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It is quickly becoming the norm in the US for warehouse buildings to be required to have a high-piled storage permit before they begin storing material.  These permits are for buildings with storage over 12 feet above the finished floor (AFF), and in some cases over 6 feet AFF, in an area over 500 square feet.  Any authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) can dictate this requirement per Section 105.6 of the International Fire Code.  In addition, the submittal of a high-piled permit is an annual requirement in certain municipalities. The information required for submission to the AHJ for this permit can be found in the High-Piled Storage Chapter of the International Fire Code. The AHJ may require only a written report that includes all information from this chapter, but may also require a high-piled floor plan drawing showing the details from the report. In many cases, the permit drawings and report must be prepared and stamped by a registered Professional Engineer.  The Fire Protection International Consortium, Inc. (FPI) is available to assist you in the preparation of the report and any required floor plan drawings.

To prepare the high-piled storage report and drawings the FPI will determine the following:
•    The commodity classification of your products.
•    The required fire sprinkler design criteria.
•    Fire Code storage requirements to include, issues like fire department vehicle access, fire fighter doors and smoke vents.
•    Storage configuration compliance with the code regarding egress travel, and proper number of exits.

It is a prudent business practice to have this done before you lease or purchase a building or at least before your submission of a rack permit.  With FPI preparing these drawings, we will first collect all of the data required for your high-piled permit, and alert you to any fire protection or life safety issues before you submit for your high-piled storage permit.


Without receiving the permit ahead of time, the city can come back and require changes to your original storage plan. Changes that can potentially cost you thousands of dollars in building upgrades that can hold up your company’s business operations for weeks, or sometimes months.  When new phases of rack are added in the future, you will have to update your existing high-piled permit to reflect the new racking. Consider a high-piled permit a clean bill of health for your facility. Providing a safe and efficient atmosphere to work in, with adequate protection from fire.

So, before you lease your new storage facility or make changes to your existing one, remember that there is a very good chance that you will be asked to submit for a high-piled permit.  You may want to take on this task yourself and not hire a fire protection specialist to do it for you, but without an experienced professional on your team it could end up costing you  more time and money in the end.  Leverage our years of experience assisting our clients with their high-piled permits needs.  


For more information, contact FPI for a quote.  We have professional staff located across the country, and we will go where you need us.  Call us today.

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