The storage handling and use of LP-gas and LP-gas equipment

IFC: 3104.16, 3104.16.1, 3104.16.2, 3104.16.2.1, 3104.16.2.2, 3104.16.3.

Proponent : Bruce Swiecicki, representing National Propane Gas Association (bswiecicki@npga.org)

2015 International Fire Code
3104.16 LP-gas. The storage, handling and use of LP-gas and LP-gas equipment shall be in accordance with Sections 3104.16.1 through 3104.16.3.
Revise as follows:
3104.16.1 General. LP-gas equipment such as containers, tanks, piping, hoses, fittings, valves, tubing and other related components shall be approved and in accordance with Chapter 61 and with the International Fuel Gas Code.
3104.16.2 Location of containers. LP-gas containers and tanks shall be located outside in accordance with Table 6104.3. Safety release valves Pressure relief devices shall be pointed away from the tent or membrane structure.
Delete without substitution:
3104.16.2.1 Containers 500 gallons or less. Portable LP-gas containers with a capacity of 500 gallons (1893 L) or less shall have a minimum separation between the container and structure not less than 10 feet (3048 mm).
3104.16.2.2 Containers more than 500 gallons. Portable LP-gas containers with a capacity of more than 500 gallons (1893 L) shall have a minimum separation between the container and structures not less than 25 feet (7620 mm).
Revise as follows:
3104.16.3 Protection and security. Portable LP-gas containers, tanks, piping, valves and fittings that are located outside and are being used to fuel equipment inside a tent or membrane structure shall be adequately protected to prevent tampering, damage by vehicles or other hazards and shall be located in an approved location. Portable LP-gas containers shall be securely fastened in placesecured to prevent unauthorized movement.

 

Reason: This proposal incorporates “tanks” into the section because by the definitions in Chapter 2, the term “containers” is only valid up to 60 gallons and propane containers, including cylinders, can easily exceed that volume.Changes to section 3104.16.2 are made to reference existing requirements in Chapter 61 of the standard. Table 6104.3 provides essentially the same information as that provided in the deleted subsections, with one exception that would permit a single  tank up to 1,200 gallons being placed not less than 10 feet of the membrane structure. Even so, this installation would be consistent with what is permitted by NFPA 58 and which has shown to perform well over many decades of use.

Deleting Sections 3104.16.2.1 and 3104.16.2.2 is necessary because the appropriate separation requirements are already contained in Chapter 61, Table 6104.3. There is no technical reason to treat a fabric tent any different than a conventional structure from the standpoint of fire safety.

In addition, proposed revisions to section 3104.16.3 were made with respect to securing containers. Containers and tanks less than 1000 lb. water capacity will be required to be set on a firm foundation or otherwise secured. Containers and tanks greater than 1000 pounds water capacity require no additional consideration. The reason for this threshold is that tanks greater than 1000 pounds water capacity are horizontal containers with a low center of gravity making it much more difficult to tip the container. In addition, the sheer weight of containers of that size is enough to discourage unauthorized movement.

Cost Impact: Will not increase the cost of construction
This proposal will not increase the cost of construction and in fact may actually DECREASE the cost of construction because it would open up more options to install LP-gas containers at the site of the tent or membrane structure. It also would allow containers to be installed without having to “securely fasten” them in place, which also DECREASES the cost of construction.