From: Bob Benedetti (email@example.com)
To: Jon Lips (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sunday, June 8, 2008, 9:35 PM
Good day, Mr. Lips:
I have reviewed the questions posed in your inquiry regarding the ITZAGasCan one-time use emergency gasoline container, as well as the several email messages regarding this product that you either sent to me directly or which you sent to me as a copy. I have also reviewed the provisions of the 2008 editions of both NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, and NFPA 30A, Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages, as they pertain to this product.
1. Regarding the application of NFPA 30 to this product:
Chapter 9 of NFPA 30 is the general
chapter on storage of liquids in containers, portable containers, and
intermediate bulk containers. Strictly by virtue of its capacity (about 1
gallon), this product would come under the definition of "container",
i.e., a vessel intended for the storage of liquids that does not exceed 119
gallons capacity. Subsection 9.1.1 sets forth the scope of Chapter:
9.1.1 This chapter shall apply to the storage of flammable and combustible liquids, hereinafter referred to as "liquids," in:
(1) Drums or other containers that do not exceed 119 gal (450 L) individual capacity
(2) Portable tanks that do not exceed 660 gal (2500 L) individual capacity
(3) Intermediate bulk containers that do not exceed 793 gal (3000 L)
In my opinion, the key here is the phrase "storage of flammable and combustible liquids . . . in". The provisions of Chapter 9, as well as those of subsequent chapters 10 through 16, are concerned with storage of liquids in containers, etc. in buildings or other structures and also outdoors. It is also my opinion that the provisions presume that the vessels used store the liquids for some period of time (undefined) or that the liquids have been shipped from some location to their point of storage, i.e., the container, etc. is suitable for transportation purposes.
NFPA 30 is silent about one-time use containers for consumer use, such as the ITZAGasCan. Such a container has never been considered by the Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code Committee. It is not specifically allowed; but it is not specifically disallowed, either. In a case such as this, the issue usually must be resolved at the local or state level by the authority having jurisdiction.
In addition, Section 9.4 establishes which containers, portable tanks, and intermediate bulk containers are considered by NFPA 30 to be suitable for storage and it establishes the allowable capacity for the various classes of flammable and combustible liquids. For containers, etc, used to transport liquids, NFPA 30 generally recognizes vessels authorized by the U. S. Department of Transportation for shipping flammable and combustible liquids. I say "generally" because DOT allows some flammable liquids to be transported in vessels of a type that NFPA 30 does not allow to be placed in a building. An example: DOT allows the use of fibre drums for shipping certain Class IC liquids. Storing Class IC liquids in such containers is not allowed by NFPA 30, as shown in Table 9.4.3. Note, again, that the thrust of Section 9.4 is storage of the liquids for some period of time. While it is true that some of these vessels might be one-time use only (e.g., the aforementioned fibre drum), the recognition granted by NFPA 30 presumes these containers, etc. will be in storage for a finite period of time.
As described in your information, the ITZAGasCan is not intended for storage at all and its design tends to make such use difficult.
Paragraph 9.4.1(2) pertains to the type of containers that are typically used by consumers to store hydrocarbon fuels. All of these are meant for repeated use and would not apply to the ITZAGasCan. Paragraph 9.4.1(2) does not recognize a product like the ITZAGasCan, specifically, but there is no mention of such a product, either. In the twenty plus years I have been Staff Liaison to the Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code Committee, there has never been discussion of such a product.
Finally, this product's sole use, as you describe, is to allow a consumer to assemble the container, fill it with fuel, and bring the fuel to his or her vehicle to provide just enough fuel to get to a service station. This sort of activity was written out of NFPA 30 in 1984, with the development of NFPA 30A, Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages, and the subsequent establishment of the Technical Committee on Automotive and Marine Service Stations.
Based on the above, I can only conclude that such a product is not at this time within the scope of NFPA 30. Therefore, my opinion is that the ITZAGasCan does not come within the scope of NFPA 30 at this time.
(Whether NFPA 30 should cover such a product is a matter for discussion by the Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code Committee, specifically the NFPA 30 Technical Committee on Storage and Warehousing of Containers and Portable Tanks.
2. Regarding the application of NFPA 30A to this product:
Paragraph 188.8.131.52 of NFPA 30A states:
"184.108.40.206 Class I or Class II liquids shall not be dispensed into portable containers unless the container is constructed of metal or is approved by the authority having jurisdiction, has a tight closure, and is fitted with a spout or so designed that the contents can be poured without spilling. The hose nozzle valve shall be manually held open during the dispensing operation."
This provision of NFPA 30A very clearly states that the authority having jurisdiction may permit the use of a container other than a metal one. Absent any other definitive language in this paragraph, a one-time use container such as the ITZAGasCan could be used if permitted by the authority having jurisdiction. Therefore, my opinion is that, in this sense, Paragraph 220.127.116.11 does apply to this product.
3. Regarding any other NFPA code or standard that might apply to the ITZAGasCan:
I am not aware of any other NFPA document that might apply to this product, but I am not in a position to declare that no other document does.
Please understand that this response to your inquiry is a personal opinion and does not constitute a Formal Interpretation of the NFPA, as noted below and as described in Section 6 of NFPA's Regulations Governing Committee Projects. It is not to be relied upon to definitively determine compliance with any laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations. To determine the adequacy or safety of any device or installation, you should consult with an appropriate professional. To determine legal compliance, you should refer to the appropriate authority having jurisdiction or seek legal advice.
I hope this response is helpful. If you have any other questions, please call or write. I will be happy to assist.
R. P. Benedetti
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This correspondence is not a Formal Interpretation issued pursuant to NFPA Regulations. Any opinion expressed is the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the official position of the NFPA or its Technical Committees. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services.
Robert P. Benedetti, CSP, PE
Principal Flammable Liquids Engineer
National Fire Protection Association
1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02169-7471
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From: JON LIPS [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 4:07 PM
To: Benedetti, Bob
I have a couple questions I would like your informal opinion on.
1. Does the ItzaGasCan one-time use emergency gas can fall under the intent NFPA 30?
2. Does the ItzaGasCan one-time use emergency gas can fall under the intent NFPA 30A?
3. Does the ItzaGasCan one-time use emergency gas can fall under the intent of any other NFPA code?
Can you explain your beliefs in how the ItzaGasCan should be treated with relation to filling and using as intended.
L&W Innovations, LLC
This e-mail transmission, and any documents, files or previous e-mail messages attached to it may contain information that is confidential or legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, or a person responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you must not read this transmission and that any disclosure, copying, printing, distribution or use of any of the information contained in or attached to this transmission is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please immediately notify the sender by telephone or return e-mail and delete the original transmission and its attachments without reading or saving in any manner. Thank you.