Stationary above-ground storage tanks for Class I, Class II or Class III-A liquids located outside of buildings within the fire district’s boundaries and service areas require permits with the fire district. Each tank must be permitted by the fire district prior to being installed and must be in compliance with all the applicable requirements of the fire code prior to being placed into service for the first time. Additionally, permits from the State of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Oil and Public Safety may also be required depending on the tank size.
Typically, fires occur at stationary above-ground storage tanks during tank loading and unloading, resulting in flammable or combustible liquid pool fires. Such pool fires typically spread to involve the area surrounding the tank and cause the tank supports to fail. Consequently, failure of the tank supports causes the tank to drop to the ground and rupture, releasing the entire contents of the tank into the fire and thus exacerbating the fire and magnifying the threat of fires to surrounding tanks, buildings and property. Other factors in tank failures during exposure to fires are improper or inadequate emergency venting and failure of piping and valves. Storage tank fires have also been known to originate with an internal explosion.
Individuals wishing to install stationary above-ground storage tanks for Class I, Class II, or Class III-A liquids located outside of buildings within the fire district’s boundaries and service areas should contact the Fire Prevention Division to discuss the specifics of their situation.