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Commodity Classification (Class IV vs. Group A) NFPA 13

Question asked by ian.power on Sep 29, 2020
Latest reply on Oct 5, 2020 by samarasp

I have a storage arrangement that has been difficult to classify. Many of my colleagues have drawn different conclusions for a variety of reasons.  

The storage arrangement in question is raw potatoes in plastic totes (an empty tote weighs 200 lbs and when full of potatoes weighs 2,000 lbs - 10% plastic by weight and less than 5% by volume when full) and stored solid piled to 20 ft.  Empty totes are a Group A plastic without a doubt. However, when they are full of potatoes are they Class IV or Group A plastic?  

By applying the commodity definition in 3.3.35 "The combination of products, packing material, and container that determines commodity classification" and Figure 20.4.3.3(b), I've concluded that this storage of full totes is a Class IV commodity since we have 10% by weight and less than 5% by volume of Group A plastics.  This conclusion is further supported in section 20.4.4.1(6). 

I can't locate any matching commodity classifications Annex A Table A.20.4(b) under 'Food Products - Non-Frozen'.  The closest match is two listings that begin "Fruits and vegetables...." but the packaging is not a match to the above storage arrangement.

Is my conclusion sound or is there something that I've missed?

If you draw a different conclusion (ie. Group A plastic), please let me know what section(s) in NFPA 13 guided you in that direction.

I'm asking the fire protection community to weigh in on this matter - thanks in advance for your input.  I've included a picture of the plastic totes.

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