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Industrial Hazards

7 Posts authored by: ericnette Employee

First and foremost, I sincerely hope for the best for all of those affected by Hurricane Matthew.


I was contacted by the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA, ) yesterday with a request to share a supplement from the upcoming LP-Gas Code Handbook due to be released later this year. This supplement contains crucial recommendations on how propane companies can prepare for a natural disaster.


This is a fantastic resource for propane companies to utilize. It is through our partnership with NPGA, and the quick work by internal NFPA staff, that we are able to produce and disseminate this information to help prepare them to deal with natural disasters. The supplement can be found at:

A frequent question I get is whether NFPA 495, Explosive Materials Code, requires the installation of sprinklers for a commercial stock of smokeless propellant at a location. The trigger for requiring sprinklers in this situation can be found in 14.3.9(5)(h), when you are storing above 800 lb but below 5,000 lb inside a building. At this point you are then required to have a sprinkler system that is installed according to NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. This requirement can be ignored if stored according to 14.3.8(6) which requires a Type 4 magazine constructed and located in accordance with Chapter 9, Aboveground Storage of Explosive Materials.


-Eric Nette, P.E.

A new section added to the 2014 edition of NFPA 58 are Automated Cylinder Exchange Stations. These stations are unmanned, automatic computer controlled cabinets that allow individuals to purchase and exchange propane cylinders. This new added benefit allows stores to make sales throughout the day when their store is not otherwise occupied. I have not had the opportunity to see any of them in practice yet, but I have been able to see demo's of them in various locations. Below this post is a picture from the NFPA 58 Handbook of one of these installations.


-Eric Nette, P.E.


I get frequent questions about how to apply NFPA 495, Explosive Materials Code, to the production of small arms. The way the standard deals with this is by treating each location in the production process differently. First, the storage of the constituents that make up small arms such as the powder and the primer are stored according to Chapter 14, Small Arms Ammunition and Primers, Smokeless Propellants, and Black Powder Propellants, including the general requirements of the standard. Second, during production, that area is treated according to Chapter 5, Manufacturing and Testing, including the general requirements of the standard. Finally, the storage of the final product is stored according to Chapter 14, Small Arms Ammunition and Primers, Smokeless Propellants, and Black Powder, including the general requirements of the standard.


-Eric Nette, P.E.

During the last revision cycle of NFPA 58 the Technical Committee decided to revise the document to include the following definition of Vehicle Barrier Protection (VBP).


"3.3.79* Vehicular Barrier Protection (VBP).    A system or method to provide physical protection for LP-Gas storage areas or installations from vehicular incursion. "

"A.3.3.79 Vehicular Barrier Protection (VBP).  Numerous effective means to provide protection for LP-Gas installations from impact by motor vehicles are available. The system or method selected depends on local conditions with regard to the kinds of traffic that can be reasonably expected and the environment surrounding the location. Examples of such protection include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •      (1)Guard rails
  •      (2)Steel bollards
  •      (3)Raised sidewalks [minimum of 6 in. (150 mm) in height]
  •      (4)Fencing
  •      (5)Ditches
  •      (6)Berms (not to exceed 50 percent of the container perimeter)
  •      (7)Jersey barriers
  •      (8)Parking bumpers [minimum of 6 in. (150 mm) in height]
  •      (9)Fencing/gates "


References to protection of various containers and appurtenances installations include the reference to VBP but leave a performance based requirement for these installations. The Technical Committee at this time has left it to the AHJ to review and approve the appropriate VBP based on these requirements.


-Eric Nette, P.E.


NFPA 82 - Crematoriums

Posted by ericnette Employee Jun 17, 2015

A frequent question I get here is whether or not NFPA 82 covers crematoriums under the definition of an Incinerator. Let's look at the definition of an Incinerator:


"3.3.7* Incinerator.    Equipment predominantly designed for burning solid waste."


In the standard we do not define "solid waste". Therefore the definition of waste falls to Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary.


"4 a :  damaged, defective, or superfluous material produced by a manufacturing process: as (1) :  material rejected during a textile manufacturing process and used usually for      wiping away dirt and oil <cotton waste> (2) :  scrap (3) :  an unwanted by-product of a manufacturing process, chemical laboratory, or nuclear      reactor <toxic waste> <hazardous waste> <nuclear waste>

     b :  refuse from places of human or animal habitation: as (1) :  garbage, rubbish (2) :  excrement—often used in plural (3) :  sewage"


Most of the AHJ that I speak to do not classify Human or Animal remains as waste.


-Eric Nette, P.E.


NFPA 58 - Important Building

Posted by ericnette Employee Jun 17, 2015

How do you classify an "Important Building" for separation distances in Chapter 6 of NFPA 58? In the standard we don't define this term, and leave it up to the AHJ.


I do have a couple reasons some AHJ's have declared some buildings are an "Important Building":

1. Replacement Value

2. Human Occupancy

3. Value of the Contents

4. Vital Role in the function of the Business or it's Records

5. It's role in Emergency Operations


-Eric Nette, P.E.