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Subchapter 5. Electrical Safety Orders
Group 1. Low-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders
Article 59. Hazardous (Classified) Locations
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§2540.5. Commercial Garages, Repair and Storage.

(a) Scope. These occupancies shall include locations used for service and repair operations in connection with self-propelled vehicles (including passenger automobiles, buses, trucks, tractors, etc.) in which volatile flammable liquids are used for fuel or power. Areas in which flammable fuel is transferred to vehicle fuel tanks shall conform to Section 2540.8. Parking garages used for parking or storage and where no repair work is done except exchange of parts and routine maintenance requiring no use of electrical equipment, open flames, welding, or the use of volatile flammable liquids are not classified as hazardous areas, but they shall be adequately ventilated to carry off the exhaust fumes of the engines.

(Title 24, Part 3, Section 511-1.)

(b) Hazardous Areas.

(1) Up to a Level of 18 Inches Above the Floor. For each floor the entire area up to a level of 18 inches above the floor shall be considered to be a Class I, Division 2 location except where there is mechanical ventilation providing a minimum of four air changes per hour.

(2) Any Pit or Depression Below Floor Level. Any pit or depression below floor level shall be considered to be a Class I, Division 1 location which shall extend up to said floor level, except that any pit or depression in which six air changes per hour are exhausted at the floor level of the pit shall be permitted to be a Class I, Division 2 location.

(3) Areas Adjacent to Defined Locations with Positive Pressure Ventilation. Areas adjacent to defined locations in which hazardous vapors are not likely to be released such as stock rooms, switchboard rooms and other similar locations shall not be classed as hazardous when mechanically ventilated at a rate of four or more air changes per hour or when effectively cut off by walls or partitions.

(4) Adjacent Areas by Special Permission. Adjacent areas which, by reason of ventilation, air pressure differentials or physical spacing, are such that no hazard exists, shall be classified as nonhazardous.

(5) Fuel Dispensing Units. When fuel dispensing units (other than liquid petroleum gas which is prohibited) are located within buildings, the requirements of Section 2540.8 shall govern. When mechanical ventilation is provided in the dispensing area, the controls shall be interlocked so that the dispenser cannot operate without ventilation as prescribed in Section 2540.1(a)(2).

(6) Portable Lamps. Portable lamps shall be equipped with handle, lampholder, hook and substantial guard attached to the lampholder or handle. All exterior surfaces which might come in contact with battery terminals, wiring terminals, or other objects shall be of nonconducting material or shall be effectively protected with insulation. Lampholders shall be of unswitched type and shall not provide means for plug-in of attachment plugs. Outer shell shall be of molded composition or other material approved for the purpose. Unless the lamp and its cord are supported or arranged in such a manner that they cannot be used in the hazardous areas classified in this section, they shall be of a type approved for such hazardous locations.

(Title 24, Part 3, Section 511-2.)

(c) Battery Charging Equipment. Battery chargers and their control equipment, and batteries being charged shall not be located within hazardous areas.

(Title 24, Part 3, Section 511-7.)

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code; and Section 18943(c), Health and Safety Code.


1. Editorial correction of NOTE filed 11-2-83 (Register 83, No. 45).

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