• CHAPTER32
    HIGH-PILED COMBUSTIBLE STORAGE

    SECTION3201
    GENERAL

    3201.1Scope.

    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. 1.Aerosols shall be in accordance with Chapter 51.

    2. 2.Flammable and combustible liquids shall be in accordance with Chapter 57.

    3. 3.Hazardous materials shall be in accordance with Chapter 50.

    4. 4.Storage of combustible paper records shall be in accordance with NFPA 13.

    5. 5.Storage of combustible fibers shall be in accordance with Chapter 37.

    6. 6.General storage of combustible material shall be in accordance with Chapter 3.

    3201.2Permits.

    A permit shall be required as set forth in Section 105.6.

    3201.3Construction documents.

    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 International 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. 1.Floor plan of the building showing locations and dimensions of high-piled storage areas.

    2. 2.Usable storage height for each storage area.

    3. 3.Number of tiers within each rack, if applicable.

    4. 4.Commodity clearance between top of storage and the sprinkler deflector for each storage arrangement.

    5. 5.Aisle dimensions between each storage array.

    6. 6.Maximum pile volume for each storage array.

    7. 7.Location and classification of commodities in accordance with Section 3203.

    8. 8.Location of commodities that are banded or encapsulated.

    9. 9.Location of required fire department access doors.

    10. 10.Type of fire suppression and fire detection systems.

    11. 11.Location of valves controlling the water supply of ceiling and in-rack sprinklers.

    12. 12.Type, location and specifications of smoke removal and curtain board systems.

    13. 13.Dimension and location of transverse and longitudinal flue spaces.

    14. 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.

    3201.4Evacuation plan.

    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.

    SECTION3202
    DEFINITIONS

    3202.1Definitions.

    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.

    SECTION3203
    COMMODITY CLASSIFICATION

    3203.1Classification of commodities.

    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.

    3203.2Class I commodities.

    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

    3203.3Class II commodities.

    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

    3203.4Class III commodities.

    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

    3203.5Class IV commodities.

    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

    3203.6High-hazard commodities.

    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

    3203.7Classification of plastics.

    Plastics shall be designated as Group A, B or C in accordance with Sections 3203.7.1 through 3203.7.4.

    3203.7.1Group A plastics.

    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)

    3203.7.2Group 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. 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

    3203.7.3Group C plastics.

    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)

    3203.7.4Limited quantities of Group A plastics in mixed commodities.

    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.

    FIGURE 3203.7.4

    MIXED COMMODITIESa, b

    1. a.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. b.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.

    3. c.Images/Eq0006.jpg

    4. d.Images/Eq0007.jpg

    SECTION3204
    DESIGNATION OF HIGH-PILED STORAGE AREAS

    3204.1General.

    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.

    3204.2Designation based on engineering analysis.

    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.

    SECTION3205
    HOUSEKEEPING AND MAINTENANCE

    3205.1Rack structures.

    The structural integrity of racks shall be maintained.

    3205.2Ignition sources.

    Clearance from ignition sources shall be provided in accordance with Section 305.

    3205.3Smoking.

    Smoking shall be prohibited. Approved “No Smoking” signs shall be conspicuously posted in accordance with Section 310.

    3205.4Aisle maintenance.

    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.

    3205.5Pile dimension and height limitations.

    Pile dimensions and height limitations shall comply with Section 3207.3.

    3205.6Designation of storage heights.

    Where required by the fire code official, a visual method of indicating the maximum allowable storage height shall be provided.

    3205.7Arrays.

    Arrays shall comply with Section 3207.4.

    3205.8Flue spaces.

    Flue spaces shall comply with Section 3208.3.

    SECTION3206
    GENERAL FIRE PROTECTION
    AND LIFE SAFETY FEATURES

    3206.1General.

    Fire protection and life safety features for high-piled storage areas shall be in accordance with Sections 3206.2 through 3206.10.

    3206.2Extent and type of protection.

    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. a.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. b.For aisles, see Section 3206.9.

    3. c.Piles shall be separated by aisles complying with Section 3206.9.

    4. d.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. e.Section 503 shall apply for fire apparatus access.

    6. f.For storage exceeding 30 feet in height, Option 1 shall be used.

    7. g.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. h.High-piled storage areas shall not exceed 500,000 square feet. A 2-hour fire wall constructed in accordance with Section 706 of the International Building Code shall be used to divide high-piled storage exceeding 500,000 square feet in area.

    9. i.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. j.Not required where storage areas 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 NFPA 13.

    3206.3Separation of high-piled storage areas.

    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.

    3206.3.1Separation from other uses.

    Mixed occupancies shall be separated in accordance with the International Building Code.

    3206.3.2Multiple high-piled storage areas.

    Multiple high-piled storage areas shall be in accordance with Section 3206.3.2.1 or 3206.3.2.2.

    3206.3.2.1Aggregate area.

    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 the International Building Code. Openings in such fire barriers shall be protected by opening protectives having a 1-hour fire protection rating.

    3206.3.2.2Multiclass high-piled storage areas.

    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 International 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.

    3206.4Automatic sprinklers.

    Automatic sprinkler systems shall be provided in accordance with Sections 3207, 3208 and 3209.

    3206.4.1Pallets.

    Automatic sprinkler system requirements based upon the presence of pallets shall be in accordance with NFPA 13.

    3206.4.1.1Plastic pallets.

    Plastic pallets listed and labeled in accordance with UL 2335 or FM 4996 shall be treated as wood pallets for determining required sprinkler protection.

    3206.5Fire detection.

    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.

    3206.6Building access.

    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.

    3206.6.1Access doors.

    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.

    3206.6.1.1Number of doors required.

    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.

    3206.6.1.2Door size and type.

    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.

    3206.6.1.3Locking devices.

    Only approved locking devices shall be used.

    3206.7Smoke and heat removal.

    Where smoke and heat removal is required by Table 3206.2 it shall be provided in accordance with Section 910.

    3206.8Fire department hose connections.

    Where exit passageways are required by the International Building Code for egress, a Class I standpipe system shall be provided in accordance with Section 905.

    3206.9Aisles.

    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.

    3206.9.1Width.

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

    Exceptions:

    1. 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. 2.Aisles separating shelves classified as shelf storage shall be not less than 30 inches (762 mm) wide.

    3206.9.1.1Sprinklered buildings.

    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.

    3206.9.1.2Nonsprinklered buildings.

    Aisles in nonsprinklered buildings shall be not less than 96 inches (2438 mm) wide.

    3206.9.2Clear height.

    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.

    3206.9.3Dead-end aisles.

    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.

    3206.10Portable fire extinguishers.

    Portable fire extinguishers shall be provided in accordance with Section 906.

    SECTION3207
    SOLID-PILED AND SHELF STORAGE

    3207.1General.

    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.

    3207.2Fire protection.

    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 International 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 International Building Code and NFPA 13.

    3207.2.1Shelf storage.

    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.

    3207.3Pile dimension and height limitations.

    Pile dimensions, the maximum permissible storage height and pile volume shall be in accordance with Table 3206.2.

    3207.4Array.

    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.

    SECTION3208
    RACK STORAGE

    3208.1General.

    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.

    3208.2Fire protection.

    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 International 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 International Building Code.

    3208.2.1Plastic shelves.

    Storage on plastic shelves shall be protected by approved specially engineered fire protection systems.

    3208.2.2Racks with solid shelving.

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

    3208.2.2.1Fire protection.

    Fire protection for racks with solid shelving shall be in accordance with NFPA 13.

    3208.3Flue spaces.

    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. a.Three-inch transverse flue spaces shall be provided not less than every 10 feet where ESFR sprinkler protection is provided.

    2. b.Random variations are allowed, provided that the configuration does not obstruct water penetration.

    3208.3.1Flue space protection.

    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.

    3208.4Column protection.

    Steel building columns shall be protected in accordance with NFPA 13.

    3208.5Extra-high-rack storage systems.

    Approval of the fire code official shall be obtained prior to installing extra-high-rack combustible storage.

    3208.5.1Fire protection.

    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.

    SECTION3209
    AUTOMATED STORAGE

    3209.1General.

    Automated storage shall be in accordance with this section.

    3209.2Automatic sprinklers.

    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.

    3209.3Carousel storage.

    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. 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. 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. 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.

    3209.4Automated rack storage.

    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.

    SECTION3210
    SPECIALTY STORAGE

    3210.1General.

    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.