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Idle Pallets

Discussion in 'Commercial Fire Codes' started by cda, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    What code section prevents a business doing this?

    Say 5000 SQ FT

    What do you do about non sprinkled buildings five foot high and under

    When the while place is full of pallets???
     
  2. Insurance Engineer

    Insurance Engineer Registered User

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    Check out NFPA 13 Table 12.12.1.2(a) Control Mode Density/Area Sprinkler Protection for Indoor Storage of Idle Wood Pallets. The ceiling density for some storage of idle pallets is crazy .60/6000 =3600 gpm!!! To give an idea of the fire loading , plastic pallets are even more challenging.
     
  3. Insurance Engineer

    Insurance Engineer Registered User

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    Also just because you have ESFR does not mean you are OK. Depending on ceiling height you may need a higher pressure at the sprinkler. See Table 12.12.1.2(c) ESFR Sprinkler Protection for Indoor Storage of Idle Wood Pallets.
     
  4. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    What do you do in a building with no fire sprinkler system.
     
  5. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    Don’t stack too high.
     
  6. Insurance Engineer

    Insurance Engineer Registered User

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    From an insurance AHJ point of view....nothing!!

    The risk is not receiving any credit ie lower insurance premium since they have no sprinkler system so they are paying more $$. I would be more concerned about exterior exposures particularly occupied such as a hotel, nursing home, etc. if we are providing liability coverage. I would recommend a Prefire plan for the FD and evaluate the available water supply.
     
  7. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    According to one of the fire marshals in So. California....do the math

    TABLE 307.1(1) MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE QUANTITY PER CONTROL AREA OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS POSING A PHYSICAL HAZARD
    Flammable solid- Solid pounds (cubic feet) 125
    A standard wooden pallet (48″ x 40″ x 6″) approximately 33 lbs. to 48 lbs.
     
  8. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Person, got the model 1000 code stretcher out for that one

    FLAMMABLE SOLID. A solid, other than a blasting agent or explosive, that is capable of causing fire through friction, absorption of moisture, spontaneous chemical change or retained heat from manufacturing or processing, or which has an ignition temperature below 212°F (100°C) or which burns so vigorously and persistently when ignited as to create a serious hazard. A chemical shall be considered a flammable solid as determined in accordance with the test method of CPSC 16 CFR Part 1500.44, if it ignites and burns with a self-sustained flame at a rate greater than 0.0866 inch (2.2 mm) per second along its major axis
     
  9. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    That's why I let the fire department deal with it.
     
    cda likes this.
  10. Truck3capt

    Truck3capt Supporter

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    From the inspection side we've typically tried to move the owners towards stacking them outside, away from buildings and lot lines, at approp. separation distances if the building is unsprinklered. I get where CDA is coming from but our experience is that when you explain the limitations on height (6') and the requirements for separation of the stacks it becomes such an inefficient use of the SF the owner has under roof that they look for a solution to minimize the number of pallets they need on hand or they get them outside. That said it's a constant enforcement problem to keep them on task.

    The actual pallet companies that are building and rehabbing pallets is another story Their operation only works efficiently if they can stack them at the height that will fit inside a tractor trailer or at the max height they load on a flat bed trailer, which will always be taller than 6' They pop up in our jurisdiction over night and typically in whatever previously vacant warehouse structure they can find and typically unsprinklered. When I was still doing routine inspections I could typically just follow the first beat up pickup truck with 2 dozen old pallets strapped to it to the newest location.

    The first one that I remember burning when I came on the job was relatively small by comparison to some (under 10,000sf) 5 blocks from the nearest station, came in as a report of a small fire in a storage closet in the warehouse area, less than 3 minute response time, and fire already pushing out of the eaves on arrival. I've seen two operations burn to the ground in our jurisdiction in the last 20 years. They were spectacular shows that fortunately were isolated from any surrounding structures.
     
  11. Builder Bob

    Builder Bob Sawhorse

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    Boy I wish I had known about the code strecher - we always ribbed rookies about going to get the hose stretcher when a hose line was short.....

    Besides, I don't think that the federal government has an UN number for idle pallets as a flammable solid -
     
  12. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    I have a slightly used 2010 code stretcher for sale. I upgraded to the 2020 model
     
  13. Builder Bob

    Builder Bob Sawhorse

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    bet it isn't as well built and won't hold up to as much abuse.....

    That was mine experience with newer fire trucks vs. the 69 American LaFrance or the 75 Mack CF600 than ran no matter what ---
     
  14. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Yep,,, This one has darn Plastic
     

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