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What is NFPA 30?
NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, published by the National Fire Protection Association, provides safeguards to reduce the hazards associated with the storage, handling and use of flammable and combustible liquids. Free online access to NFPA 30

Where is NFPA 30 the law?
NFPA 30 is enforceable under building and fire prevention codes in the following states: AL, AZ, AK, CA, CO, CN, FL, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OR, RI, TX, UT, VA, VT and WI. It is also enforceable in several local jurisdictions. Other avenues of enforcement may include Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Rules for safe storage of combustible and flammable liquids
Chapters 9, 12 and 16 of NFPA 30, also the law in most states, apply to storage of combustible and flammable liquids. Generally, flammable liquids (flash point below 100°F) should never be placed in a plastic IBC of any type, listed or unlisted. Combustible liquids should never be placed in an unlisted composite IBC.

Identifying NFPA 30 Compliance

The following steps can help those responsible for the storage of combustible and flammable fluids identify NFPA 30 compliance:

1. Determine whether the IBC is in or will eventually enter a protected facility

  • One that uses increased sprinkler and protections defined by NFPA 30.

2. Identify the liquids to be stored

  • NFPA 30 Class I (flammable – flash point <100°F)
  • NFPA 30 Class II (combustible – flash point 100°F up to 140°F)
  • Class III (combustible – flash point 140°F and higher)

3, Identify the IBC material

  • Identify if the IBC is metal, plastic or composite. If it is plastic or composite, determine if it is listed and labeled.

4, Determine if the IBC material is appropriate for storage of its contents in the protect facility

  • If any Class I liquids are stored or received in composite IBCs, switch to metal IBCs.
  • If any Class II or Class III liquids are stored or received in unlisted IBCs, you can comply with NFPA 30 by switching to listed composite or metal IBCs.

It is important to know other fire properties, such as fire point may also govern storage of combustible and flammable fluids. Always look beyond the flashpoint and assess the chemical composition of the liquids contained in the IBC to better assess the risk.

Sponsored by The Fire Protection Research Foundation and Property Insurance Research Group