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Steel favored for storage of flammables

Steel containers should be used for storage of flammable liquids, according to proposed revisions of the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Code 30.

The revised code is expected to be adopted by NFPA's Board of Directors in March. NFPA's standards do not have the force of law, but are commonly incorporated into state and local fire codes. The revised code contains new definitions of "protected storage" based upon extensive testing and real-life experience of steel containers in warehouse fires. Code 30 states that the steel containers should have ventable ports, be stored vertically and in racks. NFPA revised its code at the urging of the insurance industry and manufacturers of flammable products. It reviewed test data from the past 15 years and fires in which various types of containers containing flammables were involved. "The revised code provides a significant improvement in the level of protection," said Rich Norment, executive director of the Steel Shipping Container Institute. "In addition, because it reduces the probability of catastrophic fire, it reduces insurance rates."

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