The state of Ohio is in the processing of upgrading the state's fire code using the 2015 International Fire Code as its basis.  This is a summary of the chapters most often used in facilities that handle hazardous chemicals.

General Requirements for all HAZMATs (1301:7-7-50 (previously Rule 27)

This proposed rule prescribes general fire safety regulations for the prevention, control and mitigation of dangerous conditions related to the storage, dispensing, use and handling of hazardous materials.

  • Non-substantive edits and clarifications were made throughout the rule.
  • All definitions were moved to Rule 2.
  • Scoping provisions were modified (5001.1).
  • Maximum allowable quantities per control area of hazardous materials posing a physical hazard were amended (Table 5003.1.1(1)).
  • Maximum allowable quantities per control area of hazardous materials posing a health hazard were amended (Table 5003.1.1(2)).
  • Exhaust enclosure ventilation requirements were amended 5003.8.5.2).
  • Gas cabinet ventilation requirements were amended (5003.8.6.2).
  • Storage plan requirements for Group M storage and display and Group S storage were amended (5003.11.3.10).
  • Standby or emergency power exempt applications were modified (5004.7.1).
  • Weather protection provisions were amended (5005.3.9).
  • Provisions regarding quantities exceeding and not exceeding the maximum allowable quantity per control area were modified (5005.4.1-5005.4.2).
  • Location provisions were amended (5005.4.3). Dispensing use and handling provisions were modified (5005.4.4).

Although numerous provisions in this rule were modified no additional equipment requirements were added; they were merely clarified and more definitively stated. No cost impact from the new language is anticipated.

 

Compressed Gases 1301:7-7-53 (previously Rule 30)

This proposed rule prescribes fire safety regulations for the storage, use and handling of compressed gases in compressed gas containers, cylinders, tanks and systems.

  • Non-substantive edits and clarifications were made throughout the rule.
  • All definitions were moved to Rule 2.
  • Scoping provisions were amended (6301.1).
  • Provisions regarding one-hour exterior rooms were amended (5306.2.1).
  • Transfilling language was added (5306.4).
  • Language was added regarding carbon dioxide systems used in beverage dispensing applications (5307, generally).

Language was added to the OFC to set forth installation and maintenance requirements for carbon dioxide systems used in certain beverage dispensing applications (5307, generally). The actual requirement for the systems will apply to new buildings and therefore their cost may generally factor into initial construction costs. However, the alarm systems and their associated equipment are already available and widely used in the industry due to prior safety issues. Therefore, an overall cost impact is not anticipated. Existing facilities that already have this equipment will have to maintain it pursuant to the regulations. These regulations will
generally affect food service establishments.

 

Corrosives 1301:7-7-54 (previously Rule 31)

This proposed rule prescribes fire safety regulations for the storage and use of corrosive materials.

  • Non-substantive edits and clarifications were made throughout the rule.
  • All definitions were moved to Rule 2.
  • No substantive changes were made to the rule.

 

Cryogenic Fluids 1301:7-7-55 (previously Rule 32)

This proposed rule prescribes fire safety regulations for the storage, use and handling of cryogenic fluids.

  • Non-substantive edits and clarifications were made throughout the rule.
  • All definitions were moved to Rule 2.
  • Provisions regarding shutoffs between pressure relief devices and containers were amended (5503.2.6).
  • Stationary container separation requirements were amplified (Table 5504.3.1.1).

 

Flammable and Combustible Liquids 1301:7-7-57 (previously Rule 34)

This proposed rule prescribes fire safety regulations for the prevention, control and mitigation of dangerous conditions related to the storage, use, dispensing, mixing and handling of flammable and combustible liquids.

  • Non-substantive edits and clarifications were made throughout the rule.
  • All definitions were moved to Rule 2.
  • Nonapplicability provisions were enhanced (5701.2).
  • Permit requirements were modified to exempt residential heating oil tanks under 1,100 gallons and certain engine mounted tanks under 500 gallons (5701.4).
  • Class 1 electrical equipment location provisions were modified (Table 5703.1.1).
  • Tank security provisions (fencing requirements) were amended (5704.1.2).
  • Language regarding vent line flame arresters and pressure-vacuum vents was amended (5704.2.7.3.2).
  • Emergency venting provisions were amended to provide for additional exceptions (5704.2.7.4).
  • Provisions regarding above-ground tanks inside and outside buildings were modified (5704.2.9.5-5704.2.9.5).
  • Provisions regarding alcohol-based hand rubs classified as Class I or II liquids were amended (5705.5).

As noted above (see Rule 1), permit requirements for residential heating oil tanks under 1,100 gallons and certain engine mounted tanks under 500 gallons were eliminated (5701.4). This will result in a cost savings to consumers in an amount estimated to be around $75 to $100 each, respectively. Tank security provisions were amended to allow for the use of materials other than chain link fencing as was previously required (5704.1.2). This will allow consumers to choose materials that are more aesthetically pleasing with due consideration for any cost impact as their project dictates. In addition, previously required fences for certain engine mounted tanks were eliminated (5704.1.2) and will result in a cost savings for consumers. In addition to the above, fire departments and fire code officials (and other related professionals involved in fields where fire protection systems are applicable such as architects, building officials, engineers) may have to obtain the updated rules when published and receive training or conduct independent study to become familiar with the code updates. On-line versions of the rules will be available.  However, for individuals or entities who want to obtain hard copies of the rules, they will be available from the ICC for a cost of approximately $75 to $125, depending on membership status.

 

Flammable Gases and Flammable Cryogenic Fluids 1301:7-7-58 (previously Rule 35)

This proposed rule prescribes fire safety regulations for the storage and use of flammable gases and flammable cryogenic fluids.

  • Non-substantive edits and clarifications were made throughout the rule.
  • All definitions were moved to Rule 2. Scoping provisions were clarified (5801.1).
  • Special limitations for indoor storage and use provisions were amended (5803.1.1).
  • Corrosion protection maintenance and inspection records provisions were added (5806.4.8.2).
  • Metal hydride storage system provisions were amended (5807, generally).
  • Hydrogen fuel gas room provisions were added (5808, generally).

 

Flammable Solids 1301:7-7-59 (previously Rule 36)

This proposed rule prescribes fire safety regulations for the storage and use of flammable solids.

  • Non-substantive edits and clarifications were made throughout the rule.
  • All definitions were moved to Rule 2.
  • No substantive changes were made to the rule.

 

Highly Toxic and Toxic Materials 1301:7-7-60 (previously Rule 37)

This proposed rule prescribes fire safety regulations for the storage and use of highly toxic and toxic materials.

  • Non-substantive edits and clarifications were made throughout the rule.
  • All definitions were moved to Rule 2.
  • Language was added regarding gas detection system components (6004.2.2.10.1).

 

Liquefied Petroleum Gas 1301:7-7-61 (previously Rule 38)

This proposed rule prescribes fire safety regulations for the storage, handling and transportation of liquefied petroleum gas (LP-gas) and the installation of LP-gas equipment pertinent to systems for such uses.

  • Non-substantive edits and clarifications were made throughout the rule.
  • All definitions were moved to Rule 2.
  • A prohibition against roof installation was added (6104.3.1).
  • Overfilling provisions were amended (6106.2).
  • Container protection requirements were modified (6109.13).
  • Requirements regarding LP-gas cylinder exchange for resale were added (6109.15).

 

Organic Peroxides 1301:7-7-62 (previously Rule 39)

This proposed rule prescribes fire safety regulations for the storage and use of organic peroxides.

  • Non-substantive edits and clarifications were made throughout the rule.
  • All definitions were moved to Rule 2.
  • Storage distance requirements were modified (6204.1.2).
  • Standby power system provisions were modified (6204.1.11).

 

Oxidizing Materials 1301:7-7-63 (previously Rule 40)

This proposed rule prescribes fire safety regulations for the storage and use of oxidizing materials.

  • Non-substantive edits and clarifications were made throughout the rule.
  • All definitions were moved to Rule 2.
  • Class I oxidizer storage configuration language was modified (6303.2; Table 6303.2).
  • Storage conditions were amended (6304.1.5, generally, and associated tables).
  • Separation distance requirements for specified detached storage were amended (6304.1.8.1).

 

Does the regulation provide any exemptions or alternative means of compliance for small businesses? 

No. The provisions of the Ohio Fire Code are applicable for all facilities on an equal basis to ensure the safest accommodations possible for all building occupants and guests.

 

How does the agency enforces the provisions of the OFC?

Generally, the SFM enforces the provisions of the OFC through a citation process. The goal of the process is to gain compliance with the safety standards contained on the OFC. Fines and penalties are generally imposed, but often waived if a responsible party brings their facility or property into compliance with the OFC provisions. Generally, however, such fines center around other violations, not those focused on paperwork. In fact, current revisions include clarification for fire protection installer certification applicants who have had their certification revoked and therefore, may not reapply for certification for a period of two (2) years; the provisions now clearly state that applicants whose certification was denied due to paperwork omissions in the application process will not be disqualified for two years, as is the case when applicants are otherwise disqualified.

Additionally, fines would only be imposed upon issuance of a citation; the SFM typically issues citations for less than 1% of all facilities that it inspects. For most facilities, the SFM identifies fire code violations and provides an immediate notification of the deficiencies (via a report) and gives the owner an opportunity to cure. A citation is issued ONLY if the building owner fails to cure the violations in a timely manner. An exception would be required maintenance records so that compliance with testing and maintenance provisions can be verified. If such records are not maintained, they could constitute a violation of OFC requirements and could result in the imposition of fines or penalties. Again, however, such are generally waived if compliance is attained. The SFM generally prefers to see any funds that must be expended be used on achieving compliance rather than paying fines. Fines and penalties are generally reserved for the worst offenders who are either routinely non-compliant or who obstruct or refuse compliance.

 

CLICK HERE for the OH SFM source of information for this posting

 
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