Storage, handling and transportation of liquefied petroleum gas (LP-gas) and the installation of LP-gas equipment pertinent to systems for such uses shall comply with this chapter and NFPA 58. Properties of LP-gases shall be determined in accordance with Appendix B of NFPA 58.
Where a single LP-gas container is more than 2,000 gallons (7570 L) in water capacity or the aggregate water capacity of LP-gas containers is more than 4,000 gallons (15 140 L), the installer shall submit construction documents for such installation.
The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this chapter and as used elsewhere in this code, have the meanings shown herein.
LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LP-gas). A material which is composed predominantly of the following hydrocarbons or mixtures of them: propane, propylene, butane (normal butane or isobutane) and butylenes.
LP-gas equipment shall be installed in accordance with the International Fuel Gas Code and NFPA 58, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
Portable LP-gas containers, as defined in NFPA 58, shall not be used in buildings except as specified in NFPA 58 and Sections 3803.2.1.1 through 3803.2.1.7.
LP-gas containers shall not be used in a basement, pit or similar location where heavier-than-air gas might collect. LP-gas containers shall not be used in an above-grade underfloor space or basement unless such location is provided with an approved means of ventilation.
Exception: Use with self-contained torch assemblies in accordance with Section 3803.2.1.6.
Portable LP-gas containers are allowed to be used in buildings or areas of buildings undergoing construction or for temporary heating as set forth in Sections 6.19.4, 6.19.5 and 6.19.8 of NFPA 58.
In Group F occupancies, portable LP-gas containers are allowed to be used to supply quantities necessary for processing, research or experimentation. Where manifolded, the aggregate water capacity of such containers shall not exceed 735 pounds (334 kg) per manifold. Where multiple manifolds of such containers are present in the same room, each manifold shall be separated from other manifolds by a distance of not less than 20 feet (6096 mm).
In Group E and I occupancies, portable LP-gas containers are allowed to be used for research and experimentation. Such containers shall not be used in classrooms. Such containers shall not exceed a 50-pound (23 kg) water capacity in occupancies used for educational purposes and shall not exceed a 12-pound (5 kg) water capacity in occupancies used for institutional purposes. Where more than one such container is present in the same room, each container shall be separated from other containers by a distance of not less than 20 feet (6096 mm).
Portable LP-gas containers are allowed to be used temporarily for demonstrations and public exhibitions. Such containers shall not exceed a water capacity of 12 pounds (5 kg). Where more than one such container is present in the same room, each container shall be separated from other containers by a distance of not less than 20 feet (6096 mm).
Portable LP-gas containers are allowed to be used to supply approved self-contained torch assemblies or similar appliances. Such containers shall not exceed a water capacity of 21/2 pounds (1 kg).
Where approved, listed LP-gas commercial food service appliances are allowed to be used for food-preparation within restaurants and in attended commercial food-catering operations in accordance with the International Fuel Gas Code, the International Mechanical Code and NFPA 58.
LP-gas containers on industrial vehicles and floor maintenance machines shall comply with Sections 11.12 and 11.13 of NFPA 58.
Equipment and piping shall not be installed in locations where such equipment and piping is prohibited by the International Fuel Gas Code.
The storage and handling of LP-gas and the installation and maintenance of related equipment shall comply with NFPA 58 and be subject to the approval of the fire code official, except as provided in this chapter.
Within the limits established by law restricting the storage of liquefied petroleum gas for the protection of heavily populated or congested areas, the aggregate capacity of any one installation shall not exceed a water capacity of 2,000 gallons (7570 L) (see Section 3 of the Sample Ordinance for Adoption of the International Fire Code on page xiii).
Exception: In particular installations, this capacity limit shall be determined by the fire code official, after consideration of special features such as topographical conditions, nature of occupancy, and proximity to buildings, capacity of proposed LP-gas containers, degree of fire protection to be provided and capabilities of the local fire department.
LP-gas containers shall be located with respect to buildings, public ways and lot lines of adjoining property that can be built upon, in accordance with Table 3804.3.
|LP-GAS CONTAINER CAPACITY
|MINIMUM SEPARATION BETWEEN LP-GAS CONTAINERS AND
BUILDINGS, PUBLIC WAYS OR LOT LINES OF ADJOINING
PROPERTY THAT CAN BE BUILT UPON
BETWEEN LP-GAS CONTAINERSb, c
|Mounded or underground
|Less than 125c, d||10||5e||None|
|125 to 250||10||10||None|
|251 to 500||10||10||3|
|501 to 2,000||10||25e, f||3|
|2,001 to 30,000||50||50||5|
|30,001 to 70,000||50||75||(0.25 of sum of diameters of
adjacent LP-gas containers)
|70,001 to 90,000||50||100|
|90,001 to 120,000||50||125|
For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 gallon = 3.785 L.
- Minimum distance for underground LP-gas containers shall be measured from the pressure relief device and the filling or liquid-level gauge vent connection at the container, except that all parts of an underground LP-gas container shall be 10 feet or more from a building or lot line of adjoining property which can be built upon.
- For other than installations in which the overhanging structure is 50 feet or more above the relief-valve discharge outlet. In applying the distance between buildings and ASME LP-gas containers with a water capacity of 125 gallons or more, a minimum of 50 percent of this horizontal distance shall also apply to all portions of the building which project more than 5 feet from the building wall and which are higher than the relief valve discharge outlet. This horizontal distance shall be measured from a point determined by projecting the outside edge of such overhanging structure vertically downward to grade or other level upon which the LP-gas container is installed. Distances to the building wall shall not be less than those prescribed in this table.
- When underground multicontainer installations are comprised of individual LP-gas containers having a water capacity of 125 gallons or more, such containers shall be installed so as to provide access at their ends or sides to facilitate working with cranes or hoists.
- At a consumer site, if the aggregate water capacity of a multicontainer installation, comprised of individual LP-gas containers having a water capacity of less than 125 gallons, is 500 gallons or more, the minimum distance shall comply with the appropriate portion of Table 3804.3, applying the aggregate capacity rather than the capacity per LP-gas container. If more than one such installation is made, each installation shall be separated from other installations by at least 25 feet. Minimum distances between LP-gas containers need not be applied.
- The following shall apply to above-ground containers installed alongside buildings:
- LP-gas containers of less than a 125-gallon water capacity are allowed next to the building they serve when in compliance with Items 2, 3 and 4.
- Department of Transportation (DOTn) specification LP-gas containers shall be located and installed so that the discharge from the container pressure relief device is at least 3 feet horizontally from building openings below the level of such discharge and shall not be beneath buildings unless the space is well ventilated to the outside and is not enclosed for more than 50 percent of its perimeter. The discharge from LP-gas container pressure relief devices shall be located not less than 5 feet from exterior sources of ignition, openings into direct-vent (sealed combustion system) appliances or mechanical ventilation air intakes.
- ASME LP-gas containers of less than a 125-gallon water capacity shall be located and installed such that the discharge from pressure relief devices shall not terminate in or beneath buildings and shall be located at least 5 feet horizontally from building openings below the level of such discharge and not less than 5 feet from exterior sources of ignition, openings into direct vent (sealed combustion system) appliances, or mechanical ventilation air intakes.
- The filling connection and the vent from liquid-level gauges on either DOTn or ASME LP-gas containers filled at the point of installation shall not be less than 10 feet from exterior sources of ignition, openings into direct vent (sealed combustion system) appliances or mechanical ventilation air intakes.
- This distance is allowed to be reduced to not less than 10 feet for a single LP-gas container of 1,200-gallon water capacity or less, provided such container is at least 25 feet from other LP-gas containers of more than 125-gallon water capacity.
LP-gas containers shall also be located with respect to special hazards including, but not limited to, above-ground flammable or combustible liquid tanks, oxygen or gaseous hydrogen containers, flooding or electric power lines as specified in Section 6.4.5 of NFPA 58.
Multiple LP-gas container installations with a total water storage capacity of more than 180,000 gallons (681 300 L) [150,000-gallon (567 750 L) LP-gas capacity] shall be subdivided into groups containing not more than 180,000 gallons (681 300 L) in each group. Such groups shall be separated by a distance of not less than 50 feet (15 240 mm), unless the containers are protected in accordance with one of the following:
- Mounded in an approved manner.
- Protected with approved insulation on areas that are subject to impingement of ignited gas from pipelines or other leakage.
- Protected by firewalls of approved construction.
- Protected by an approved system for application of water as specified in Table 6.4.2 of NFPA 58.
- Protected by other approved means.
Where one of these forms of protection is provided, the separation shall not be less than 25 feet (7620 mm) between LP-gas container groups.
LP-gas shall not be used for the purpose of operating devices or equipment unless such device or equipment is approved for use with LP-gas.
Dispensing of LP-gas shall be performed by a qualified attendant.
LP-gas containers shall not be filled or maintained with LP-gas in excess of either the volume determined using the fixed liquid-level gauge installed by the manufacturer or the weight determined by the required percentage of the water capacity marked on the container. Portable LP-gas containers shall not be refilled unless equipped with an overfilling prevention device (OPD) where required by Section 5.7.3 of NFPA 58.
The point of transfer of LP-gas from one LP-gas container to another shall be separated from exposures as specified in NFPA 58.
Safety devices on LP-gas containers, equipment and systems shall not be tampered with or made ineffective.
"No Smoking" signs complying with Section 310 shall be posted when required by the fire code official. Smoking within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a point of transfer, while filling operations are in progress at LP-gas containers or vehicles, shall be prohibited.
Control of other sources of ignition shall comply with Chapter 3 of this code and Section 6.22 of NFPA 58.
Weeds, grass, brush, trash and other combustible materials shall be kept a minimum of 10 feet (3048 mm) from LP-gas tanks or containers.
Where exposed to vehicular damage due to proximity to alleys, driveways or parking areas, LP-gas containers, regulators and piping shall be protected in accordance with Section 312.
Fire protection shall be provided for installations having storage LP-gas containers with a water capacity of more than 4,000 gallons (15 140 L), as required by Section 6.25 of NFPA 58.
Portable fire extinguishers complying with Section 906 shall be provided as specified in NFPA 58.
Storage of portable LP-gas containers of 1,000 pounds (454 kg) or less, whether filled, partially filled or empty, at consumer sites or distribution points, and for resale by dealers or resellers shall comply with Sections 3809.2 through 3809.14.
- LP-gas containers that have not previously been in LP-gas service.
- LP-gas containers at distribution plants.
- LP-gas containers at consumer sites or distribution points, which are connected for use.
LP-gas containers in storage shall be located in a manner that minimizes exposure to excessive temperature rise, physical damage or tampering.
LP-gas containers in storage having individual water capacity greater than 21/2 pounds (1 kg) [nominal 1-pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity] shall be positioned with the pressure relief valve in direct communication with the vapor space of the container.
LP-gas containers that are not connected for use shall not be stored on roofs.
LP-gas containers shall not be stored in a basement, pit or similar location where heavier-than-air gas might collect. LP-gas containers shall not be stored in above-grade underfloor spaces or basements unless such location is provided with an approved means of ventilation.
Exception: Department of Transportation (DOTn) specification cylinders with a maximum water capacity of 21/2 pounds (1 kg) for use in completely self-contained hand torches and similar applications. The quantity of LP-gas shall not exceed 20 pounds (9 kg).
LP-gas container valves shall be protected by screw-on-type caps or collars which shall be securely in place on all containers stored regardless of whether they are full, partially full or empty. Container outlet valves shall be closed or plugged.
Department of Transportation (DOTn) specification cylinders with maximum water capacity of 21/2 pounds (1 kg) used in completely self-contained hand torches and similar applications are allowed to be stored or displayed in a building accessible to the public. The quantity of LP-gas shall not exceed 200 pounds (91 kg) except as provided in Section 3809.11.
The maximum quantity allowed in one storage location in buildings not accessible to the public, such as industrial buildings, shall not exceed a water capacity of 735 pounds (334 kg) [nominal 300 pounds (136 kg) of LP-gas]. Where additional storage locations are required on the same floor within the same building, they shall be separated by a minimum of 300 feet (91 440 mm). Storage beyond these limitations shall comply with Section 3809.11.
LP-gas containers carried as part of service equipment on highway mobile vehicles need not be considered in the total storage capacity in Section 3809.10, provided such vehicles are stored in private garages and do not carry more than three LP-gas containers with a total aggregate LP-gas capacity not exceeding 100 pounds (45.4 kg) per vehicle. LP-gas container valves shall be closed.
The maximum quantity of LP-gas shall be 10,000 pounds (4540 kg).
The construction of such buildings and rooms shall comply with requirements for Group H occupancies in the International Building Code, Chapter 10 of NFPA 58 and both of the following:
- Adequate vents shall be provided to the outside at both top and bottom, located at least 5 feet (1524 mm) from building openings.
- The entire area shall be classified for the purposes of ignition source control in accordance with Section 6.22 of NFPA 58.
Storage outside of buildings of LP-gas containers awaiting use, resale or part of a cylinder exchange program shall be located in accordance with Table 3809.12.
|QUANTITY OF LP-GAS STORED (pounds)||MINIMUM SEPARATION DISTANCE FROM STORED LP-GAS CYLINDERS TO (feet):|
|Nearest important building or group of buildings or line of adjoining property that may be built upon||Line of adjoining property occupied by schools, places of religious worship, hospitals, athletic fields or other points of public gathering; busy thoroughfares; or sidewalks||LP-gas dispensing station||Doorway or opening to a building with two or more means of egress||Doorway or opening to a building with one means of egress||Combustible materials||Motor vehicle fuel dispenser|
|720 or less||0||0||5||5||10||10||20|
|721 - 2,500||0||10||10||5||10||10||20|
|2,501 - 6,000||10||10||10||10||10||10||20|
|6,001 - 10,000||20||20||20||20||20||10||20|
For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 pound = 0.454 kg.
LP-gas containers shall be stored within a suitable enclosure or otherwise protected against tampering. Vehicular protection shall be provided as required by the fire code official.
Where the provisions of Sections 3809.12 and 3809.13 are impractical at construction sites, or at buildings or structures undergoing major renovation or repairs, the storage of containers shall be as required by the fire code official.
LP-gas containers whose use has been temporarily discontinued shall comply with all of the following:
- Be disconnected from appliance piping.
- Have LP-gas container outlets, except relief valves, closed or plugged.
- Be positioned with the relief valve in direct communication with the LP-gas container vapor space.
LP-gas containers to be placed permanently out of service shall be removed from the site.
LP-gas tank vehicles shall not be left unattended at any time on residential streets or within 500 feet (152 m) of a residential area, apartment or hotel complex, educational facility, hospital or care facility. Tank vehicles shall not be left unattended at any other place that would, in the opinion of the fire code official, pose an extreme life hazard.
LP-gas tank vehicles parked at any one point for longer than1 hour shall be located as follows:
Garaging of LP-gas tank vehicles shall be as specified in NFPA 58. Vehicles with LP-gas fuel systems are allowed to be stored or serviced in garages as specified in Section 11.15 of NFPA 58.