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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 20. Flammable Liquids, Gases and Vapors
Article 141. Container and Portable Tank Storage

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§5541. Flammable and Combustible Liquid Warehouses or Storage Buildings.

(a) If storage building is located 50 feet or less from a building or line of adjoining property that may be built upon, the exposing wall shall have a fire-resistance rating of at least two hours with any openings protected by approved fire doors.
(b) The total quantity of liquids within a building shall not be restricted, but the arrangement of storage shall comply with Tables FL-4 or FL-5.
(c) Containers in piles shall be separated by pallets or dunnage where necessary to provide stability and to prevent excessive stress on container walls.
(d) Portable tanks stored over one tier high shall be designed to nest securely, without dunnage, and adequate materials handling equipment shall be available to handle tanks safely at the upper tier level.
(e) No pile shall be closer than three feet to the nearest beam, chord, girder or other obstructions, and shall be three feet below sprinkler deflectors or discharge orifices of water spray, or other overhead fire protection systems.
(f) Aisles at least three feet wide shall be provided where necessary for reasons of access to doors, windows or standpipe connections.
Table FL-4
Indoor Container Storage
 
Protected Storage*
Unprotected Storage
Maximum Per Pile
Maximum Per Pile
Category
Storage
Liquid
Level
Gals.
Gals.
 
1
Ground
2,750
660
& Upper
(50)
(12)
Floors
Basement
Not permitted
Not permitted
 
2
Ground
5,500
1,375
& Upper
(100)
(25)
Floors
Basement
Not Permitted
Not Permitted
 
3
Ground
16,500
4,125
FP<100F
& Upper
(300)
(75)
Floors
Basement
Not permitted
Not permitted
 
3
Ground
16,500
4,125
FP > 100F
& Upper
(300)
(75)
Floors
Basement
5,500
Not permitted
(100)
 
4 and
Ground
55,000
13,750
FP>199.4F
& Upper
(1,000)
(250)
Floors
Basement
8,250
Not permitted
(450)
 
* A sprinkler or equivalent fire protection system installed in an approved manner.
(Numbers in parentheses indicate corresponding number of 55-gallon drums.)
NOTE 1: When two or more categories of materials are stored in a single pile, the maximum gallonage permitted in that pile shall be the smallest of the two or more separate maximum gallonages.
NOTE 2: Aisles shall be provided so that no container is more than 12 feet from an aisle. Main aisles shall be at least eight feet wide and side aisles at least four feet wide.
NOTE 3: Each pile shall be separated from each other pile by at least four feet. When stored on suitably protected racks or when the storage is suitably protected, containers may be piled up to the height limits in Section 5541(e).
Note 4: FP means Flashpoint.
Table FL-5
Indoor Portable Tank Storage
 
Protected Storage*
Unprotected Storage
Maximum Per Pile
Maximum Per Pile
Category
Storage
Liquid
Level
Gals.
Gals.
 
1
Ground
Not permitted
Not Permitted
& Upper
Floors
 
Basement
Not permitted
Not permitted
 
2
Ground
20,000
2,000
& Upper
Floors
 
Basement
Not Permitted
Not Permitted
 
3 FP<100F
Ground
40,000
5,500
& Upper
Floors
 
Basement
Not permitted
Not permitted
 
3 FP>100F
Ground
40,000
5,500
& Upper
Floors
 
Basement
20,000
Not permitted
 
4 and
Ground
60,000
22,000
FP>199.4F
& Upper
Floors
 
Basement
20,000
Not permitted
 
* A sprinkler or equivalent fire protection system installed in an approved manner.
NOTE 1: When two or more categories of materials are stored in a single pile, the maximum gallonage permitted in that pile shall be the smallest of the two or more separate maximum gallonages.
NOTE 2: Aisles shall be provided so that no portable tank is more than 12 feet from an aisle. Main aisles shall be at least eight feet wide and side aisles at least four feet wide.
NOTE 3: Each pile shall be separated from each other pile by at least four feet. When stored on suitably protected racks or when the storage is suitably protected, portable tanks may be piled up to the height limits in Section 5541(e).
NOTE 4: FP means Flashpoint.
Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.
HISTORY
1. Amendment filed 7-16-76; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 29).
2. Amendment of Tables FL-4 and FL-5 filed 9-18-80; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 80, No. 38).
3. Amendment of Tables FL-4 and FL-5 filed 4-9-81; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 81, No. 15).
4. Amendment of subsection (f) filed 7-23-2013; operative 10-1-2013 (Register 2013, No. 30).
5. Amendment of section heading and Tables FL-4 and FL-5 and their Notes, filed 5-5-2014; operative 5-6-2014 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4(b)(3) (Register 2014, No. 19).

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