Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 14:05:24 -0400
Reply-To: "Herman-Haase, Howard" <howard_herman-haase**At_Symbol_Here**HARVARD.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Herman-Haase, Howard" <howard_herman-haase**At_Symbol_Here**HARVARD.EDU>
Subject: Re: Fire Code for Lab
Comments: To: Dan Crowl
In-Reply-To: A<4834D6E8.8000000**At_Symbol_Here**>

A correction:

NFPA 45: Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals has no
prohibition on underground storage of flammable liquids as described in
the scope of the standard, below.

1.1 Scope.

1.1.1 This standard shall apply to laboratory buildings, laboratory
units, and laboratory work areas whether located above or below grade in
which chemicals, as defined, are handled or stored.

The prohibition for underground storage of flammable liquids comes from
NFPA 30 Flammable and Combustible Liquids.  However, NFPA 30 defers to
the Laboratory Standard when considering laboratories as seen in the
quote from NFPA given below.

1.5.3 Installations made in accordance with the applicable requirements
of the following standards shall be deemed to be in compliance with this
(1) 	NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code
(2) 	NFPA 30A, Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair
(3) 	NFPA 31, Standard for the Installation of Oil-Burning Equipment
(4) 	NFPA 32, Standard for Drycleaning Plants
(5) 	NFPA 33, Standard for Spray Application Using Flammable or
Combustible Materials
(6) 	NFPA 34, Standard for Dipping and Coating Processes Using
Flammable or Combustible Liquids
(7) 	NFPA 35, Standard for the Manufacture of Organic Coatings
(8) 	NFPA 36, Standard for Solvent Extraction Plants
(9) 	NFPA 37, Standard for the Installation and Use of Stationary
Combustion Engines and Gas Turbines
(10) 	NFPA 45, Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using
(11) 	Chapter 10 of NFPA 99, Standard for Health Care Facilities
(12) 	NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code  

This being said many state codes and or 'authorities having
jurisdiction' still prohibit underground storage even in laboratories,
but it does not come directly out of the NFPA standards.

Since I do not know which codes are used in Texas, I cannot comment on
Dr. Murphy's question directly.  However, I would recommend she identify
the applicable codes and review them with a local authority. Egress and
hazardous material storage requirements will normally be found in
different sections of the codes or in different codes, including Fire,
Building and Life Safety Codes.  


"The views and opinions here expressed are those of the author and not
those of Harvard University."

Howard Herman-Haase, CIH
Senior Industrial Hygienist
Harvard University UOS-EH&S
46 Blackstone South
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617 495-2186
Fax: 617 495-0593

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of
Dan Crowl
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 10:14 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Fire Code for Lab

Hi Ruth Ann,

I don't think you are interpreting the codes properly.  I assume you are

referring to the NFPA fire codes.

The NFPA Laboratory Safety Standard (I can't remember the number off 
hand) has a complicated formula for determining the maximum amount of 
flammable liquid that can be stored in a laboratory.  It depends on the 
type of construction, fire protection (i.e sprinklers), type of 
occupancy, type of chemical, etc.  It is so difficult to apply that most

people just limit the amount of solvent to just a gallon per lab per 
chemical (note not per building).  There is a limit for the total amount

- in the lab and building - but I believe if you have just a few gallons

per lab you are well below this limit.

An interesting thing in the NFPA Lab Standard is that it forbids storage

of flammable liquids  below grade in a building - which means basements.

  A lot of academic labs violate this.

Dan Crowl
Michigan Tech University

Murphy, Dr. Ruth Ann wrote:
> My question is about exit requirements for chemistry labs.  Does a
> policy limiting the amount of each flammable substance to one gallon
> less  in the entire building allow  exits from different  upstairs
> to lead to only one hallway?   In other words, students from various
> labs would have to exit by the same hallway, and there would be no
> as to the number of flammable chemicals allowed - as long as each one
> was present in amounts less than one gallon.  Natural gas lines would
> also be in the labs.
> Thank you for any help you can provide.
> Ruth Ann 
> Ruth Ann Murphy, Ph.D.
> Chairperson
> Department of Chemistry, Environmental Science and Geology
> The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
> Belton, TX  76513-2599
> 254.295.4542

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