FIRE MARSHALL MAKES CHANGES TO CODE, CHEMICAL SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS NO LONGER REQUIRED AT CNG STATIONS
The previous version of the Ohio Fire Code required all unmanned public facilities to have fixed chemical suppression. A number of groups including Clean Fuels Ohio met with the State Fire Marshall to urge the change of this rule. Despite initial skepticism, the Fire Marshall’s office researched the issue, met with industry experts and came to the conclusion that a change was needed. The new code requires a fire detection device that is tied into an emergency shut down system and will notify the local fire department.
“We are extremely pleased that Marshall Hussey accepted many of the suggested changes to the code,” said Sam Spofforth, Executive Director for Clean Fuels Ohio. “Because of the leadership the Marshall has shown, it will make more financial sense to build much needed CNG infrastructure around our State. Clean Fuels Ohio has worked on this issue along with our CNG partners for nearly 5 years and we are grateful that the Marshall listened and addressed our concerns.”
According to industry experts, there were significant problems with the former version of the Ohio Fire Code. Chemical suppression would be meaningless for CNG stations because the fuel is lighter than air. Chemical suppression was designed to extinguish a fire that has occurred when fuel has pooled on the ground. Chemical suppression systems can be expensive and add a major cost to the construction of a CNG station. All of these factors created a climate that was discouraging to businesses wanting to build a new station.
“After years of work by a number of dedicated staff members, we are excited to have the 2017 Ohio Fire Code approved,” said Ohio Fire Marshall Jeff Hussey. “It has been a great experience working on this fire code update and I have enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with the CNG industry to create rules that both promote safety and support the needs of this emerging and changing industry. I look forward to continuing our collaboration with Clean Fuels Ohio and other members of the CNG industry to make Ohio both attractive for industry and safe for all citizens and visitors.”
The new version of the Fire Code will take effect on December 15, 2017.