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Old 10-25-2015, 11:36 AM   #1
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Storage Room and Fuse Boxes


I own a fishing lodge and got the dreaded visit by the fire marshal last summer. Have been going crazy ever since with changes, modifications and upgrades to a lodge built a century ago.

Anyway, here is one that threw me and could use some advice. I have a storage room under the lodge (bank vault actually). I store stuff! Motors, tools, tackle etc. My electrician just wired the room so we have lots of power and light with a new 60 AMP service in a new panel. Looks great.

The fire marshal said because this is a storage room and in the lodge that I need to build an ENTIRE ROOM around just the panel for fire protection. What a complete waste. So I have researched to death and can't find an answer. I have found that there are full enclosures you can put around a fuse box to make them fire resistant. Can I do this and bolt it to the wall around the panel to realize the same fire protection? It seems to me it is exactly the same thing as building a room around the box, just smaller.

Any advice would be appreciated.

-FT
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Old 10-25-2015, 01:06 PM   #2
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Document everything . The Fire Marshal requested . Everything you changed .

Does that Fire Marshal Have a supervisor or is he an elected official .

If he has a supervisor , politely speak to him / her . Politely ask for chapter and verse , in black and white .

If that does not work , are you willing to take the factual documentation to the news paper , TV or radio .

Are you willing to take them to court .

Never tell a government official a lie , but never tell them any more than you have to .

Always ask them for valid paper work . The government is not your friend . You are forced to pay their wages ( taxes ) . Usually against your will .

God bless
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Old 10-25-2015, 04:06 PM   #3
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Is this in CA.?
Is this a for profit fishing lodge, open to the public where you charge a fee to come there?
Panel boxes can not just be "covered up".
http://ecmweb.com/code-basics/determ...ing-clearances
Other then there not to be in a bathroom, bedroom or closet, I've never heard of such a thing.
Not sure how it works there but here when there's a major fire we call for the power company to kill power at the pole.
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Old 10-25-2015, 04:55 PM   #4
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Simply ask him for the code section requiring this.
As long as it's not a clothes closet, or a closet for storing easily ignitable material, such as fuel or paints, this seems like an excessive demand.
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:16 PM   #5
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Being the fire marshall, it may not be an electrical code issue, but building/fire code issue.
It could be the motors, with gas I assume, that are creating the issue.
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
Being the fire marshall, it may not be an electrical code issue, but building/fire code issue.
It could be the motors, with gas I assume, that are creating the issue.
I would still ask for chapter and verse , in black and white . From NFPA , I think ?

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Old 10-26-2015, 09:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishermanTed View Post
I own a fishing lodge and got the dreaded visit by the fire marshal last summer. Have been going crazy ever since with changes, modifications and upgrades to a lodge built a century ago.

Anyway, here is one that threw me and could use some advice. I have a storage room under the lodge (bank vault actually). I store stuff! Motors, tools, tackle etc. My electrician just wired the room so we have lots of power and light with a new 60 AMP service in a new panel. Looks great.

The fire marshal said because this is a storage room and in the lodge that I need to build an ENTIRE ROOM around just the panel for fire protection. What a complete waste. So I have researched to death and can't find an answer. I have found that there are full enclosures you can put around a fuse box to make them fire resistant. Can I do this and bolt it to the wall around the panel to realize the same fire protection? It seems to me it is exactly the same thing as building a room around the box, just smaller.

Any advice would be appreciated.

-FT

I would consult with the building inspector and the electrical inspector. From the Fire Marshall's point of view he may see a potential fire hazard, However he may not know the exact building code requirements for your particular situation.

Is this a private residence or do you rent it out? The codes can vary for the usage.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:23 AM   #8
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Yes, this is a for profit fishing lodge.

I only store motors there in the winter when the power if OFF! In the summer it has my water system (tanks, filters etc.) tools and rods. Just crap I use to run well....a lodge!

Ironically this is actually a bank vault. Like 18 inch steel door with combination that still works and 12 inch reinforced concrete walls. If a fire ever was to break out it isn't going anywhere.

-FT
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:35 AM   #9
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Here is a fire proof fuse box enclosure sold on-line that I came across. Seems to achieve exactly the same results.



Thoughts?

-FT
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishermanTed View Post
Here is a fire proof fuse box enclosure sold on-line that I came across. Seems to achieve exactly the same results.



Thoughts?

-FT
Show it to the Fire Marshall to see if he will accept it.
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishermanTed View Post
Yes, this is a for profit fishing lodge.

I only store motors there in the winter when the power if OFF! In the summer it has my water system (tanks, filters etc.) tools and rods. Just crap I use to run well....a lodge!

Ironically this is actually a bank vault. Like 18 inch steel door with combination that still works and 12 inch reinforced concrete walls. If a fire ever was to break out it isn't going anywhere.

-FT
Since you store motors that probably have residual gasoline in them in a room with no ventilation, the Fire Marshall may be considering this a hazardous location. In which case different rules apply. By any chance did you have the new 60 amp electrical panel and wiring inspected upon completion?
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Old 10-26-2015, 01:55 PM   #12
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You need to ask the fire Marshall for a plain English description of what the problem is. After he explains it, ask him for the options for alleviating he concerns.

While you are asking about fire proofing, his concern may be explosion proofing. They are two different problems.

Sometimes you can fix these issues simply by finding alternative storage space for the offending item(s).
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