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 51.
- Flammable and combustible liquids shall be in accordance with Chapter 57.
- Hazardous materials shall be in accordance with Chapter 50.
- Storage of combustible paper records shall be in accordance with NFPA 13.
- Storage of combustible fibers shall be in accordance with Chapter 37.
- General storage of 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 California 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 all of 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 3203.
- Location of commodities that 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 terms are defined in Chapter 2:
AUTOMATED RACK STORAGE.
EARLY SUPPRESSION FAST-RESPONSE (ESFR) SPRINKLER.
EXTRA-HIGH-RACK COMBUSTIBLE STORAGE.
HIGH-PILED COMBUSTIBLE STORAGE.
HIGH-PILED STORAGE AREA.
LONGITUDINAL FLUE SPACE.
MANUAL STOCKING METHODS.
MECHANICAL STOCKING METHODS.
TRANSVERSE FLUE SPACE.
Class I commodities are essentially noncombustible products on wooden 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 3203.7.4. 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)
- Dry insecticides
- Foods in noncombustible containers
- Fresh fruits and vegetables in nonplastic trays or containers
- Frozen foods
- Glycol in metal cans
- Gypsum board
- Inert materials, bagged
- Insulation, noncombustible
- 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 3203.7.4. 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 3203.7.4. Examples of Class III commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Aerosol, Level 1 (see Chapter 51)
- Biomass briquettes, bagged, and static piles
- Biomass pellets, bagged, and static piles
- Combustible fiberboard
- Cork, baled
- Corn cobs, static piles
- Corn stover, baled and chopped
- Feed, bagged
- Fertilizers, bagged
- Food in plastic containers
- Forest residue, round wood or chipped (branches, bark, cross-cut ends, edgings and treetops)
- 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
- Peanut hulls, bagged, and static piles
- Pillows, excluding foam rubber and foam plastics
- Plastic-coated paper food containers
- Rags, baled
- Recovered construction wood
- Rice hulls, bagged, and static piles
- Rugs, without foam backing
- Seasonal grasses, baled and chopped
- Straw, baled
- Sugar, bagged
- Wood, baled
- Wood chips, bagged, and static piles
- Woody biomass, round wood or chipped (vase-shaped stubby bushes, bamboo, willows; branches, bark and stem wood)
- Wood doors, frames and cabinets
- Wood pellets, bagged, and static piles
- 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 3203.7.4. Examples of Class IV commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Aerosol, Level 2 (see Chapter 51)
- 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)
- Linoleum products
- Paints, oil base in combustible containers
- Pharmaceutical, alcoholic elixirs, tonics, etc.
- Rugs, foam back
- Shingles, asphalt
- 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 51)
- Alcoholic beverages, exceeding 80-percent alcohol, in bottles or cartons
- Commodities of any class in plastic containers in carousel storage
- Flammable solids (except solid combustible metals)
- Glycol in combustible containers (50 percent or greater)
- Lacquers that dry by solvent evaporation, in metal cans or cartons
- Lubricating or hydraulic fluid in plastic containers
- Mattresses, foam rubber or foam plastics
- Pallets and flats that are idle combustible
- Paper and pulp, rolled, in vertical storage that 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
- Rubber tires
- 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)
- Acetal (polyformaldehyde)
- Acrylic (polymethyl methacrylate)
- Butyl rubber
- EPDM (ethylene propylene rubber)
- FRP (fiberglass-reinforced polyester)
- Natural rubber (expanded)
- Nitrile rubber (acrylonitrile butadiene rubber)
- PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)
- Polyester elastomer
- 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, ethyl cellulose)
- Chloroprene rubber
- 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)
- Silicone rubber
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)
Figure 3203.7.4 shall be used to determine the quantity of Group A plastics allowed to be stored in a package or carton or on a pallet without increasing the commodity classification.
Where required by Table 3206.2, fire detection systems, smoke and heat removal 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 3206.2 within this area shall be based on the most restrictive design requirements.
GENERAL FIRE PROTECTION AND LIFE SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
|COMMODITY CLASS||SIZE OF HIGH-PILED STORAGE AREAa (square feet) (see Sections 3206.2 and 3206.4)||ALL STORAGE AREAS (See Sections 3206, 3207 and 3208)b||SOLID-PILED STORAGE, SHELF STORAGE AND PALLETIZED STORAGE (see Section 3207.3)|
|Automatic fire-extinguishing system (see Section 3206.4)||Fire detection system (see Section 3206.5)||Building access (see Section 3206.6)||Smoke and heat removal (see Section 3206.7)||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|
|501-2,500||Not Requireda||Yesi||Not Requirede||Not Required||100||40||100,000|
|2,501-12,000 Public accessible||Yes||Not Required||Not Requirede||Not Required||100||40||400,000|
|2,501-12,000 Nonpublic accessible (Option 1)||Yes||Not Required||Not Requirede||Not Required||100||40||400,000|
|2,501-12,000 Nonpublic accessible (Option 2)||Not Requireda||Yes||Yes||Yesj||100||30f||200,000|
|Greater than 500,000g||Yes||Not Required||Yes||Yesj||100||40||400,000|
|High hazard||0-500||Not Requireda||Not Required||Not Requirede||Not Required||50||Not Required||Not Required|
|501-2,500 Public accessible||Yes||Not Required||Not Requirede||Not Required||50||30||75,000|
|501-2,500 Nonpublic accessible (Option 1)||Yes||Not Required||Not Requirede||Not Required||50||30||75,000|
|501-2,500 Nonpublic accessible (Option 2)||Not Requireda||Yes||Yes||Yesj||50||20||50,000|
|300,001-500,000g, h||Yes||Not Required||Yes||Yesj||50||30||75,000|
For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 cubic foot = 0.02832 m3 , 1 square foot = 0.0929 m2.
- Where automatic sprinklers are required for reasons other than those in Chapter 32, the portion of the sprinkler system protecting the high-piled storage area shall be designed and installed in accordance with Sections 3207 and 3208.
- For aisles, see Section 3206.9.
- Piles shall be separated by aisles complying with Section 3206.9.
- For storage in excess of the height indicated, special fire protection shall be provided in accordance with Note g where required by the fire code official. See Chapters 51 and 57 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 Section 706 of the California Building Code shall be used to divide high-piled storage exceeding 500,000 square feet in area.
- Not required where an automatic fire-extinguishing system is designed and installed to protect the high-piled storage area in accordance with Sections 3207 and 3208.
- Not required where storage areas with an exit access travel distance of 250 feet (76 200 mm) or less are protected by either early suppression fast response (ESFR) sprinkler systems or control mode special application sprinklers with a response time index of 50 (m • s)1/2 or less that are listed to control a fire in the stored commodities with 12 or fewer sprinklers, installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
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 3206.2. To be considered as separated, 1-hour fire barriers shall be constructed in accordance with Section 707 of the California Building Code. Openings in such fire barriers shall be protected by opening protectives having a 1-hour fire protection rating.
Exception: As provided for in Section 3204.2.
Where building access is required by Table 3206.2, fire apparatus access roads in accordance with Section 503 shall be provided within 150 feet (45 720 mm) of all portions of the exterior walls of buildings used for high-piled storage.
Exception: Where fire apparatus access roads cannot be installed because of topography, railways, waterways, nonnegotiable grades or other similar conditions, the fire code official is authorized to require additional fire protection.
Not less than one access door shall be provided in each 100 linear feet (30 480 mm), or fraction thereof, of the exterior walls that face required fire apparatus access roads. The required access doors shall be distributed such that the lineal distance between adjacent access doors does not exceed 100 feet (30 480 mm).
Exception: The linear distance between adjacent access doors is allowed to exceed 100 feet (30 480 mm) in existing buildings where no change in occupancy is proposed. The number and distribution of access doors in existing buildings shall be approved.
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 3206.9.1 through 3206.9.3. Aisles separating storage piles or racks shall comply with NFPA 13. Aisles shall also comply with Chapter 10.
Exception: Where aisles are precluded by rack storage systems, alternate methods of access and protection are allowed when approved.
- Aisles crossing rack structures or storage piles, that are used only for employee access, shall be not less than 24 inches (610 mm) wide.
- Aisles separating shelves classified as shelf storage shall be not less than 30 inches (762 mm) wide.
Aisles in sprinklered buildings shall be not less than 44 inches (1118 mm) wide. Aisles shall be not less than 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.
Exception: Aisles 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, are protected by a sprinkler system designed for multiple-row racks of high-hazard commodities shall be not less than 44 inches (1118 mm) wide.
Aisles shall be not less than 96 inches (2438 mm) wide in areas accessible to the public where mechanical stocking methods are used.
Dead-end aisles shall not exceed 20 feet (6096 mm) in length in Group M occupancies. Dead-end aisles shall not exceed 50 feet (15 240 mm) in length in all other occupancies.
Exception: Dead-end aisles are not limited where the length of the dead-end aisle is less than 2.5 times the least width of the dead-end aisle.
Racks with solid shelving having an area greater than 20 square feet (1.9 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, comprising not less than 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.
Flue spaces shall be provided in accordance with Table 3208.3. Required flue spaces shall be maintained.
REQUIRED FLUE SPACES FOR RACK STORAGE
|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|
|Multirow 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 not less than 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 that 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, that 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.