Q: In regards to storing flammable liquids, NFPA 30 says no more than 120 gallons can be stored in a fire compartment. Does a fire-rated cabinet act as its own fire compartment? If we want to store more than 120 gallons in a single room, can we use multiple fire-rated cabinets to store them if we don’t exceed 120 gallons per cabinet?
A: You can have multiple fire-rated cabinets in the same room, but according to NFPA 30-2012, section 220.127.116.11 says you cannot have more than 120 gallons of Class IB flammable liquids (such as alcohol-based hand rub product) in any one fire compartment (or in a smoke compartment). A fire-rated cabinet is not acceptable in lieu of a fire compartment, but a fire-rated cabinet is acceptable in lieu of a 2-hour fire-rated room. Anything outside of the 120 gallons would need to be stored in another separate fire compartment.
Brad Keyes, CHSP, is the owner of KEYES Life Safety Compliance, and his expertise is in the management of the Life Safety Program, including the Environment of Care and Emergency Management programs.