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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 13. Housing
Agency 5. Department Of Housing And Community Development
Chapter 51. Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code
9/28/2021

13VAC5-51-144.4. IFC Chapter 32 High-Piled Combustible Storage.

A. The following changes shall be made to Section 3201, General:

1. Change Section 3201.1 to read:

3201.1 Scope. 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 the applicable NFPA 13 standard.

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.

2. Change Section 3201.2 to read:

3201.2 Permits. A permit shall be required as set forth in Section 107.2.

3. Change Section 3201.3 and delete Sections 3201.3.1 and 3201.3.2.

Section 3201.3 to read:

3201.3 High-piled storage operational plan. 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 onsite 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.

B. The following changes shall be made to Section 3204, Designation of High-Piled Storage Areas:

1. Change Section 3204.1 to read:

3204.1 General. 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.

2. Delete Section 3204.2.

C. The following changes shall be made to Section 3206, General Fire Protection and Life Safety Features:

1. Change Section 3206.1 to read:

3206.1 General. Fire protection and life safety features for high-piled storage areas shall be maintained in accordance with Sections 3206.3 through 3206.10.

2. Delete Sections 3206.2 and 3206.2.1 and Table 3206.2.

3. Change Section 3206.3 to read:

3206.3 Separation of high-piled storage areas. 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.

4. Change Section 3206.3.1 to read:

3206.3.1 Separation from other uses. Mixed occupancies shall be maintained as separated in accordance with the storage plan in Section 3201.3 and the applicable building code.

5. Change Section 3206.3.2 to read:

3206.3.2 Multiple high-piled storage areas. Multiple high-piled storage areas shall be maintained in accordance with the storage plan in Section 3201.3 and the applicable building code.

6. Delete Section 3206.3.2.1.

7. Change Section 3206.4 to read:

3206.4 Automatic sprinklers. Automatic sprinkler systems shall be maintained in accordance with Chapter 9 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code.

3206.4.1 Pallets. 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.

8. Change Section 3206.4.1.1 to read:

3206.4.1.1 Plastic pallets. Plastic pallets listed and labeled in accordance with UL 2335 or FM 4996 shall be treated as wood pallets.

9. Change Section 3206.5 to read:

3206.5 Fire detection. 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.

10. Change Section 3206.6 to read:

3206.6 Building access. Where building access is required by the applicable building code, fire apparatus access roads shall remain and be maintained in accordance with Section 503.

11. Change Section 3206.7 to read:

3206.7 Access doors. 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.

12. Delete Sections 3206.7.1 through 3206.7.3.

13. Change Section 3206.7.5 to read:

3206.7.5 Number of doors required. 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.

14. Change Section 3206.7.6 to read:

3206.7.6 Door size and type. 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.

15. Delete Sections 3206.7.7 and 3206.7.8.

16. Change Section 3206.8 to read:

3206.8 Smoke and heat removal. 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.

17. Change Section 3206.9 to read:

3206.9 Fire department hose connections. Where a standpipe system is provided, it shall be maintained in accordance with Chapter 9 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code.

18. Change Section 3206.10 to read:

3206.10 Aisles. 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.

19. Change Section 3206.10.1 to read:

3206.10.1 Width. 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, which 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.

20. Change Section 3206.10.1.1 to read:

3206.10.1.1 Sprinklered buildings. Aisles in sprinklered buildings shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.

21. Change Section 3206.10.1.2 to read:

3206.10.1.2 Nonsprinklered buildings. Aisles in nonsprinklered buildings shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.

22. Change Section 3206.10.2 to read:

3206.10.2 Clear height. 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.

23. Change Section 3206.10.3 to read:

3206.10.3 Dead ends. Dead-end aisles shall not exceed the approved storage plan in section 3201.3.

D. The following changes shall be made to Section 3207, Solid-Piled and Shelf Storage:

1. Change Section 3207.2 to read:

3207.2 Fire protection. Where automatic sprinklers are provided, they shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.

2. Change Section 3207.2.1 to read:

3207.2.1 Shelf 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 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.

3. Change Section 3207.3 to read:

3207.3 Pile dimension and height limitations. 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.

4. Change Section 3207.4 to read:

3207.4 Arrays. 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.

E. The following changes shall be made to Section 3208, Rack Storage:

1. Change Section 3208.2 to read:

3208.2 Fire protection. Where automatic sprinklers are provided they shall be maintained in accordance with Chapter 9.

2. Change Section 3208.2.2 to read:

3208.2.2 Racks 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. Racks with mesh, grated, slatted or similar shelves having uniform openings not more than 6 inches (152 mm) apart, comprising not less than 50% 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.

3. Change Section 3208.2.2.1 to read:

3208.2.2.1 Fire protection. Fire protection for racks with solid shelving shall be in accordance with the applicable building code.

4. Change Section 3208.3 to read:

3208.3 Flue spaces. 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.

5. Change Section 3208.3.1 to read:

3208.3.1 Flue space protection. 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.

6. Change Section 3208.4 to read:

3208.4 Column protection. Protection for steel building columns shall be maintained in accordance with approved storage plan in Section 3201.3 and Chapter 9 and remain in accordance with the applicable building code.

7. Change Section 3208.5 to read:

3208.5 Extra-high-rack storage systems. Approval shall be obtained prior to installing extra high rack combustible storage.

8. Change Section 3208.5.1 to read:

3208.5.1 Fire protection. Fire protection provided for buildings with extra high rack combustible storage shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.

F. The following changes shall be made to Section 3209, Automated Storage:

1. Change Section 3209.2 to read:

3209.2 Automatic sprinklers. Where automatic sprinklers are provided, they shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable NFPA 13 standard.

2. Change Section 3209.3 to read:

3209.3 Carousel storage. 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.

3. Change Section 3209.4 to read:

3209.4 Automated rack storage. 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.

G. The following change shall be made to Section 3210, Specialty Storage:

Change Section 3210.1 to read:

3210.1 General. 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.

Statutory Authority

§ 27-97 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 16, eff. July 14, 2014; amended, Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. October 16, 2018; Volume 37, Issue 14, eff. July 1, 2021.

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