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Coffee break Bulletin

Required storage distances for LPG cylinder stands

Posted: July 26, 2019

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder exchange stands are a popular feature in many big-box stores and bulk refueling areas. You can find these caged cylinders at gas stations, convenience stores, home improvement stores or supermarkets. To mitigate LPG fire or explosion risk, it’s important for code officials to make sure that sellers follow the fire code requirements for safe distances between LPG storage cabinets and other exposures.

Fire code requirements

When the total quantity of LPG is 720 pounds (326.6 kg) or less, the International Fire Code and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1, Fire Code, require cylinders awaiting resale to be:

  • At least 5 feet (1,524 mm) from entrances into buildings and LPG-dispensing facilities.
  • 10 feet (3,048 mm) from any combustible material.
  • 20 feet (6,096 mm) from motor vehicle fuel dispensers.

Both codes allow storage within 5 feet (1,524 mm) of any doorway or building opening when people have access to two means of egress, or 10 feet (3,048 mm) if only a single exit exists.

If the amount of LPG exceeds 720 pounds (326.6 kg), the separation distances increase proportionally with the amount of fuel. Both codes have tables that provide specific distances from exposures.

For additional information

Codes and regulations

Refer to International Fuel Gas Code®; NFPA 1, Chapter 69; or NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also addresses the storage and handling of LPG in 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.110.

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