The Fire Prevention Warehouse Group performs annual comprehensive review of highly technical storage arrangements with the goal of reducing large-loss fires. Annual inspections and walk-through inspections are conducted to ensure proper storage heights, arrangements, and commodity classification. Operational and construction permits are required.
High-Piled Storage and Tire Storage
High-piled storage is defined as storage of combustible materials in closely packed piles or combustible materials on pallets, in racks or on shelves where the top of storage is greater than 12 feet (3658 mm) in height. High-piled combustible storage also includes certain high-hazard commodities, such as rubber tires, Group A plastics, flammable liquids, pallets and similar commodities, where the top of storage is greater than six feet (1829 mm) in height.
High-piled storage systems have been involved in some of the largest fire loss incidents across the nation, resulting in huge monetary costs, interruption of business, and increasing insurance costs.
Combustible storage is regulated by Section 413 for high piled stock and storage, of the Denver Building Code. Chapter 23 provides requirements on the configuration, height of storage and additional requirements that are triggered based on the area of storage, which may include an automatic fire sprinkler system, automatic detection system, smoke/heat venting, or additional exterior doors.
Operational Approval and Permits
As a part of the operational permit review, the Inspectors are authorized to inspect receptacles, vehicles, buildings, devices, premises, storage spaces, and apply conditions as applicable.
Installation Approval and Permits
High-piled storage operations require Fire Construction permits prior to installation. Prospective warehouse tenant/owners can request a warehouse survey to determine code compliance for the intended operation. The design consultant for the warehouse owner/tenant must address the storage arrangement in the design stage and submit this information to the Fire Prevention Engineering unit. The design consultant must identify the requirements of Chapter 23 and include special attention to Section 2306 (General Fire Protection and Life Safety Features).
The design submittal must include:
- Floor plan of the building showing location and dimensions of high-piled storage areas.
- Usable storage height for each storage area.
- Number of tiers within each rack, if applicable.
- Commodity clearance between top of storage and sprinkler deflector for each storage arrangement.
- Aisle dimensions between each storage array.
- Maximum pile volume for each storage array.
- Location and classification of commodities in accordance with Section 2303.
- Location of commodities which are banded or encapsulated.
- Location of required fire department access doors.
- Type of fire suppression and fire detection systems, including fire sprinkler design density(s).
- Location of valves controlling the water supply of ceiling and in-rack sprinklers.
- Type, location and specifications of smoke removal and curtain board systems.
- Dimension and location of transverse and longitudinal flue spaces.
- Additional information regarding required design features, commodities, storage arrangement and fire protection features within the high-piled storage area shall be provided at the time of submittal.