"Navigating LA County Code:
High-Piled Combustible
Storage Permits"

LA County Code

High-piled combustible storage. An operational permit is required to use any building or portion thereof as a high-piled storage area exceeding 500 square feet (46 m2). In addition to any of the requirements of Chapter 32 of this code, a letter describing the type and amount of material to be stored and the method of storage, plus a floor plan showing the dimension and location of the stockpiles and aisles shall be submitted with applications for such permits.

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Section 3201 General
3201.1 Scope

High-piled combustible storage shall be in accordance with this chapter. In addition to the requirements of this chapter, the following material-specific requirements shall apply:

Aerosols shall be in accordance with Chapter 51.
Flammable and combustible liquids shall be in accordance with Chapter 57.
Hazardous materials shall be in accordance with Chapter 50.
Storage of combustible paper records shall be in accordance with NFPA 13.
Storage of combustible fibers shall be in accordance with Chapter 37.
General storage of combustible material shall be in accordance with Chapter 3.

3201.2 Permits

A permit shall be required as set forth in Section 105.6.

3201.3 Construction documents

At the time of building permit application for new structures designed to accommodate high-piled storage or for requesting a change of occupancy/use, and at the time of application for a storage permit, plans and specifications shall be submitted for review and approval. In addition to the information required by the California Building Code, the storage permit submittal shall include the information specified in this section. Following approval of the plans, a copy of the approved plans shall be maintained on the premises in an approved location. The plans shall include all of the following:

Floor plan of the building showing locations and dimensions of high-piled storage areas.
Usable storage height for each storage area.
Number of tiers within each rack, if applicable.
Commodity clearance between top of storage and the sprinkler deflector for each storage arrangement.
Aisle dimensions between each storage array.
Maximum pile volume for each storage array.
Location and classification of commodities in accordance with Section 3203.
Location of commodities that are banded or encapsulated.
Location of required fire department access doors.
Type of fire suppression and fire detection systems.
Location of valves controlling the water supply of ceiling and in-rack sprinklers.
Type, location and specifications of smoke removal and curtain board systems.
Dimension and location of transverse and longitudinal flue spaces.
Additional information regarding required design features, commodities, storage arrangement and fire protection features within the high-piled storage area shall be provided at the time of permit, when required by the fire code official.

3201.4 Evacuation plan

Where required by the fire code official, an evacuation plan for public accessible areas and a separate set of plans indicating location and width of aisles, location of exits, exit access doors, exit signs, height of storage, and locations of hazardous materials shall be submitted at the time of permit application for review and approval. Following approval of the plans, a copy of the approved plans shall be maintained on the premises in an approved location.










Section 3203 Commodity Classification

3203.1 Classification of commodities

Section 3202 Definitions

3202.1 Definitions

The following terms are defined in Chapter 2:








Commodities shall be classified as Class I, II, III, IV or high hazard in accordance with this section. Materials listed within each commodity classification are assumed to be unmodified for improved combustibility characteristics. Use of flame-retarding modifiers or the physical form of the material could change the classification. See Section 3203.7 for classification of Group A, B and C plastics.

3203.2 Class I commodities

Class I commodities are essentially noncombustible products on wooden pallets, in ordinary corrugated cartons with or without single-thickness dividers, or in ordinary paper wrappings with or without pallets. Class I commodities are allowed to contain a limited amount of Group A plastics in accordance with Section 3203.7.4. Examples of Class I commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Class II commodities are Class I products in slatted wooden crates, solid wooden boxes, multiple-thickness paperboard cartons or equivalent combustible packaging material with or without pallets. Class II commodities are allowed to contain a limited amount of Group A plastics in accordance with Section 3203.7.4. Examples of Class II commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Alcoholic beverages not exceeding 20-percent alcohol, in combustible containers
Foods in combustible containers
Incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs in cartons
Thinly coated fine wire on reels or in cartons

3203.4 Class III commodities

Alcoholic beverages not exceeding 20-percent alcohol
Appliances noncombustible, electrical
Cement in bags
Dairy products in nonwax-coated containers (excluding bottles)
Dry insecticides
Foods in noncombustible containers
Fresh fruits and vegetables in nonplastic trays or containers
Frozen foods
Glycol in metal cans
Gypsum board
Inert materials, bagged
Insulation, noncombustible
Noncombustible liquids in plastic containers having less than a 5-gallon (19 L) capacity
Noncombustible metal products

3203.3 Class II commodities

Class III commodities are commodities of wood, paper, natural fiber cloth, or Group C plastics or products thereof, with or without pallets. Products are allowed to contain limited amounts of Group A or B plastics, such as metal bicycles with plastic handles, pedals, seats and tires. Group A plastics shall be limited in accordance with Section 3203.7.4. Examples of Class III commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Aerosol, Level 1 (see Chapter 51)
Biomass briquettes, bagged, and static piles
Biomass pellets, bagged, and static piles
Combustible fiberboard
Cork, baled
Corn cobs, static piles
Corn stover, baled and chopped
Feed, bagged
Fertilizers, bagged
Food in plastic containers
Forest residue, round wood or chipped (branches, bark, cross-cut ends, edgings and treetops)
Furniture: wood, natural fiber, upholstered, non-plastic, wood or metal with plastic-padded and covered armrests
Glycol in combustible containers not exceeding 25 percent
Lubricating or hydraulic fluid in metal cans
Mattresses, excluding foam rubber and foam plastics
Noncombustible liquids in plastic containers having a capacity of more than 5 gallons (19 L)
Paints, oil base, in metal cans
Paper, waste, baled
Paper and pulp, horizontal storage, or vertical storage that is banded or protected with approved wrap
Paper in cardboard boxes
Peanut hulls, bagged, and static piles
Pillows, excluding foam rubber and foam plastics
Plastic-coated paper food containers

Rags, baled
Recovered construction wood
Rice hulls, bagged, and static piles
Rugs, without foam backing
Seasonal grasses, baled and chopped
Straw, baled
Sugar, bagged
Wood, baled
Wood chips, bagged, and static piles
Woody biomass, round wood or chipped (vase-shaped stubby bushes, bamboo, willows; branches, bark and stem wood)
Wood doors, frames and cabinets
Wood pellets, bagged, and static piles
Yarns of natural fiber and viscose

3203.5 Class IV commodities

Class IV commodities are Class I, II or III products containing Group A plastics in ordinary corrugated cartons and Class I, II and III products with Group A plastic packaging, with or without pallets. Group B plastics and free-flowing Group A plastics are also included in this class. The total amount of non-free-flowing Group A plastics shall be in accordance with Section 3203.7.4. Examples of Class IV commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Aerosol, Level 2 (see Chapter 51)
Alcoholic beverages, exceeding 20-percent but less than 80-percent alcohol, in cans or bottles in cartons
Clothing, synthetic or non-viscose
Combustible metal products (solid)
Furniture, plastic upholstered
Furniture, wood or metal with plastic covering and padding
Glycol in combustible containers (greater than 25 percent and less than 50 percent)
Linoleum products
Paints, oil base in combustible containers
Pharmaceutical, alcoholic elixirs, tonics, etc.
Rugs, foam back
Shingles, asphalt
Thread or yarn, synthetic or non-viscose

3203.6 High-hazard commodities

High-hazard commodities are high-hazard products presenting special fire hazards beyond those of Class I, II, III or IV. Group A plastics not otherwise classified are included in this class. Examples of high-hazard commodities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Aerosol, Level 3 (see Chapter 51)
Alcoholic beverages, exceeding 80-percent alcohol, in bottles or cartons
Commodities of any class in plastic containers in carousel storage
Flammable solids (except solid combustible metals)
Glycol in combustible containers (50 percent or greater)
Lacquers that dry by solvent evaporation, in metal cans or cartons
Lubricating or hydraulic fluid in plastic containers
Mattresses, foam rubber or foam plastics

Pallets and flats that are idle combustible
Paper and pulp, rolled, in vertical storage that is unbanded or not protected with an approved wrap
Paper, asphalt, rolled, horizontal storage
Paper, asphalt, rolled, vertical storage
Pillows, foam rubber and foam plastics
Rubber tires
Vegetable oil and butter in plastic containers

3203.7 Classification of plastics

Plastics shall be designated as Group A, B or C in accordance with Sections 3203.7.1 through 3203.7.4.

3203.7.1 Group A plastics

Group A plastics are plastic materials having a heat of combustion that is much higher than that of ordinary combustibles, and a burning rate higher than that of Group B plastics. Examples of Group A plastics include, but are not limited to, the following:

ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer)
Acetal (polyformaldehyde)
Acrylic (polymethyl methacrylate)
Butyl rubber
EPDM (ethylene propylene rubber)
FRP (fiberglass-reinforced polyester)
Natural rubber (expanded)
Nitrile rubber (acrylonitrile butadiene rubber)
PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)

Polyester elastomer
Polystyrene (expanded and unexpanded)
Polyurethane (expanded and unexpanded)
PVC (polyvinyl chloride greater than 15-percent plasticized, e.g., coated fabric unsupported film)
SAN (styrene acrylonitrile)
SBR (styrene butadiene rubber)

3203.7.2 Group B plastics

Group B plastics are plastic materials having a heat of combustion and a burning rate higher than that of ordinary combustibles, but not as high as those of Group A plastics. Examples of Group B plastics include, but are not limited to, the following:

Cellulosics (cellulose acetate, cellulose acetate butyrate, ethyl cellulose)
Chloroprene rubber
Fluoroplastics (ECTFE, ethylene-chlorotrifluoroethylene copolymer; ETFE, ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene copolymer; FEP, fluorinated ethylene-propylene copolymer)
Natural rubber (nonexpanded)
Nylon (Nylon 6, Nylon 6/6)
PVC (polyvinyl chloride greater than 5-percent, but not exceeding 15-percent plasticized)
Silicone rubber

3203.7.3 Group C plastics

Group C plastics are plastic materials having a heat of combustion and a burning rate similar to those of ordinary combustibles. Examples of Group C plastics include, but are not limited to, the following:

Fluoroplastics (PCTFE, polychlorotrifluoroethylene; PTFE, polytetrafluoroethylene)
Melamine (melamine formaldehyde)
PVC (polyvinyl chloride, rigid or plasticized less than 5 percent, e.g., pipe, pipe fittings)
PVDC (polyvinylidene chloride)
PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride)
PVF (polyvinyl fluoride)
Urea (urea formaldehyde)