ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Fire Code 2018 (IFC 2018)

Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.

Maintenance and operational aspects of 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 107.2.

Prior to the use and operation of high-piled storage in new structures or buildings requesting a change of occupancy or use, plans and specifications shall be submitted to the building official 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 on-site plans shall include the following applicable items:

  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 or the applicable building code.
  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 when required by the fire code official.
Where required by the Section 403, a fire safety and evacuation plan shall be submitted at the time of permit application for review and approval. A copy of the approved fire safety and evacuation plan shall be maintained on the premises in an approved location.
Commodities shall be classified as Class I, II, III, IV or high hazard in accordance with Sections 3203.2 through 3203.10.3. 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.
Class I commodities are non-combustible products in ordinary corrugated cartons with or without single-thickness dividers, or in ordinary paper wrappings with or without wood pallets. The amount of Group A plastics shall be limited in accordance with Section 3203.9.
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 wood pallets. The amount of Group A plastics shall be limited in accordance with Section 3203.9.
Class III commodities are products of wood, paper, natural fiber cloth, or Group C plastics or products thereof, with or without wood pallets. The amount of Group A plastics shall be limited in accordance with Section 3203.9.
Class IV commodities are Class I, II or III products containing Group A plastics in ordinary corrugated cartons; Class I, II and III products with Group A plastic packaging; Group B plastics; and free-flowing Group A plastics with or without wood pallets. The total amount of nonfree-flowing Group A plastics shall be limited in accordance with Section 3203.9.
High-hazard commodities are 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.
Plastics shall be designated as Group A, B or C in accordance with Sections 3203.7.1 through 3203.7.3.
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.
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.
Group C plastics are plastic materials having a heat of combustion and a burning rate similar to those of ordinary combustibles.

Table 3203.8 shall be used to determine the commodity classification for various products and materials. Products not found in the list shall be classified based on the classification descriptions in Sections 3203.2 through 3203.6 and the products they most nearly represent in Table 3203.8. Table 3203.8 considers the product and the packaging if listed with the item. Products with additional packaging consisting of Group A plastics shall be classified in accordance with Section 3203.9.

The commodity classifications are based on products with, or without, wood pallets. Where plastic pallets are used, the commodity classification shall be modified in accordance with Section 3203.10.

TABLE 3203.8

EXAMPLES OF COMMODITY CLASSIFICATION

PRODUCT CATEGORY PRODUCT CLASSIFICATION
Aerosols Level 1 Class III (See Chapter 51)
Level 2 Class IV (See Chapter 51)
Level 3 High-hazard (See Chapter 51)
Batteries Dry cells (excludes lithium, lithium-ion and other similar exotic metals or combustible electrolyte); without blister packing (if blister packed, refer to the commodity classification definitions) Class I
Dry cells (nonlithium or similar exotic metals); in blister packing; cartoned Class II
Vehicle; any size (for example, automobile or truck); empty plastic casing High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Vehicle; large (in other words, truck or larger); dry or wet cells (excludes lithium-ion and other cells containing combustible electrolytes) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Vehicle; small (for example, automobile); wet cells (excludes lithium-ion and other cells containing combustible electrolytes) Class I
Biomass Circular baled corn stover Class IV
Rectangular baled corn stover Class III
Rectangular baled switchgrass High-hazard
Empty containers Noncombustible Class I
PET Class IV
Rigid plastic (not including PET) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Wood; solid sided (such as crates, boxes) Class II
Film rolls, including photographic Polypropylene, polyester, polyethylene; rolled on any reel type High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
35 mm metal film cartridges in polyethylene cans; cartoned Class III
Motion picture or bulk rolls in polycarbonate, polyethylene or in metal cans; polyethylene bagged; cartoned Class II
Rolls in polycarbonate plastic cassettes; cartoned Class IV
Photographic paper; sheets; bagged in polyethylene; cartoned Class III
Flammable and combustible liquids Glycol in combustible containers (50 percent or greater) High-hazard
Lacquers, which dry by solvent evaporation, in metal cans or cartons High-hazard
Lighters; butane; blister-packed; cartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Over 20- and up to 50-percent alcohol (such as alcoholic beverages, hair spray); up to 1-gallon glass bottles or jars; in racks; cartoned Class III
Over 20- and up to 50-percent alcohol (such as alcoholic beverages, hair spray); up to 1-gallon glass bottles or jars; palletized; cartoned Class IV
Over 20- and up to 50-percent alcohol (such as alcoholic beverages, hair spray); up to 1-gallon plastic bottles or jars; cartoned Class IV
Up to 20-percent alcohol (such as alcoholic beverages, flavoring extracts); greater than 5-gallon plastic containers with wall thickness greater than 0.25 inch High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Up to 20-percent alcohol (such as alcoholic beverages, flavoring extracts); metal, glass or ceramic containers Class I
Up to 20-percent alcohol (such as alcoholic beverages, flavoring extracts); plastic containers greater than 5 gallons and wall thickness up to 1/4 inch Class II
Up to 20-percent alcohol (such as alcoholic beverages, flavoring extracts); up to 5-gallon plastic bottles or jars Class I
Up to 20-percent alcohol (such as alcoholic beverages, flavoring extracts); wood containers Class II
Lubricating or hydraulic fluid in plastic containers High-hazard
Nail polish; up to 2-ounce glass bottles or jars; cartoned Class IV
Nail polish; up to 2-ounce plastic bottles or jars; cartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Flammable solids Except solid combustible metals High-hazard
Food products, frozen In nonwaxed or nonplastic packaging Class I
In plastic trays Class III
In waxed or plastic-coated paper packaging Class II
Food products, nonfrozen Butter (stick or whipped spread) or margarine (up to 50-percent oil) Class III
Butter; whipped spread Class III
Dry foods (such as baked goods, candy, cereals, cheese, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, grains, granular sugar, nuts); bagged or cartoned Class III
Foods (such as coffee, fish products, fruit, meat products, nuts, poultry); metal cans Class I
Fruits and vegetables (noncombustible semiliquid); crushed; plastic containers up to 5 gallons Class I
Fruits and vegetables; fresh; wood spacers, nonplastic trays or containers Class I
Margarine; over 50- and up to 80-percent oil High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Meat; fresh; no plastic packaging; uncartoned Class I
Meat; fresh; no plastic packaging; cartoned Class II
Meat; fresh; plastic tray Class III
Milk; any container; stored in solid plastic crates High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Milk; paper containers, or plastic bottles or jars up to 5 gallons Class I
Salt; bagged Class I
Salt; cartoned Class II
Snack foods (such as potato chips); plasticized aluminum bags; cartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Syrup; wooden container Class II
Furniture and bedding Box spring; standard (minimal plastic materials) Class III
Box spring; wrapped in plastic cover Class IV
Furniture and bedding; with foam cushioning High-hazard (Group A expanded)
Furniture; metal (such as file cabinets or desks with minimal plastic trim); cartoned Class I
Furniture; wood (such as doors, windows, cabinets); no plastic coverings or foam cushioning Class III
Furniture; wood; plastic coverings; nonexpanded plastic trim Class IV
Mattress; foam (in finished form) High-hazard (Group A expanded)
Pillows, foam rubber and foam plastics High-hazard (Group A expanded)
Housing materials and appliances Appliances; major (for example, stoves, refrigerators); no appreciable plastic interior or exterior trim; cartoned Class II
Appliances; major (for example, stoves, refrigerators); no appreciable plastic interior or exterior trim; uncartoned Class I
Appliances; no appreciable plastic exterior trim (interior of unit can have appreciable plastic) Class III
Carpet tiles; cartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Fiberglass insulation; paper-backed rolls; bagged or unbagged Class IV
Floor coverings; vinyl, stacked tiles Class IV
Floor coverings; vinyl; rolled High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Gypsum board Class I
Housing materials (such as sinks, countertops); noncombustible, cartoned or crated Class II
Light fixtures; nonplastic; cartoned Class II
Paint; oil-based; friction-top metal containers; cartoned Class IV
Paint; water-based (latex); friction-top metal containers; cartoned Class I
Paper; asphalt; rolled, horizontal or vertical storage High-hazard
Roofing shingles; asphalt-coated fiberglass Class III
Roofing shingles; asphalt-impregnated felt Class IV
Miscellaneous Ammunition; small arms and shotgun; cartoned Class IV
Charcoal; mineral-spirit impregnated; bagged High-hazard (Group A expanded)
Charcoal; standard (nonmineral-spirit impregnated); bagged Class III
Fertilizers; nitrates; bagged Class II
Fertilizers; phosphates; bagged Class I
Leather hides; baled Class II
Leather; finished products (such as shoes, jackets, gloves, bags, luggage, belts) Class III
Motors; electric Class I
Pallets and flats that are idle; combustible High-hazard
Shock absorbers; metal dust cover Class II
Shock absorbers; plastic dust cover Class III
Skis; wood Class III
Skis; composite materials (such as plastic, fiberglass, foam) Class IV
Tobacco products; cartoned Class III
Toys; stuffed; foam or synthetic High-hazard (Group A expanded)
Transformer; dry or empty (in other words, void of oil) Class I
Noncombustible liquids Liquids or semiliquids; PET containers greater than 5 gallons having a nominal wall thickness greater than 1/4 inch Class IV
Liquids or semiliquids; PET containers up to 5 gallons having a nominal wall thickness less than 1/4 inch Class I
Liquids or semiliquids (such as crushed fruits and vegetables); plastic containers up to 5-gallon capacity Class I
Liquids or semiliquids; plastic (except PET) containers greater than 5-gallon capacity having a nominal wall thickness greater than 1/4 inch High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Liquids or semiliquids; plastic (except PET) containers greater than 5-gallon capacity having a nominal wall thickness up to 1/4 inch Class II
Liquids; cardboard drink boxes, plastic coated, wax coated, and/or aluminum lined; uncartoned or on corrugated carton trays with plastic sheeting Class I
Liquids; cardboard drink boxes, plastic coated, wax coated, and/or aluminum lined; stored in plastic containers High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Liquids; glass bottles or jars; cartoned Class I
Liquids; less than 5-gallon plastic containers Class I
Liquids; pharmaceuticals (nonflammable); glass bottles or jars; cartoned Class II
Liquids; plastic bottles or jars; stored in open or solid plastic crates High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Paper products Book signatures (paper part of book without hard cover) Class II
Cartons (such as cardboard flats); corrugated; partially assembled Class IV
Cartons (such as cardboard flats); corrugated; unassembled in neat piles Class III
Cartons; wax coated, single-walled corrugated High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Cellulosic paper products; nonwax coated (such as books, cardboard games, cartoned tissue products, magazines, newspapers, paper cups, paper plates, paper towels, plastic-coated paper food containers, stationary) Class III
Cellulosic paper products; wax coated (such as paper plates, cups); loosely packed; cartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Cellulosic paper products; wax coated (such as paper plates, cups); nested; cartoned Class IV
Matches; paper-type; cartoned Class IV
Matches; wooden; cartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Rolled; lightweight; in storage racks Class IV
Rolled; medium or heavyweight; in storage racks or onside Class III
Rolled; in horizontal storage or vertical storage that is banded or protected with an approved wrap Class III
Rolled; in vertical storage that is unbanded or not protected with an approved wrap High-hazard
Tissue products; plastic wrapped; cartoned Class III
Tissue products; plastic wrapped; uncartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Plastic, rubber ABS (Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Acetal (polyformaldehyde) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Acrylic (polymethyl methacrylate) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Automobile bumpers and dashboards High-hazard (Group A expanded)
Butyl rubber High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Cellulose acetate Class IV (Group B plastic)
Cellulose acetate butyrate High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Chloroprene rubber Class IV (Group B plastic)
Containers; Nonexpanded plastic gridded or solid; collapsed or nested with no air spaces High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
ECTFE (ethylene-chlorotrifluoro-ethylene copolymer) Class IV (Group B plastic)
EPDM (ethylene-propylene rubber) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
ETFE (ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene copolymer) Class IV (Group B plastic)
Ethyl cellulose High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
FEP (fluorinated ethylene-propylene copolymer) Class IV (Group B plastic)
FRP (fiberglass-reinforced polyester) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Melamine (melamine formaldehyde) Class III (Group C plastic)
Nitrile rubber (acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Nylon (nylon 6, nylon 6/6) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
PCTFE (polychlorotrifluoroethylene) Class III (Group C plastic)
PET (Polyethylene terephthalate-thermoplastic polyester) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Phenolic Class III (Group C plastic)
Plastics; stored in fully closed and solid (no openings) metal containers Class I
Polybutadiene High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Polycarbonate High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Polyester elastomer High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Polyethylene High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Polypropylene High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Polystyrene; foam products (such as plates, cups) High-hazard (Group A expanded)
Polystyrene; rigid products High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Polyurethane High-hazard (Group A expanded)
PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) Class III (Group C plastic)
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) products; plasticizer content 20 percent or less Class III (Group C plastic)
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) products; plasticizer content greater than 20 percent High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
PVC resins; bagged Class III (Group C plastic)
PVDC (polyvinylidene chloride) Class III (Group C plastic)
PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) Class III (Group C plastic)
PVF (polyvinyl fluoride) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Pyroxylin High-hazard
Rubber; natural in blocks; cartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Rubber; natural; expanded High-hazard (Group A expanded)
Rubber; natural; Nonexpanded High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Rubber; synthetic (santoprene) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Rubber tires High-hazard
SAN (styrene acrylonitrile) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber) High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Silicone rubber Class IV (Group B plastic)
Urea (urea formaldehyde) Class III (Group C plastic)
Plastic containers Bottles or jars greater than 1 gallon containing noncombustible solids High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Bottles or jars up to 1 gallon containing noncombustible solids High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Powders, pills Pharmaceutical pills; glass bottles or jars; cartoned Class II
Pharmaceuticals pills; plastic bottles or jars; cartoned Class IV
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) resins; bagged Class IV
Powders; combustible (ordinary—such as sugar or flour); free-flowing; bagged Class II
Powders; noncombustible free-flowing powdered or granular materials (such as cement, calcium chloride, clay, iron oxide, sodium chloride, sodium silicate); bagged Class I
Powders; noncombustible; glass bottles or jars; cartoned Class I
Powders; noncombustible; PET bottles or jars Class II
Powders; noncombustible; plastic (other than PET) bottles or jars; uncartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Powders; noncombustible; plastic bottles or jars greater than 1-gallon capacity High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Powders; noncombustible; plastic bottles or jars up to 1-gallon capacity; cartoned Class IV
Textile materials and products Cloth; natural fibers; baled Class III
Cloth; synthetic cloth Class IV
Clothing; natural fibers (such as wool, cotton) and viscose Class III
Cotton; cartoned Class III
Diapers; cotton or linen Class III
Diapers; plastic or nonwoven fabric; cartoned Class IV
Diapers; plastic or nonwoven fabric; plastic-wrapped; uncartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Fabric; rayon and nylon Class IV
Fabric; synthetic (except rayon and nylon); greater than 50/50 blend High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Fabric; synthetic (except rayon and nylon); up to 50/50 blend Class III
Fabric; vinyl-coated (such as tablecloth); cartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Fibers; rayon and nylon; baled Class IV
Fibers; synthetic (except rayon and nylon); baled High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Thread or yarn; rayon and nylon; wood or paper spools Class IV
Thread or yarn; rayon or nylon; plastic spools High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Thread or yarn; synthetic (except rayon and nylon); greater than 50/50 blend; paper or wood spools Class IV
Thread or yarn; synthetic (except rayon and nylon); greater than 50/50 blend; plastic spools High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Thread or yarn; synthetic (except rayon and nylon); up to 50/50 blend; plastic spools High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Thread or yarn; synthetic (except rayon and nylon); up to 50/50 blend; wood or paper spools Class III
Wax products Candles High-hazard (Group A expanded)
Paraffin or petroleum wax; blocks High-hazard (Group A expanded)
Wire, cable, spools Spools; plastic; empty High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Spools; wood; empty Class III
Wire or cable; PVC insulated; metal or wood spools Class II
Wire or cable; PVC insulated; plastic spools Class IV
Wire; bare; metal spools; uncartoned Class I
Wire; bare; metal spools; cartoned Class II
Wire; bare; plastic spools; cartoned Class IV
Wire; bare; plastic spools; uncartoned High-hazard (Group A unexpanded)
Wire; bare; wood or cardboard spools Class II
Wood products Wood patterns Class IV
Wood products (such as fiberboard, lumber, particle board, plywood, pressboard with smooth ends and edges); bundled solid blocks Class II
Wood products (such as fiberboard, lumber, particle board, plywood, pressboard with smooth ends and edges); unbundled or nonsolid blocks Class III
Wood products (such as toothpicks, clothespins and hangers) Class III

For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 gallon = 3.8 L, 1 ounce = 29.57 ml.

Figures 3203.9(1) and 3203.9(2) shall be used to determine the commodity classification based on the quantity of Group A plastics in the following situations:

  1. The product is not listed in Table 3203.8 and contains Group A plastics.
  2. The commodity contains Group A plastics and is not classified as high-hazard in Table 3203.8.
  3. The product listing in Table 3203.8 does not specifically include packaging, and the packaging material includes Group A plastics.
  1. This figure is used to determine the commodity classification of a mixed commodity with Group A plastics in a package or carton, or on a pallet.
  2. The following is an example of how to apply Figure 3203.9(1): A pallet load consists of a Class III commodity with components of unexpanded Group A plastic and packing material of expanded Group A plastic. Using Equation 32-1, the weight of unexpanded Group A plastic is 5 percent. Using Equation 32-2, the volume of expanded Group A plastic is 15 percent. This commodity is classified as a Class IV commodity. If the volume of the expanded Group A plastic is increased to 20 percent, the classification changes to a high-hazard commodity. Compare this result with the result from Figure 3203.9(2), and the highest classification will apply. Where the load is stored on a plastic pallet, the requirements in Section 3203.10 apply.

FIGURE 3203.9(1)

  EVALUATION BY VOLUME OF GROUP A EXPANDED PLASTICS IN MIXED COMMODITIESa, b

  1. This figure is used to determine the commodity classification of a mixed commodity with Group A plastics in a package or carton, or on a pallet.
  2. The results from this figure must be compared to the results from Figure 3203.9(1). The highest classification will apply.
  3. The following is an example of how to apply Figure 3203.9(2): A pallet load consists of a Class III commodity with components of unexpanded Group A plastic and packing material of expanded Group A plastic. Using Equation 32-1, the weight of unexpanded Group A plastic is 5 percent. Using Equation 32-3, the weight of expanded Group A plastic is 6 percent. This commodity is classified as a high-hazard commodity. Where the load is stored on a plastic pallet, the requirements in Section 3203.10 apply.

FIGURE 3203.9(2)

  EVALUATION BY WEIGHT OF GROUP A EXPANDED PLASTICS IN MIXED COMMODITIESa, b, c

The percentage of Group A plastics determined in accordance with Section 3203.9.2 shall be used in Figures 3203.9(1) and 3203.9(2). Results from Figure 3203.9(1) must be compared to results from Figure 3203.9(2) and the commodity will be classified with the highest commodity classification.

Figures 3203.9(1) and 3203.9(2) shall not be used to reduce the commodity classification shown in Table 3203.8.

The pallet, if any, shall not be included when measuring the weight of the commodity (WPU or WPE) or the volume of the commodity (VPE). The pallet, if any, shall be included when measuring the weight of the entire load (WL) or the volume of the entire load (VL).

Exception: Where noncombustible pallets are used, the pallets shall not be included in the volume and weight calculations.

The percentage by weight of Group A unexpanded plastics in the load shall be calculated in accordance with Equation 32-1.

The percentage by volume of Group A expanded plastics in the load shall be calculated in accordance with Equation 32-2.

The percentage by weight of Group A expanded plastics in the load shall be calculated in accordance with Equation 32-3.

(Equation 32-1)

where:

PWU =  Percentage by weight of Group A unexpanded plastic.

WPU =  Weight of Group A unexpanded plastic in the commodity, not including the weight of the pallet, if any.

WL =  Weight of the entire load, including the weight of the pallet, if any.

(Equation 32-2)

where:

PVE =  Percentage by volume of Group A expanded plastic.

VPE =  Volume of Group A expanded plastic in the commodity, not including the volume of the pallet, if any.

VL =  Volume of the entire load, including the volume of the pallet, if any.

(Equation 32-3)

where:

PWE =  Percentage by weight of Group A expanded plastic.

WPE =  Weight of Group A expanded plastic in the commodity, not including the weight of the pallet, if any.

WL =  Weight of the entire load, including the weight of the pallet, if any.

The commodity classification determined in Section 3203.8 or 3203.9 shall be modified in accordance with Sections 3203.10.1 through 3203.10.3 where plastic pallets are used.

Exception: The commodity classification is not modified where any of the following conditions occur:

  1. Group A plastic commodities are stored on plastic pallets.
  2. Sprinkler protection consists of sprinklers at the ceiling only, using sprinklers with a minimum K-factor of K-16.8 (240).
  3. The plastic pallets are listed and labeled in accordance with Section 3206.4.1.1.
For Class I through IV commodities, where unreinforced polypropylene or unreinforced high-density polyethylene plastic pallets are used, the commodity classification shall be increased one class. To be considered unreinforced plastic pallets, the pallets shall be marked with a permanent symbol indicating the pallet is unreinforced.
For Class I through IV commodities, where reinforced polypropylene or reinforced high-density polyethylene plastic pallets are used, the commodity classification shall be increased two classes except for Class IV commodities, which shall be increased to a high-hazard (Group A plastic, cartoned, unexpanded) commodity.
For Class I through IV commodities stored on plastic pallets other than polypropylene or high-density polyethylene plastic pallets, the commodity classification shall be increased two classes unless specific testing is conducted by a testing laboratory.
The operation and maintenance of high-piled storage areas, and portions of high-piled storage areas intended for storage, shall be maintained in accordance with the approved plan specified in Section 3201.3 and the applicable building code.
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 3206.10.
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.
Fire protection and life safety features for high-piled storage areas shall be maintained in accordance with Sections 3206.3 through 3206.10.

(Section deleted.)

TABLE 3206.2 GENERAL FIRE PROTECTION AND LIFE SAFETY REQUIREMENTS Deleted

High-piled storage areas shall be maintained as separated from other portions of the building where required by the storage plan in Section 3201.3 and the applicable building code.
Mixed occupancies shall be maintained as separated in accordance with the storage plan in Section 3201.3 and the applicable building code.
Multiple high-piled storage areas shall be maintained in accordance with the storage plan in Section 3201.3 and the applicable building code.
Automatic sprinkler systems shall be maintained in accordance with Chapter 9 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code.
The requirements based on the presence of pallets shall be maintained in accordance with the storage plan in Section 3201.3 and the applicable building code.
Plastic pallets listed and labeled in accordance with UL 2335 or FM 4996 shall be treated as wood pallets.
Fire detection provided for high-piled storage areas shall be maintained in accordance with Chapter 9 and remain in accordance with the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and the applicable building code.
Where building access is required by the applicable building code, fire apparatus access roads shall remain and be maintained in accordance with Section 503.
Access doors shall be accessible, available at all times, and remain in accordance with the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and the applicable building code.

Fire department access doors shall be labeled on the exterior side with the following sign or other approved sign:

FIRE DEPARTMENT ACCESS DOOR DO NOT BLOCK

The lettering shall be in a contrasting color to the background. Letters shall have a minimum height of 2 inches (51 mm) with a minimum stroke of 3/8 inch (10 mm).

The minimum number of doors shall be maintained in accordance with the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code.
Access doors shall be maintained in accordance with the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code. Roll-up doors shall not be used unless approved.
Where smoke and heat removal systems including draft curtains are required, they shall be maintained in accordance with Chapter 9 and the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code.
Where a stand-pipe system is provided, it shall be maintained in accordance with Chapter 9 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code.
Aisles separating storage piles or racks shall be maintained unobstructed and remain in accordance with the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and in accordance with the applicable building code.

Aisle width shall be maintained to the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code.

Exceptions:

  1. Aisles crossing rack structures or storage piles that are used only for employee access shall be a minimum of 24 inches (610 mm) wide.
  2. Aisles separating shelves classified as shelf storage shall be a minimum of 30 inches (762 mm) wide.
Aisles in sprinklered buildings shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.
Aisles in nonsprinklered buildings shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.
The required aisle width shall be maintained from the floor to ceiling in accordance with the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and in accordance with the applicable building code. 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 the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3.
Portable fire extinguishers shall be provided in accordance with Section 906.
Where automatic sprinklers are provided, they shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.
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 the applicable building code. Shelf storage 15 feet (4572 mm) or more in height shall be protected in an approved manner as required by this code and the applicable building code.
Pile dimensions, the maximum permissible storage height and pile volume shall be maintained in accordance with the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code.
Where an automatic sprinkler system design utilizes protection based on a closed array, array clearances shall be maintained as specified by the standard used and approved storage plan in Section 3201.3.
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 provided, they shall be maintained in accordance with Chapter 9.
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 the applicable NFPA 13 standard.
Fire protection for racks with solid shelving shall be in accordance with the applicable building code.

Flue spaces shall be maintained in accordance with Table 3208.3 or the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code.

TABLE 3208.3

REQUIRED FLUE SPACES FOR RACK STORAGE

RACK CONFIGURATION FLUE DESIGN AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER PROTECTION
Sprinklers at the ceiling with or without minimum in-rack sprinklers In-rack sprinklers at every tier
Storage height ≤ 25 feet Storage height > 25 feet Any height
Single-row rack Transverse flue space Sizeb 3 inches 3 inches Not required
Vertically aligned Not required Yes Not required
Longitudinal flue space Not required Not required Not required
Double-row rack (Option 1) Transverse flue space Sizeb 6 inchesa 3 inches Not required
Vertically aligned Not required Yes Not required
Longitudinal flue space Not required 6 inches Not required
Double-row rack (Option 2) Transverse flue space Sizeb 3 inches 6 inches Not required
Vertically aligned Not required Yes Not required
Longitudinal flue space 6 inches Not required Not required
Multiple-row rack Transverse flue space Sizeb 6 inches 6 inches Not required
Vertically aligned Not required Yes Not required
Longitudinal flue space Not required Not required Not 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 the applicable building code, in single-row, double-row, 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.
Protection for steel building columns shall be maintained in accordance with the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and Chapter 9 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code.
Approval shall be obtained prior to installing extra-high-rack combustible storage.
Fire protection provided for buildings with extra-high-rack combustible storage shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.
Automated storage shall be in accordance with this section.
Where automatic sprinklers are provided, they shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable NFPA 13 standard.
High-piled storage areas having greater than 500 square feet (46 m2) of carousel storage, including automatic shutdown devices, shall be maintained in accordance with the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.
High-piled storage areas with automated rack storage shall be maintained in accordance with the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3. A manually activated emergency shutdown switch for use by emergency personnel shall be clearly identified and shall be maintained and accessible in accordance with the applicable building code.
Records storage facilities used for the rack or shelf storage of combustible paper records greater than 12 feet (3658 mm) in height shall be maintained in accordance with Sections 3206 and 3208, the approved storage plan in Section 3201.3, and remain in accordance with the applicable building code. Palletized storage of records shall be in accordance with Section 3207.
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