Materials Storage

Combustible Storage

By storing excess combustible materials improperly, employees not only increase the potential for having a fire; they increase the potential severity of a fire. To reduce the hazards associated with combustible storage follow these guidelines:

  • Eliminate excess combustible materials such as wood, paper, and cardboard.
  • Do not store combustible materials in hallways, stairwells, or mechanical rooms.
  • When stacking combustible materials, leave at least 18 inches between the top of the stack and the ceiling or sprinkler head

Portable LPG

The Kansas State Fire Marshals Office regulates the sale and use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), including butane and propane. These regulations govern several types of LPG-powered equipment including the following:

  • Forklifts
  • Floor buffers
  • Cooking and heating equipment
  • Laboratory equipment

Exhaust fumes may contain carbon monoxide, which can present a health hazard. Exhaust can also create smoke, which may activate a smoke detector. Take special precautions to ensure adequate ventilation when using these machines indoors.

Because LPG is extremely flammable, it is a potential fire hazard. Do not store LPG near heat, flame or other ignition sources. In addition, do not use or store portable LPG containers larger than 16 oz. in a building. Instead, place portable LPG containers and LPG equipment outside in a storage area that is at least 25 feet away from other buildings, combustible materials, roadways, railroads, pipelines, utility lines and the property line. This storage area should prevent unauthorized entry and have access to a portable fire extinguisher (within 25 feet). Containers of LPG used for engine fuel systems shall be designed and used in accordance with NFPA 58.

Hazardous Materials Storage

There are building and fire code limitations on the quantity of hazardous materials stored within buildings. Storage within approved cabinets (e.g., flammable cabinets or gas cabinets) allows for additional storage, but limits vary by various factors such as whether the building is equipped with fire suppression. These limitations are assessed based on quantities within control area. Control areas are areas within buildings that are separated from the rest of the building by fire-rated construction. This creates compartments that will resist the spread of fire to the rest of the structure. Each of these compartments is treated as a separate storage area in regard to flammable liquids. These compartments, or fire areas, are known as 'control areas' because they are intended to control the spread of fire through the building.

Control Area - Spaces within a building where quantities of hazardous materials not exceeding the maximum allowable quantities per control area are stored, dispensed, used or handled. (2018 IFC, Section 202)

Fire Area - The aggregate floor area enclosed and bounded by fire walls, fire barriers, exterior walls or horizontal assemblies of a building. Areas of the building not provided with surrounding walls shall be included in the fire area if such areas are included within the horizontal projection of the roof or floor next above. (2018 IFC, Section 202)