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Last Updated: 2011-01-05

Combustible Fibers

Permit Holder Guideline #8

PERMIT TITLE: Combustible Fibers

CODE SECTION: (Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code) 2901.3

FEE: $150.00 (Check payable to the City of Richmond)

SCOPE: An operational permit is required for the storage and handling of combustible fibers in quantities greater than 100 cubic feet (2.8m3). Combustible fibers include readily combustible and free-burning materials in a fibrous or shredded form such as cloth, cotton, rags, wastepaper or like materials.

PERMIT EXPIRATION: ONE (1) year from date issued.

REQUIREMENTS: Permit holder agrees to abide by the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code and any special stipulations noted on permit, as well as the following:

  1. Ashes, waste, rubbish or sweepings shall not be placed in wood or other combustible receptacles and shall be removed daily from the structure.
  2. Grass or weeds shall not be allowed to accumulate at any point on the premises.
  3. A minimum clearance of 3 feet (914 mm) shall be maintained between automatic sprinklers and the top of piles.
  4. Loose combustible fibers, not in suitable bales or packages and whether housed or in the open, shall not be stored within 100 feet (30480 mm) of any structure (unless otherwise approved).
  5. Loose combustible fibers in quantities of not more than 100 cubic feet (3m3) located in a structure shall be stored in a metal or metal-lined bin equipped with a self-closing cover.
  6. Loose combustible fibers in quantities exceeding 100 cubic feet (3 m3) are limited to storage areas approved by city building (and/or zoning) code officials. A maximum of 2,500 cubic feet (70 m3) of loose combustible fibers shall be stored in a detached structure, with openings protected against entrance of sparks. The structure shall not be occupied for any other purpose.
  7. Bailed combustible fibers shall be limited to single blocks or piles not more than 25,000 cubic feet (700 m3) in volume; not including aisles or clearances. Blocks or piles of baled fiber shall be separated from adjacent storage by aisles not less than 5 feet (1524 mm) wide or by flash-fire barriers constructed of continuous sheets of noncombustible material extending from the floor to a minimum height of 1 foot (305 mm) above the highest point of the piles and projecting not less than 1 foot (305 mm) beyond the sides of the piles.
  8. Sisal and other fibers in bales bounded with combustible tie ropes, jute and other fibers that swell when wet, shall be stored to allow for expansion in any direction without affecting building walls, ceilings or columns. A minimum clearance of 3 feet (914 mm) shall be required between walls and sides of piles; except that where the storage compartment is not more than 30 feet (9144 mm) wide the minimum clearance at side walls shall be 1 foot (305 mm) provided that a center aisle not less than 5 feet (1524 mm) wide is maintained.

Contact Information:

Fire Department
City of Richmond
201 E. Franklin St.
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
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Phone: (804)646-2500

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