fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

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flcracker
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fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by flcracker » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:06 pm

Do we have a licensed/certified Florida Fire Inspector on board here?

I'm interested in the specifics of small arms ammunition storage per Florida Fire Code and National Fire Prevention Act rules & guidelines.

Even though I think that most of us firearms enthusiasts understand completely that small arms cartridges exposed to a house fire will not propel bullets or shrapnel at hazardous velocities and there are plenty of studies that show that - unlike in the movies - the only cartridges that will "fire" a bullet at a lethal velocity in a fire are those chambered into a gun barrel, that doesn't mean that our local Fire Departments will act according to that knowledge. I know a man here in our town who watched his house burn to the ground because the fire department would not approach the house closely enough to put out the fire due to "exploding bullets".

I'm wondering what it would take to convince the local Fire Inspector to certify my ammo storage as being "acceptable" so that there wouldn't be another such misunderstanding in the unfortunate event that I had a fire at my house. I could not find any clear and easy way to find out the "rule" on ammunution storage via Google.

A welder told me that the raw materials (1/4-in steel plate) to build a cabinet 2ft x 3-1/2 ft x 4 ft would cost nearly $1000, plus labor. Surely there's something out there that would satisfy the Fire Inspector at a lower cost? :-k
and some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony road-makers run daft - they say it is to see how the warld was made!

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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by PAdave » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:37 pm

You don't want a welded steel cabinet in a fire. It will act like an oven. You want heat resistant materials such as drywall or fire rated drywall. Several layers of it it, completely surrounding the ammo. Even better with a sprinkler installed above it. Also I don't know where your welder is paying 1000$ for roughly 62 square feet of 1/4" steel, but that is way high, unless maybe bought retail online...

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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by flcracker » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:53 pm

I'm not as worried about protecting the ammo from the fire as I am about convincing the FIre Inspector that the ammo won't cause a hazard to the fire fighters on-scene. It's not my ammo I'm worried about - it's the rest of the house burning down with the fire fighters standing there watching that would sorta piss me off. [smilie=014.gif]

Come to think about it.... my welder may have said "about $700 for the materials, plus labor would bring it to about $1000"....
and some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony road-makers run daft - they say it is to see how the warld was made!

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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by Rentprop1 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:38 pm

flcracker wrote:
Even though I think that most of us firearms enthusiasts understand completely that small arms cartridges exposed to a house fire will not propel bullets or shrapnel at hazardous velocities and there are plenty of studies that show that - unlike in the movies - the only cartridges that will "fire" a bullet at a lethal velocity in a fire are those chambered into a gun barrel, that doesn't mean that our local Fire Departments will act according to that knowledge. I know a man here in our town who watched his house burn to the ground because the fire department would not approach the house closely enough to put out the fire due to "exploding bullets".
from this statement, some things are better left unsaid [smilie=033.gif] [smilie=033.gif] [smilie=033.gif]

what if you were not home to notify the FD that there was any ammo in there in the first place ??? :-k

I get that you wanna do the right thing and not harm any firefighters, but you also don't want any B.S. excuses when most of the structure could be saved.........right. ??

I'm more worried about the tanks of Oxy and acetylene stored in my garage for the welder.
In the days of the old west a 6 shooter was as common as cell phones are today and just annoying if they go off in a theater.

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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by flcracker » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:12 pm

Rentprop1 wrote:what if you were not home to notify the FD that there was any ammo in there in the first place ??? :-k
The firefighters were "notified" of the ammo in the man's house when it started cooking off. Mind you, no bullets were zinging through the air, but the "pops" were definitely audible. When they heard the ammo cook off, they retreated to the curb and turned their hoses on the fence to keep the fire from spreading, but they wouldn't approach the house to try to save it.

It's not that I "want to do the right thing" - I firmly believe that no firefighters would be at risk. However, if THEY feel that they are at risk, they shut down. What I'm thinking about is getting a "pre-approval" of sorts from the local Fire Marshall acknowledging that they agree that my ammo is stored in such a way that they won't hesitate to continue trying to put out the fire once they hear some ammo cooking off.
and some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony road-makers run daft - they say it is to see how the warld was made!

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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by IraG2362 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:36 pm

I will crack open my code book, but to my recollection residential/non commercial doesn't really have any major restrictions that come to mind. Even in Commercial it is sought of lax , look at any gun store and the ammo is either on shelves for easy purchase or stacked up some where. As long as it is no where near a heat source I believe your fine.
As for the Fire Inspector approving it, I think you will be left still on your own, as an Inspector I would never give my seal of approval on it as it opens up a whole hornets nest if it does go off in a fire. I recall years ago when an engine was hit by ammo set off in a structure fire. Him approving it would leave him and his city/county open to liability if the ammo hurt a neighbor or first responder. If you build a room using Type “X” fire-code drywall that is 5/8th inch thick has a minimum fire rating of 1 hour, which is a requirement for most building codes. I think you would be safe and keep others safe also. Maybe vent it on top to prevent heat build up. I hope this helps..
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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by kope007 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:26 pm

Local authorities having jurisdiction (AhJ-fire inspectors) have no jurisdiction over one or two family dwellings. Only commercial structures or multi-family residential.
If you live in an apartment/condo/townhome community which you own, its a gray area and ussually comes down to local ordinance/policy on whether they can even inspect the inside of the structure.

Basically if you live on your own home you can bolt all the doors and windows shut and sleep on top of ammo crates.

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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by IraG2362 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:28 pm

I was going to mention that about the single family homes, but got distracted..lol very good points.
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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by flcracker » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:51 pm

Maybe it's better to just keep a set of as-builts with the papers you'd grab on the way out of a house fire to share with the on-site Incident Commander? :-k
and some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony road-makers run daft - they say it is to see how the warld was made!

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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by kope007 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:08 pm

FYI
NFPA 495 explosive material code
Ch 14 small arms ammunition...
14.2.3-...shall be separated from dot classified flammable liquids, solids...15 ft or 1 hour fire resistant rating...

And a couple other things that don't apply to average folks.

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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by g34man » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:01 am

Here is the link for the 2005 NFPA. THey do however have a 2011 out i have a copy but not a link for it. This is a guideline and not the "law." Goto chapter 14.5.6 and you will have some answers. Note that regular joes should not have more than 10,000 primers at home. It is up to your fire inspector on how strict they will be. They may require you to have a fire supression system as well.

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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by Rentprop1 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:40 am

g34man wrote: Note that regular joes should not have more than 10,000 primers at home.

I'm LMAO at this, I think I have a bout 80,000 currently [smilie=011.gif]
In the days of the old west a 6 shooter was as common as cell phones are today and just annoying if they go off in a theater.

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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by ger42 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:56 am

Am I correct in assuming I should not be storing primers, powder and ammo in the same cabinet?
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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by poloboy821 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:55 am

Honestly with the current market value , i would remove all truely important items fromt he structure, then when the fd arrives say " fyi i have tons of ammo all over my house WATCH OUT!" that way they just let it burn to the ground and you can cash out your home insurance [smilie=011.gif] [smilie=011.gif] [smilie=011.gif] [smilie=011.gif]
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Re: fire inspectors - ammo storage rules?

Post by thorazine » Tue May 08, 2012 2:25 pm

flcracker wrote:unlike in the movies - the only cartridges that will "fire" a bullet at a lethal velocity in a fire are those chambered into a gun barrel
CLIP!!

Clipity clapidy!

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