Exception: Vehicle impact protection shall not be
required for protection of LP-gas containers where
the containers are kept in lockable, ventilated
cabinets of metal construction.
312.1 General. Vehicle impact protection required
by this code shall be provided by posts that comply
with Section 312.2 or by other approved physical
barriers that comply with Section 312.3.
312.2 Posts. Guard posts shall comply with all of
the following requirements:
1. Constructed of steel not less than 4 inches (102
mm) in diameter and concrete filled.
2. Spaced not more than 4 feet (1219 mm) between
posts on center.
3. Set not less than 3 feet (914 mm) deep in a
concrete footing of not less than a 15-inch (381-mm)
4. Set with the top of the
posts not less than 3 feet
(914 mm) above ground.
5. Located not less than
3 feet (914 mm) from the
312.3 Other barriers.
Physical barriers shall be
a minimum of 36 inches
(914 mm) in height and
shall resist a force of 12,000
pounds ( 53 375 N) applied
36 inches (914 mm)
above the adjacent ground
surface. Barriers other than
posts specified in Section
312.2 that are designed to
resist, deflect or visually
deter vehicular impact
commensurate with an
anticipated impact scenario
shall be permitted when
The revisions reflect NPGA’s conclusion
that the current text of Section 312.3 is not a
performance-based alternative to the prescriptive
provisions in Section 312.2. Instead, the two
sections contain redundant and unrelated
approaches that came from different IFC source
documents. NPGA’s revisions in effect make
Section 312.3 a truly flexible performance-based
option to Section 312.2.
Amending code provisions is no small task. In
this case, the process took three years of research and
advocacy work. But as a result, the NPGA believes the
installation of cylinder storage and exchange cabinets
will be simplified, and the appearance and accessibility
of installations will be improved.
Rick Long is the general manager and associate
general counsel of PEI as well as the editor-in-chief of the
PEI Journal. Jeff Shapiro is the president of International
Code Consultants ( www.intlcodeconsultants.com). He is
also a member of PEI’s Business Advisory Group.
About the Study
For additional details on the NPGA research
study, see the online version of this article
at www.peijournal.org. The study was
conducted by Jeff Shapiro, P.E., FSFPE,
president of International Code Consultants
of Austin, Texas. Shapiro is a nationally
recognized expert in fire and building safety,
related codes, and hazardous materials.
He can be reached at 512-795-2900 or
6 0 | PEI.ORG | First Quarter 2015
Cabinets & Vehicle Impact