||100||40||400,000|
|2,501-12,000 Nonpublic accessible (Option 1)||Yes||Not Required||Not Requirede||Not Required||Not Required||100||40||400,000|
|2,501-12,000 Nonpublic accessible (Option 2)||Not Requireda||Yes||Yes||Yesj||Yesj||100||30f||200,000|
|12,001-20,000||Yes||Not Required||Yes||Yesj||Not Required||100||40||400,000|
|20,001-500,000||Yes||Not Required||Yes||Yesj||Not Required||100||40||400,000|
|Greater than 500,000g||Yes||Not Required||Yes||Yesj||Not Required||100||40||400,000|
|High hazard||0-500||Not Requireda||Not Required||Not Requirede||Not Required||Not Required||50||Not Required||Not Required|
|501-2,500 Public accessible||Yes||Not Required||Not Requirede||Not Required||Not Required||50||30||75,000|
|501-2,500 Nonpublic accessible (Option 1)||Yes||Not Required||Not Requirede||Not Required||Not Required||50||30||75,000|
|501-2,500 Nonpublic accessible (Option 2)||Not Requireda||Yes||Yes||Yesj||Yesj||50||20||50,000|
|2,501-300,000||Yes||Not Required||Yes||Yesj||Not Required||50||30||75,000|
|300,001-500,000g, h||Yes||Not Required||Yes||Yesj||Not Required||50||30||75,000|
- When automatic sprinklers are required for reasons other than those in Chapter 23, the portion of the sprinkler system protecting the high-piled storage area shall be designed and installed in accordance with Sections 2307 and 2308.
- For aisles, see Section 2306.9.
- Piles shall be separated by aisles complying with Section 2306.9.
- For storage in excess of the height indicated, special fire protection shall be provided in accordance with Note g when required by the fire code official. See also Chapters 28 and 34 for special limitations for aerosols and flammable and combustible liquids, respectively.
- Section 503 shall apply for fire apparatus access.
- For storage exceeding 30 feet in height, Option 1 shall be used.
- Special fire protection provisions including, but not limited to, fire protection of exposed steel columns; increased sprinkler density; additional in-rack sprinklers, without associated reductions in ceiling sprinkler density; or additional fire department hose connections shall be provided when required by the fire code official.
- High-piled storage areas shall not exceed 500,000 square feet. A 2-hour fire wall constructed in accordance with the International Building Code shall be used to divide high-piled storage exceeding 500,000 square feet in area.
- Not required when an automatic fire-extinguishing system is designed and installed to protect the high-piled storage area in accordance with Sections 2307 and 2308.
- Not required when storage areas are protected by early suppression fast response (ESFR) sprinkler systems installed in accordance with NFPA 13.
High-piled storage areas classified as Class I through IV not separated from high-piled storage areas classified as high hazard shall utilize the aggregate of all high-piled storage areas as high hazard for the purposes of the application of Table 2306.2. To be considered as separated, 1-hour fire barrier walls shall be constructed in accordance with the International Building Code. Openings in such walls shall be protected by opening protective assemblies having a 1-hour fire protection rating.
Aisles providing access to exits and fire department access doors shall be provided in high-piled storage areas exceeding 500 square feet (46 m2), in accordance with Sections 2306.9.1 through 2306.9.3. Aisles separating storage piles or racks shall comply with NFPA 13. Aisles shall also comply with Chapter 10.
- Aisles crossing rack structures or storage piles, which are used only for employee access, shall be a minimum of 24 inches (610 mm) wide.
- Aisles separating shelves classified as shelf storage shall be a minimum of 30 inches (762 mm) wide.
Aisles in sprinklered buildings shall be a minimum of 44 inches (1118 mm) wide. Aisles shall be a minimum of 96 inches (2438 mm) wide in high-piled storage areas exceeding 2,500 square feet (232 m2) in area, that are accessible to the public and designated to contain high-hazard commodities.
Aisles shall be a minimum of 96 inches (2438 mm) wide in areas accessible to the public where mechanical stocking methods are used.
Storage on plastic pallets or plastic shelves shall be protected by approved specially engineered fire protection systems.
Racks with solid shelving having an area greater than 32 square feet (3 m2), measured between approved flue spaces at all four edges of the shelf, shall be in accordance with this section.
- Racks with mesh, grated, slatted or similar shelves having uniform openings not more than 6 inches (152 mm) apart, comprised of at least 50 percent of the overall shelf area, and with approved flue spaces are allowed to be treated as racks without solid shelves.
- Racks used for the storage of combustible paper records, with solid shelving, shall be in accordance with NFPA 13.
|RACK CONFIGURATION||AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER PROTECTION||SPRINKLER AT THE CEILING WITH OR WITHOUT MINIMUM IN-RACK SPRINKLERS||IN-RACK SPRINKLERS AT EVERY TIER||NONSPRINKLERED|
|≤ 25 feet||> 25 feet||Any height||Any height|
|Storage height||Option 1||Option 2|
|Single-row rack||Transverse flue space||Sizeb||3 inches||Not Applicable||3 inches||Not Required||Not Required|
|Vertically aligned||Not Required||Not Applicable||Yes||Not Applicable||Not Required|
|Longitudinal flue space||Not Required||Not Applicable||Not Required||Not Required||Not Required|
|Double-row rack||Transverse flue space||Sizeb||6 inchesa||3 inches||3 inches||Not Required||Not Required|
|Vertically aligned||Not Required||Not Required||Yes||Not Applicable||Not Required|
|Longitudinal flue space||Not Required||6 inches||6 inches||Not Required||Not Required|
|Multi-row rack||Transverse flue space||Sizeb||6 inches||Not Applicable||6 inches||Not Required||Not Required|
|Vertically aligned||Not Required||Not Applicable||Yes||Not Applicable||Not Required|
|Longitudinal flue space||Not Required||Not Applicable||Not Required||Not Required||Not Required|
For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 foot = 304.8 mm.
- Three-inch transverse flue spaces shall be provided at least every 10 feet where ESFR sprinkler protection is provided.
- Random variations are allowed, provided that the configuration does not obstruct water penetration.
High-piled storage areas having greater than 500 square feet (46 m2) of carousel storage shall be provided with automatic shutdown in accordance with one of the following:
- An automatic smoke detection system installed in accordance with Section 907, with coverage extending 15 feet (4575 mm) in all directions beyond unenclosed carousel storage systems and which sounds a local alarm at the operator's station and stops the carousel storage system upon the activation of a single detector.
- An automatic smoke detection system installed in accordance with Section 907 and within enclosed carousel storage systems, which sounds a local alarm at the operator's station and stops the carousel storage system upon the activation of a single detector.
- A single dead-man-type control switch that allows the operation of the carousel storage system only when the operator is present. The switch shall be in the same room as the carousel storage system and located to provide for observation of the carousel system.