About this chapter: Chapter 61 provides requirements for the safe handling, storing and use of LP-gas to reduce the possibility of damage to containers, accidental releases of LP-gas, and exposure of flammable concentrations of LP-gas to ignition sources. LP-gas (notably propane) is well-known as a camping fuel for cooking, lighting, heating and refrigerating and also remains a popular standby fuel supply for auxiliary generators, as well as being widely used as an alternative motor vehicle fuel. Its characteristic as a clean-burning fuel has resulted in the addition of propane dispensers to service stations throughout the country. Dispensing LP-gas into motor vehicles is addressed by Chapter 23.
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) [JURISDICTION TO SPECIFY].
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.
LOCATION OF LP-GAS CONTAINERS
|LP-GAS CONTAINER CAPACITY|
|MINIMUM SEPARATION BETWEEN LP-GAS CONTAINERS AND |
BUILDINGS, PUBLIC WAYSg OR LOT LINES OF ADJOINING
PROPERTY THAT CAN BE BUILT UPON
|MINIMUM SEPARATION |
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 not less than 10 feet from a building or lot line of adjoining property that 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, not less than 50 percent of this horizontal distance shall also apply to all portions of the building that project more than 5 feet from the building wall and that 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 on which the LP-gas container is installed. Distances to the building wall shall be not less than those prescribed in this table.
- Where underground multicontainer installations are composed 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 multiple-container 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 this table, 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 not less than 25 feet. Minimum distances between LP-gas containers need not be applied.
- LP-gas containers of less than a 125-gallon water capacity are allowed without a separation distance where 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 not less than 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 not less than 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 be not 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 that such container is not less than 25 feet from other LP-gas containers of more than 125-gallon water capacity.
- Above-ground LP-gas containers with a water capacity of 2,000 gallons or less shall be separated from public ways by a distance of not less than 5 feet. Containers with a water capacity greater than 2,000 gallons shall be separated from public ways in accordance with this table.
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 fire walls of approved construction.
- Protected by an approved system for application of water as specified in Table 220.127.116.11 of NFPA 58.
- Protected by other approved means.
Where one of these forms of protection is provided, the separation shall be not less than 25 feet (7620 mm) between LP-gas container groups.
"No Smoking" signs complying with Section 310 shall be posted where 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 6.25 of 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 6109.2 through 6109.15.1.
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 2.7 pounds (1.2 kg) for use in completely self-contained hand torches and similar applications. The quantity of LP-gas shall not exceed 20 pounds (9 kg).
- Adequate vents shall be provided to the outside at both top and bottom, located not less than 5 feet (1524 mm) from building openings.
- The entire area shall be classified for the purposes of ignition source control in accordance with Section 6.25 of NFPA 58.
|QUANTITY OF |
|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
|Doorway or |
opening to a
building with two
or more means of
|Doorway or |
opening to a
one means of
|720 or less||0||0||5||5||10||10||20|
For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 pound = 0.454 kg.
- Cylinders shall be secured in a lockable, ventilated metal cabinet or other approved enclosure.
- Cylinders shall be available only by authorized personnel or by use of an automated exchange system in accordance with Section 6109.15.1.
- A sign shall be posted on the entry door of the business operating the cylinder exchange stating "DO NOT BRING LP-GAS CYLINDERS INTO THE BUILDING" or similar approved wording.
- An emergency contact information sign shall be posted within 10 feet (3048 mm) of the cylinder storage cabinet. The content, lettering, size, color and location of the required sign shall be as required by the fire code official.
- The vending system shall only permit access to a single cylinder per individual transaction.
- Cabinets storing cylinders shall be designed such that cylinders can only be placed inside when they are oriented in the upright position.
- Devices operating door releases for access to stored cylinders shall be permitted to be pneumatic, mechanical or electrically powered.
- Electrical equipment inside of or within 5 feet (1524 mm) of a cabinet storing cylinders, including but not limited to electronics associated with vending operations, shall comply with the requirements for Class I, Division 2 equipment in accordance with NFPA 70.
- A manual override control shall be permitted for use by authorized personnel. On newly installed cylinder exchange stations, the vending system shall not be capable of returning to automatic operation after a manual override until the system has been inspected and reset by authorized personnel.
- Inspections shall be conducted by authorized personnel to verify that all cylinders are secured, access doors are closed and the station has no visible damage or obvious defects that necessitate placing the station out of service. The frequency of inspections shall be as specified by the fire code official.
LP-gas tank vehicles parked at any one point for longer than 1 hour shall be located as follows: