Are there any rules restricting the use of plastic trash containers in Mechanical Rooms? I can't recall ever seeing anything like this, but I was approached by an employee who thought there was so I wanted to further investigate.
What is the occupancy classification of the building? What type of mechanical equipment is present? Are any fuel-fired appliances present? Is the mechanical room open to a vertical shaft connecting other floors of the building?
Does the mechanical room contain air handlers and do the air handlers draw any air for recirculation from the room itself?
It is a business occupancy. There are no fuel fired appliances present. There are several different rooms, the majority contain air handling equipment but some contain misc pumps and air compressors. The rooms do not have open vertical shafts connecting other floors (I think I am answering that correctly – there is duct work leaving the rooms, but nothing is open). The air handlers do not circulate air from the room itself.
In a Business occupancy hazardous areas include: general storage, boiler or furnace rooms, maintenance shops that include woodworking and painting areas. From your answers the mechanical room and equipment do not appear to meet the criteria to be classified as a hazardous area.
At to the trash containers, how many containers are kept in the room, what size are the containers, are they open or closed top, if closed are they kept closed, what type of waste materials are collected, how often are the containers emptied, and who has access to place waste materials in the containers?
There is one container per room. They are 30 gallons and do not have lids. The was is primarily paper, cardboard, filter material. The containers are just emptied as needed, could be a month or more. The rooms are locked and only our maintenance staff have access.
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
Thank you again
Since the trash containers contain combustibles and are only emptied periodically most AHJ's would probably classify the room as general storage. In Business a general storage room requires either a 1-hr envelope around the room (without windows) or the room/area needs to have sprinkler protection.
Depending upon whether or not these rooms are 1-hr protected or sprinkler protected it might make sense to keep all of the trash containers in the same room so only one room would be classified as a hazardous area. If your building is fully sprinklered then the current arrangement would be acceptable as is.
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