Propane Exchange Cages

When applying for a propane exchange cage installation, the applicant needs to:

1)      Complete an Application for Plan Review.

2)      Include a check for $50.00 to cover the cost associated with the construction permit.

3)      Include a site plan indicating the details of the cage (i.e., dimensions, number and size/capacity of cylinders to be stored), where the cage is going to be located, where the bollards (i.e., crash protection) will be, and where building openings (i.e., doors, windows, vents, etc.) are in relation to the exchange cage.

After the construction permit to install the propane exchange cage has been issued, the installation will be inspected by the fire district. Upon successful completion of the final inspection, an operational permit will be issued to the operator of the propane exchange cage. The fee for the operational permit will be invoiced to the operator of the propane exchange cage and will be based on a fee schedule of $50.00 per hour for as long as the inspection takes to determine compliance with the operational requirements of the fire code ($50.00 minimum).


The installation of the exchange cage shall be in accordance with the International Fire Code (IFC) and NFPA 58, 2017 Edition.

  • Storage is limited to two cages, containing up to 18 20-pound propane cylinders in each cage (720 pounds total) without any separation from a structure. Additional cages may be installed next to a structure on the same property provided increased separation is maintained between the cages pursuant to IFC requirements.
  • A site plan for the installation shall be submitted to the Fire Prevention Division. The site plan shall indicate the size(s) and location(s) of the propane exchange cage(s), as well as the separation distances between cages, the distances to property lines, structures, building openings and public ways.
  • Propane exchange cages shall be located in a manner that minimizes exposure to excessive temperature rise, physical damage and tampering.
  • Propane exchange cages shall not be located within 10 feet of any doorway or opening in a building frequented by the public, within 20 feet of a motor vehicle fuel dispenser, or within 10 feet of any combustible material.
  • The cage shall be a lockable, ventilated, metal locker or rack that prevents tampering and pilferage.
  • The cage shall be designed so that containers cannot be stacked on top of each other and designed so that containers are positioned upright with the pressure-relief valve in direct communication with the vapor space of the container.
  • Container outlet valves shall be closed and plugged when in storage.
  • Defective containers or containers showing denting, bulging or excessive corrosion shall be removed from service and properly disposed.
  • The cage and area shall be kept free and clear of all combustible materials, including storage, for a distance of at least 10 feet on all sides.
  • NO SMOKING signs shall be posted on the exchange cage and within 25 feet of the surrounding area.
  • An approved NFPA 704 hazard identification sign/placard shall be posted on the cage. The NFPA 704 sign shall be a minimum of one foot square.
  • Signs listing exchange procedures, company name and 24-hour emergency phone numbers shall be posted within 10 feet of the cage.
  • Signs requiring that customers leave LPG containers outside the building shall be posted on the building entrance(s). The signs shall read “DO NOT BRING LP GAS CYLINDERS INTO THE BUILDING”. The fire district requires that the lettering be a minimum of 1 inch in height with a minimum stroke of 1/8 inch.
  • All employees with access to the exchange cage shall be trained in the proper handling and operating procedures, including the procedure for handling defective containers. Documentation of this training shall be provided to the Fire Prevention Division at the time of final inspection.
  • A written inspection checklist for receiving empty containers as well as giving out full cylinders shall be available and used by employees when handling containers.
  • Provisions shall be made for controlling and mitigating unauthorized discharges. A Hazardous Materials Management Plan shall be readily available on site.
  • A minimum of one 2A:20-BC fire extinguisher shall be located within 75 feet, but not less than 25 feet from the cage area.
  • Propane exchange cages exposed to probable vehicular damage due to proximity to alleys, driveways or parking areas shall minimally be protected as follows:
    • Install 4-inch diameter steel pipes filled with concrete.
    • Pipes shall be spaced no more than 4 feet apart.
    • Pipes shall be set at least 3 feet deep in a concrete footing and be at least 15 inches in diameter.
    • The tops of posts shall be at least 3 feet above the ground.
    • Posts shall be located more than 5 feet from the propane exchange cage.