High Pile Storage
When a business owner is storing any type of materials, from metal components to plastic commodities, there are specific codes that designate how and where the commodities are permitted to be stored within a building in order to minimize fire damage. The International Fire Code, which is now the nationwide code, has established the threshold of when a permit is required for high pile storage.
Any building where the area of High Pile Storage is in excess of 500 square feet, the building is considered a high-piled combustible storage and a permit is required to conduct such operations. These code regulations were created in order to keep employees and business owners safe from hazards that can arise from storing combustible materials in inappropriate ways.
High Pile Storage is defined according to section 202 of the 2013 Edition of the California Fire Code, as "Storage of combustible materials in closely packaged piles or combustible materials on pallets in racks or on shelves where the top of storage is greater than 12 feet in height.
When required by the fire code official, high piled combustible storage also includes certain high-hazard commodities, such as rubber tires, Group A plastics, flammable liquids, idle pallets and similar commodities, where the top of storage is greater than 6 feet in height".
Combustible materials can be stored in various storage configurations; such as in pallet racks, portable pallet racks, in palletized and solid pile configurations. The storage height are typically determined by the NFPA 13 for class I – IV and plastic commodities based on the commodity classification and the method in which the products that are being stored.
High piled storage can be a small or severe fire hazard, depending on the combustibility of the materials being stored and how dense the storage space is.