Chapter 38 - Marijuana Growing, Processing, or Extraction Facilities was added to the 2018 Edition of NFPA 1.
They also published an article on 2016 about the challenges associated with these type of spaces in the NFPA Journal. The cover of that issue was graced by marijuana leaves. I left it on my desk. It was was a great conversation starter.
RE: "It was a great conversation starter." LOL!! I can only imagine...
If you are specifically talking about the grow areas then you would just treat this as:
Agricultural facility - NFPA13 A5.3.2 - Ordinary Hazard Group II.
However, look into their processes as well make sure they are not conducting extraction using flammables which would need to be evaluated separately.
Its funny I have seen a wide range of requirements for protection of this. "Because it carries the name of Marijuana It must be more dangerous."
I am dealing with an F1 (OH2) Grow Facility that uses 4'x40' moveable steel racks with 4 levels up to 16ft. The racks when stored together will have a width of 16 ft. The plants are cultivated on 4x8 thin plastic catch trays on top of trellis style shelves. The Room has a 75% Humidity Control System. I doubt anything will even burn inside this State of the Art Grow Room with such a high humidity Level. We have suggested to the owner to lower the height to 3 shelves high to maintain a 12ft storage height. However, the Fire Marshal is concerned about floor coverage due to the trays. Has anyone come across similar conditions? Suggestions on where to go from here would be helpful.
Thank you in advance.
From NFSA article - Feb 2020
“In Good Health” a medical/recreational marijuana grow facility occupies approximately 60,000 sq.ft. of manufacturing, office and retail space in a one-story masonry and steel structure.
When the business first occupied the property, it was sub-divided into several tenant spaces and only half the building had fire sprinkler coverage. As the business has expanded and grown, the fire sprinkler system has been extended to fully protect the building and occupants.
The Brockton Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division worked with local Building Officials and the business partners to review the plans and proposed use, as well as the existing structure, to assure compliance with the State Building Code and NFPA 13.
One of the areas that concerned Deputy Chief Ed Williams, Fire Inspector with Brockton Fire, were the grow tables which had the ability to slide back and forth creating a ‘barrier’ or ‘obstruction’ for the fire sprinkler discharge and an ‘unprotected’ space beneath the tables.
After discussion with code officials and the fire sprinkler contractor, the solution was to install sprinkler heads under the table surfaces, thus fully protecting the area. The installation was performed by Yankee Fire Sprinkler of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
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