CODES

ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Fire Code 2015 (IFC 2015)

Copyright

Preface

Acknowledgements

California Code of Regulations, Title 24

How to Distinguish Between Model Code Language and California Amendments

Coordination Between the International Building and Fire Codes

Maintenance

Code Development Committee Responsibilities (Letter Designations in Front of Section Numbers)

Effective Use of the International Fire Code

Legislation

Part I Administrative

Chapter 1 Scope and Administration

Chapter 2 Definitions

Part II General Safety Provisions

Chapter 3 General Requirements

Part III Building and Equipment Design Features

Chapter 4 Emergency Planning and Preparedness

Chapter 5 Fire Service Features

Chapter 6 Building Services and Systems

Chapter 7 Fire and Smoke Protection Features

Chapter 8 Interior Finish, Decorative Materials and Furnishings

Chapter 9 Fire Protection Systems

Chapter 10 Means of Egress

Chapter 11 Construction Requirements for Existing Buildings

Chapter 12 Through 19 Reserved

Part IV Special Occupancies and Operations

Chapter 20 Aviation Facilities

Chapter 21 Dry Cleaning

Chapter 22 Combustible Dust-Producing Operations

Chapter 23 Motor Fuel-Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages

Chapter 24 Flammable Finishes

Chapter 25 Fruit and Crop Ripening

Chapter 26 Fumigation and Insecticidal Fogging

Chapter 27 Semiconductor Fabrication Facilities

Chapter 28 Lumber Yards and Agro-Industrial, Solid Biomass and Woodworking Facilities

Chapter 29 Manufacture of Organic Coatings

Chapter 30 Industrial Ovens

Chapter 31 Tents and Other Membrane Structures

Chapter 32 High-Piled Combustible Storage

Chapter 33 Fire Safety During Construction and Demolition

Chapter 34 Tire Rebuilding and Tire Storage

Chapter 35 Welding and Other Hot Work

Chapter 36 Marinas

Chapter 37 Combustible Fibers

Chapter 38 Through 47 Reserved

Chapter 48 Motion Picture and Television Production Studio Sound Stages, Approved Production Facilities and Production Locations

Chapter 49 Requirements for Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Areas

Part V Hazardous Materials

Chapter 50 Hazardous Materials—general Provisions

Chapter 51 Aerosols

Chapter 52 Reserved

Chapter 53 Compressed Gases

Chapter 54 Corrosive Materials

Chapter 55 Cryogenic Fluids

Chapter 56 Explosives and Fireworks

Chapter 57 Flammable and Combustible Liquids

Chapter 58 Flammable Gases and Flammable Cryogenic Fluids

Chapter 59 Flammable Solids

Chapter 60 Highly Toxic and Toxic Materials

Chapter 61 Liquefied Petroleum Gases

Chapter 62 Organic Peroxides

Chapter 63 Oxidizers, Oxidizing Gases and Oxidizing Cryogenic Fluids

Chapter 64 Pyrophoric Materials

Chapter 65 Pyroxylin (Cellulose Nitrate) Plastics

Chapter 66 Unstable (Reactive) Materials

Chapter 67 Water-Reactive Solids and Liquids

Chapter 68 Through 79 Reserved

Part VI Referenced Standards

Chapter 80 Referenced Standards

Appendix Chapter 4 Special Detailed Requirements Based on Use and Occupancy

Part VII Appendices

Appendix A Board of Appeals

Appendix B Fire-Flow Requirements for Buildings

Appendix BB Fire-Flow Requirements for Buildings

Appendix C Fire Hydrant Locations and Distribution

Appendix CC Fire Hydrant Locations and Distribution

Appendix D Fire Apparatus Access Roads

Appendix E Hazard Categories

Appendix F Hazard Ranking

Appendix G Cryogenic Fluids—weight and Volume Equivalents

Appendix H Hazardous Materials Management Plans and Hazardous Materials Inventory Statements

Appendix I Fire Protection Systems—noncompliant Conditions

Appendix J Building Information Sign

Appendix K Construction Requirements for Existing Ambulatory Care Facilities

Appendix L Requirements for Fire Fighter Air Replenishment Systems

Appendix M High-Rise Buildings—retroactive Automatic Sprinkler Requirement

Appendix N Temporary Haunted Houses, Ghost Walks and Similar Amusement Uses

History Note Appendix

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:

  1. Aerosols shall be in accordance with Chapter 51.
  2. Flammable and combustible liquids shall be in accordance with Chapter 57.
  3. Hazardous materials shall be in accordance with Chapter 50.
  4. Storage of combustible paper records shall be in accordance with NFPA 13.
  5. Storage of combustible fibers shall be in accordance with Chapter 37.
  6. General storage of combustible material shall be in accordance with Chapter 3.
A permit shall be required as set forth in Section 105.6.

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:

  1. Floor plan of the building showing locations and dimensions of high-piled storage areas.
  2. Usable storage height for each storage area.
  3. Number of tiers within each rack, if applicable.
  4. Commodity clearance between top of storage and the sprinkler deflector for each storage arrangement.
  5. Aisle dimensions between each storage array.
  6. Maximum pile volume for each storage array.
  7. Location and classification of commodities in accordance with Section 3203.
  8. Location of commodities that are banded or encapsulated.
  9. Location of required fire department access doors.
  10. Type of fire suppression and fire detection systems.
  11. Location of valves controlling the water supply of ceiling and in-rack sprinklers.
  12. Type, location and specifications of smoke removal and curtain board systems.
  13. Dimension and location of transverse and longitudinal flue spaces.
  14. 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.
Where required by the fire code official, an evacuation plan for public accessible areas and a separate set of plans indicating location and width of aisles, location of exits, exit access doors, exit signs, height of storage, and locations of hazardous materials shall be submitted at the time of permit application for review and approval. Following approval of the plans, a copy of the approved plans shall be maintained on the premises in an approved location.

The following terms are defined in Chapter 2:

ARRAY.

ARRAY, CLOSED.

AUTOMATED RACK STORAGE.

BIN BOX.

COMMODITY.

EARLY SUPPRESSION FAST-RESPONSE (ESFR) SPRINKLER.

EXPANDED PLASTIC.

EXTRA-HIGH-RACK COMBUSTIBLE STORAGE.

HIGH-PILED COMBUSTIBLE STORAGE.

HIGH-PILED STORAGE AREA.

LONGITUDINAL FLUE SPACE.

MANUAL STOCKING METHODS.

MECHANICAL STOCKING METHODS.

SHELF STORAGE.

SOLID SHELVING.

TRANSVERSE FLUE SPACE.

Commodities shall be classified as Class I, II, III, IV or high hazard in accordance with this section. Materials listed within each commodity classification are assumed to be unmodified for improved combustibility characteristics. Use of flame-retarding modifiers or the physical form of the material could change the classification. See Section 3203.7 for classification of Group A, B and C plastics.

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
  • Ceramics
  • 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
  • Glass
  • 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
  • Charcoal
  • Combustible fiberboard
  • Cork, baled
  • Corn cobs, static piles
  • Corn stover, baled and chopped
  • Feed, bagged
  • Fertilizers, bagged
  • Firewood
  • 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
  • Lumber
  • 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
  • Plywood
  • 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
  • Pyroxylin
  • Rubber tires
  • Vegetable oil and butter in plastic containers
Plastics shall be designated as Group A, B or C in accordance with Sections 3203.7.1 through 3203.7.4.

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)
  • Polybutadiene
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polyester elastomer
  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene
  • 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)
  • Phenol
  • 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

FIGURE 3203.7.4

MIXED COMMODITIESa, b

High-piled storage areas, and portions of high-piled storage areas intended for storage of a different commodity class than adjacent areas, shall be designed and specifically designated to contain Class I, Class II, Class III, Class IV or high-hazard commodities. The designation of a high-piled combustible storage area, or portion thereof intended for storage of a different commodity class, shall be based on the highest hazard commodity class stored except as provided in Section 3204.2.
The designation of a high-piled combustible storage area, or portion thereof, is allowed to be based on a lower hazard class than that of the highest class of commodity stored when a limited quantity of the higher hazard commodity has been demonstrated by engineering analysis to be adequately protected by the automatic sprinkler system provided. The engineering analysis shall consider the ability of the sprinkler system to deliver the higher density required by the higher hazard commodity. The higher density shall be based on the actual storage height of the pile or rack and the minimum allowable design area for sprinkler operation as set forth in the density/area figures provided in NFPA 13. The contiguous area occupied by the higher hazard commodity shall not exceed 120 square feet (11 m2) and additional areas of higher hazard commodity shall be separated from other such areas by 25 feet (7620 mm) or more. The sprinkler system shall be capable of delivering the higher density over a minimum area of 900 square feet (84 m2) for wet pipe systems and 1,200 square feet (111 m2) for dry pipe systems. The shape of the design area shall be in accordance with Section 903.
The structural integrity of racks shall be maintained.
Clearance from ignition sources shall be provided in accordance with Section 305.
Smoking shall be prohibited. Approved “No Smoking” signs shall be conspicuously posted in accordance with Section 310.
When restocking is not being conducted, aisles shall be kept clear of storage, waste material and debris. Fire department access doors, aisles and exit doors shall not be obstructed. During restocking operations using manual stocking methods, a minimum unobstructed aisle width of 24 inches (610 mm) shall be maintained in 48-inch (1219 mm) or smaller aisles, and a minimum unobstructed aisle width of one-half of the required aisle width shall be maintained in aisles greater than 48 inches (1219 mm). During mechanical stocking operations, a minimum unobstructed aisle width of 44 inches (1118 mm) shall be maintained in accordance with Section 3206.9.
Pile dimensions and height limitations shall comply with Section 3207.3.
Where required by the fire code official, a visual method of indicating the maximum allowable storage height shall be provided.
Arrays shall comply with Section 3207.4.
Flue spaces shall comply with Section 3208.3.
Fire protection and life safety features for high-piled storage areas shall be in accordance with Sections 3206.2 through 3206.10.

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.

TABLE 3206.2

GENERAL FIRE PROTECTION AND LIFE SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

COMMODITY CLASSSIZE OF HIGH-PILED STORAGE AREAa (square feet) (see Sections 3206.2 and 3206.4)ALL STORAGE AREAS (See Sections 3206, 3207 and 3208)bSOLID-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-IV0-500Not RequiredaNot RequiredNot RequiredeNot RequiredNot RequiredNot RequiredNot Required
501-2,500Not RequiredaYesiNot RequiredeNot Required10040100,000
2,501-12,000 Public accessibleYesNot RequiredNot RequiredeNot Required10040400,000
2,501-12,000 Nonpublic accessible (Option 1)YesNot RequiredNot RequiredeNot Required10040400,000
2,501-12,000 Nonpublic accessible (Option 2)Not RequiredaYesYesYesj10030f200,000
12,001-20,000YesNot RequiredYesYesj10040400,000
20,001-500,000YesNot RequiredYesYesj10040400,000
Greater than 500,000gYesNot RequiredYesYesj10040400,000
High hazard0-500Not RequiredaNot RequiredNot RequiredeNot Required50Not RequiredNot Required
501-2,500 Public accessibleYesNot RequiredNot RequiredeNot Required503075,000
501-2,500 Nonpublic accessible (Option 1)YesNot RequiredNot RequiredeNot Required503075,000
501-2,500 Nonpublic accessible (Option 2)Not RequiredaYesYesYesj502050,000
2,501-300,000YesNot RequiredYesYesj503075,000
300,001-500,000g, hYesNot RequiredYesYesj503075,000

For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 cubic foot = 0.02832 m3 , 1 square foot = 0.0929 m2.

  1. 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.
  2. For aisles, see Section 3206.9.
  3. Piles shall be separated by aisles complying with Section 3206.9.
  4. 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.
  5. Section 503 shall apply for fire apparatus access.
  6. For storage exceeding 30 feet in height, Option 1 shall be used.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 shall be separated from other portions of the building where required by Sections 3206.3.1 through 3206.3.2.2.
Mixed occupancies shall be separated in accordance with the California Building Code.
Multiple high-piled storage areas shall be in accordance with Section 3206.3.2.1 or 3206.3.2.2.
The aggregate of all high-piled storage areas within a building shall be used for the application of Table 3206.2 unless such areas are separated from each other by 1-hour fire barriers 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.

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.

Automatic sprinkler systems shall be provided in accordance with Sections 3207, 3208 and 3209.
Automatic sprinkler system requirements based upon the presence of pallets shall be in accordance with NFPA 13.
Plastic pallets listed and labeled in accordance with UL 2335 or FM 4996 shall be treated as wood pallets for determining required sprinkler protection.
Where fire detection is required by Table 3206.2, an approved automatic fire detection system shall be installed throughout the high-piled storage area. The system shall be monitored and be in accordance with Section 907.

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.

Where building access is required by Table 3206.2, fire department access doors shall be provided in accordance with this section. Access doors shall be accessible without the use of a ladder.

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.

Access doors shall be not less than 3 feet (914 mm) in width and 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) in height. Roll-up doors shall not be used unless approved.
Only approved locking devices shall be used.
Where smoke and heat removal is required by Table 3206.2 it shall be provided in accordance with Section 910.
Where exit passageways are required by the California Building Code for egress, a Class I standpipe system shall be provided in accordance with Section 905.

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.

Aisle width shall be in accordance with Sections 3206.9.1.1 and 3206.9.1.2.

Exceptions:

  1. Aisles crossing rack structures or storage piles, that are used only for employee access, shall be not less than 24 inches (610 mm) wide.
  2. 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.

Aisles in nonsprinklered buildings shall be not less than 96 inches (2438 mm) wide.
The required aisle width shall extend from floor to ceiling. Rack structural supports and catwalks are allowed to cross aisles at a minimum height of 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) above the finished floor level, provided that such supports do not interfere with fire department hose stream trajectory.

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.

Portable fire extinguishers shall be provided in accordance with Section 906.
Shelf storage and storage in solid piles, solid piles on pallets and bin box storage in bin boxes not exceeding 5 feet (1524 mm) in any dimension, shall be in accordance with Sections 3206 and this section.
Where automatic sprinklers are required by Table 3206.2, an approved automatic sprinkler system shall be installed throughout the building or to 1-hour fire barriers 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. The design and installation of the automatic sprinkler system and other applicable fire protection shall be in accordance with the California Building Code and NFPA 13.
Shelf storage greater than 12 feet (3658 mm) but less than 15 feet (4572 mm) in height shall be in accordance with the fire protection requirements set forth in NFPA 13. Shelf storage 15 feet (4572 mm) or more in height shall be protected in an approved manner with special fire protection, such as in-rack sprinklers.
Pile dimensions, the maximum permissible storage height and pile volume shall be in accordance with Table 3206.2.
Where an automatic sprinkler system design utilizes protection based on a closed array, array clearances shall be provided and maintained as specified by the standard used.
Rack storage shall be in accordance with Section 3206 and this section. Bin boxes exceeding 5 feet (1524 mm) in any dimension shall be regulated as rack storage.
Where automatic sprinklers are required by Table 3206.2, an approved automatic sprinkler system shall be installed throughout the building or to 1-hour fire barriers 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. The design and installation of the automatic sprinkler system and other applicable fire protection shall be in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 and the California Building Code.
Storage on plastic shelves shall be protected by approved specially engineered fire protection systems.

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.

Exceptions:

  1. 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.
  2. Racks used for the storage of combustible paper records, with solid shelving, shall be in accordance with NFPA 13.
Fire protection for racks 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.

TABLE 3208.3

REQUIRED FLUE SPACES FOR RACK STORAGE

RACK CONFIGURATIONAUTOMATIC SPRINKLER PROTECTIONSPRINKLER AT THE CEILING WITH OR WITHOUT MINIMUM IN-RACK SPRINKLERSIN-RACK SPRINKLERS AT EVERY TIERNONSPRINKLERED
≤ 25 feet> 25 feetAny heightAny height
Storage heightOption 1Option 2
Single-row rackTransverse flue spaceSizeb3 inchesNot Applicable3 inchesNot RequiredNot Required
Vertically alignedNot RequiredNot ApplicableYesNot ApplicableNot Required
Longitudinal flue spaceNot RequiredNot ApplicableNot RequiredNot RequiredNot Required
Double-row rackTransverse flue spaceSizeb6 inchesa3 inches3 inchesNot RequiredNot Required
Vertically alignedNot RequiredNot RequiredYesNot ApplicableNot Required
Longitudinal flue spaceNot Required6 inches6 inchesNot RequiredNot Required
Multirow rackTransverse flue spaceSizeb6 inchesNot Applicable6 inchesNot RequiredNot Required
Vertically alignedNot RequiredNot ApplicableYesNot ApplicableNot Required
Longitudinal flue spaceNot RequiredNot ApplicableNot RequiredNot RequiredNot Required

For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 foot = 304.8 mm.

  1. Three-inch transverse flue spaces shall be provided not less than every 10 feet where ESFR sprinkler protection is provided.
  2. Random variations are allowed, provided that the configuration does not obstruct water penetration.
Where required by the fire code official, flue spaces required by Table 3208.3, in single-, double- or multiple-row rack storage installations shall be equipped with approved devices to protect the required flue spaces. Such devices shall not be removed or modified.
Steel building columns shall be protected in accordance with NFPA 13.
Approval of the fire code official shall be obtained prior to installing extra-high-rack combustible storage.
Buildings with extra-high-rack combustible storage shall be protected with a specially engineered automatic sprinkler system. Extra-high-rack combustible storage shall be provided with additional special fire protection, such as separation from other buildings and additional built-in fire protection features and fire department access, where required by the fire code official.
Automated storage shall be in accordance with this section.
Where automatic sprinklers are required by Table 3206.2, the building shall be equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
High-piled storage areas with automated rack storage shall be provided with a manually activated emergency shutdown switch for use by emergency personnel. The switch shall be clearly identified and shall be in a location approved by the fire chief.
Records storage facilities used for the rack or shelf storage of combustible paper records greater than 12 feet (3658 mm) in height shall be in accordance with Sections 3206 and 3208 and NFPA 13. Palletized storage of records shall be in accordance with Section 3207.
Resources