Fire & Emergency Careers, And Fire Safety Info/Flammable Liquid Storage
We have a warehouse with a small office where they have placed 7 flammable cabinets. Basically they place flammable liquids and adhesives, in their original packaging (cardboard box, kitty litter) in these cabinets. Mostly class IB and IC products. These products are never opened (they will be shipped to customer at later date or disposed if shelf life date is exceeded).
Is this considered an "inside storage room" per NFPA 30 with the requirements for spill control and special ventilation? Isn't that designed for liquid storage where contents may be transferred between containers?
Also, I thought there was a limit of 6 cabinets in an area as long as the room is sprinklered (which this is).
Thanks for your question. I ran this through the Natl Fire Sprinkler Assn.'s Engineering Department's "Expert of the Day" program (usually reserved for members, but this seemed worthy of getting a good answer). Here is the reply;
"You have asked if a small office containing 7 flammable liquid cabinets containing class IB and IC products in original packaging would be considered an "inside storage room" per NFPA 30 with the requirements for spill control and special ventilation.
I do not believe this situation would be considered an inside storage room per NFPA 30. The allowance of NFPA 30 in section 9.5 for Flammable Liquids Storage Cabinets would exclude this situation from the additional requirements of ventilation and spill control. If the use of these flammable cabinets did not exempt you from some of the requirements of inside storage room - there would be no advantage to using these cabinets. The purpose of these types of cabinets is to protect its contents from involvement in a fire and they have some spill containment in there design.
You have also stated that believed that there was a limit of 6 cabinets in a room as long as it is sprinklered. I am not aware of this requirement. NFPA 30 - 2012 in section 9.5.2 limits the total aggregate volume of flammable liquids in groups of storage cabinets and not the number of cabinets. Section 9.5.2 states:
9.5.2 The total aggregate volume of Class I, Class II, and Class IIIA liquids in a group of storage cabinets, shall not exceed the maximum allowable quantity of flammable and combustible liquids per control area based on the occupancy where the cabinets are located.
It should be noted that the above is my opinion as a member of NFPA Technical Committees. It has not been processed as a formal interpretation in accordance with the NFPA Regulations Governing Committee Projects and should therefore not be considered, nor relied upon, as the official position of the NFPA or its Committees".
This service through NFSA is available to members and if you are interested I suggest looking at joining at www.NFSA.org if you are in the business of fire protection or code enforcement.
I hope this helps.