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Safe Use of Portable Gas-Fired Heaters by Businesses

The City of Newport Beach wants to help your business operate safely and effectively outdoors as you modify operations in response to the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy and tier system. The following information (prepared by our colleagues at the Orange County Fire Authority) is based on the California Fire Code (CFC) and the California Code of Regulations (CCR) and should help to answer most questions concerning the use of portable gas heaters. In addition to abiding by these regulations, please be sure to always follow the product safety, and use requirements provided by the manufacturer of the gas-fired heaters utilized by your business.

Design

All portable heaters used by a business must be UL listed for commercial use (CFC 603.4.2.2.1). Guards and tip-over protections are required as outlined in Section 603 of the CFC and Title 19 of the CCR.

Location

Portable gas-fired heaters may only be used outside in well-ventilated areas (CFC 603.4.2). See manufacturer’s specifications for distance from umbrellas.

  • Prohibited outside locations:
  • Inside of tents, canopies and other membrane structures (CFC 603.4.2.1.1)
  • Within five (5) feet of buildings (CFC 603.4.2.1.2)
  • Within five (5) feet of combustibles (CFC 603.4.2.1.3)
  • Within five (5) feet of exits or exit discharges (CFC 603.4.2.1.4)
  • On exterior balconies (CFC 603.4.2.1.1)

LP Tank Storage

All propane tanks must only be stored outside, with the following separations (CFC 603.2.3.4):

  • Five (5) feet from a building with two means of egress
  • Ten (10) feet from a building with one means of egress
  • Ten (10) feet from combustible materials

 A maximum of seven (7), 20 lb. tanks are permitted at any single business, including empty tanks (CFC Table 5003.1.1).

 Questions?

Please contact the NBFD’s Fire Prevention Division at 949-644-3106 for assistance.

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