Industrial Firefighting

When Worlds Collide: Industrial and Residential Occupancies

Issue 1 and Volume 163.

By MIKE TOIKA The relationship between industrial and private residential occupancies is highly complex. Most communities have an abundance of both, and these worlds do collide. Community planners realize the need for strong tax bases; strong family neighborhoods; and the proper mix of residential homes, industrial complexes, and commercial areas. The result is the lack of attention to one specific detail—outdoor storage. Many communities have zoning ordinances for what, how, and specifically where outdoor storage is allowed. However, the enforcement of these ordinances, or lack thereof, becomes a problem. Too often, industrial occupancies are too small for their current storage arrangement and will store shipping, overstock, or waste materials outdoors (photos 1-3). Many times, this storage becomes an eyesore and, more importantly, a fire hazard. (1) Photos by Mark Spoo. (2) (3) The International Fire Code has special outdoor storage provisions and includes the relationship of the storage to the…

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