What is a High Pile Storage Permit?

So, what exactly is a High Pile Storage Permit?

Creating a safe warehouse doesn’t just stop after purchasing pallet racking or other industrial storage material. High Pile Storage Permits are needed for warehouses or businesses that intend to stock inventory over a pre-determined height.

Pacific Bend Inc. understands the confusion surround permits and licensing that come with storing and stocking high pile inventory so we’re breaking down everything you need to know about High Pile Storage Permits.

When is a High Pile Storage Permit required?

A High Pile Storage Permit is required when a building or portion thereof intends to store commodities in excess of 12 ft. for an area greater than 500 sq. ft., as dictated by Section 105.6.22, Chapter 23, or when required by the Fire Marshal.

Please note: Height requirements can vary by city and state so be sure to research into the local requirement for specific instructions.

High Pile Storage Permits require a bi-annual renewal or when any substantial changes influence stock arrangement or a stock is made. Please note, there might be additional requirements for renewal aside from the reasons listed above so it is absolutely vital that you thoroughly read through your permit regulations and guidelines.

Minimum Requirements 
When submitting your permit application for approval, there are a few additional documents and requirements to submit as well. Most places require both a site plan and a floor plan.
A site plan typically consists of a scaled plan that shows the entire building, including exits, fire access lanes, fire hydrants and fire sprinkler risers. A scaled floor plan shows the location and dimensions of the High Pile storage area, location of the racks and access door locations.

The plans typically include the following:

  • Floor plan of the building showing locations and dimensions of high-piled storage areas.
  • Usable storage height for each storage area and the maximum ceiling height.
  • Number of tiers within each rack, if applicable.
  • Commodity clearance between top of storage and the sprinkler deflector for each storage arrangement.
  • Aisle dimensions between each storage array.
  • Maximum pile volume (cubic feet) for each storage array.
  • Show the locations of where specific products will be stored.
  • Indicate if any of the products will be non-encapsulated or encapsulated.
    • Encapsulated is a method of packaging consisting of a plastic sheet completely enclosing the sides and top of a pallet load. The term encapsulated does not apply to banding or individual plastic-enclosed items inside a large nonplastic-enclosed container.
  • Location of required fire department access doors.
  • Type of fire suppression system and fire detection systems.
    • Wet fire sprinkler system
      • Sprinkler design density (located on the fire sprinkler riser)
      •  Fire sprinkler temperature for each type (in the spare head box next to the fire sprinkler riser)
      •  In-rack fire sprinklers and how many levels
    • Hose cabinet locations
    • Smoke detectors and/or heat detectors
  • Type, location and specifications of smoke removal. Must include details of the smoke and heat vents.
  • Dimensions and locations of transverse and longitudinal flue spaces.
    • Transverse flue space is the space between rows of storage parallel to the direction of loading.
    • Longitudinal flue space is the space between rows of storage perpendicular to the direction of loading.
  • Curtain board locations and the depth.
    • Curtain board is a structure arranged to limit the spread of smoke and heat along the ceiling. Curtain boards are sometimes referred to as draft stops.
Note: Most cities require a minimum of three (3) copies of site plans and floor plans along with the application. 

Emergency Contacts 

Some High Pile Storage Permit requires two (2) emergency contacts at the time of your application submission.

Additional Requirements 
Requirements vary from city-to-city so be sure to check and see if there are any additional requirements your city requires.

Some of the examples of additional requirements: a letter of intent that explains the warehouse procedures, products stored or am Evacuation Plans will be required along with other plans available.

Any changes to your warehouse or inventory management will likely require re-submission. Be sure to check with your local city before beginning any high storage racking to learn the specific requirements your city and state have.