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Requirements for Installation - Portable Propane Containers Awaiting Use or Resale
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Edward L. Senter Jr.

David Tesh

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(804) 748-1360 
(804) 751-9022 Fax

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Chesterfield Fire and EMS
P.O. Box 40
Chesterfield, VA 23832-0040

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Chesterfield Fire and EMS
6731 Mimms Loop
Chesterfield, VA 23832-0040
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Community Risk Reduction
Requirements for Installation - Portable Propane Containers Awaiting Use or Resale

Propane Exchange Application  


  • Complete application for “Propane Container Exchange Installation”
  • Include a site drawing, 8½ X 11 paper showing the proposed location of
    • storage enclosure
    • bollards
    • doorways
    • roadways
    • alleys
    • driveways
    • parking areas
    • location of the fire extinguisher.
  • Drawing must be approved by the fire official prior to any work being performed.
  • Forward all to the Fire and Life Safety Division. 
  • Storage enclosure installations must be inspected and approved by the fire official prior to containers being stored, exchanged, or sold on site.
  • Three copies of the “as installed” site drawing must be signed by the supplier, store manager, and the fire official, these approved copies must be retained by each party.


  • Containers must be stored within an approved enclosure, which protects against tampering
  • Enclosure must be secured to the sidewalk, pad, etc., to avoid tipping or movement of the enclosure
  • All containers must be stored in an upright position
  • Storage
    • All containers must be at least 10 feet from any doorway
    • 10 feet from any combustible material
    • 20 feet from any motor fuel dispenser.

NOTE: Storage of greater than 500 pounds (25 cylinders) may be required to be greater than 10 feet from any structure, for life safety reasons.

  • When a building is protected by an automatic sprinkler system storage of the containers may not be placed beneath
    • nonsprinklered eaves
    • canopies
    • other overhead projections and overhangs
  • Visible to the public on enclosure and maintained, should be
    • servicing companies name
    • 24-hour phone number
    • “No Smoking” signs
  • A dry chemical fire extinguisher having a minimum 20 B:C rating must be provided.
    • The fire extinguisher must be at least 10 feet but not more than 50 feet (travel distance) from the storage enclosure.
  • Vehicle impact protection barriers must be provided when the enclosure for the containers is exposed to probable vehicular damage due to the proximity to
    • roadways
    • alleys
    • driveways
    • parking areas

Guard post barriers

  • Constructed of four-inch, I.D. schedule 40 steel pipe or larger
  • Filled with concrete
  • Spaced not more than four feet between posts
  • Set at least three feet deep
  • Placed in a concrete footing of not less than 15 inches in diameter
    • with the post not less than three feet above ground
    • located not less than three feet from the enclosure.

Other barriers

  • Minimum of 36 inches in height
  • Resist a force of 12,000 pounds applied
  • 36 inches above the adjacent ground surface

NOTE: Engineering certification of compliance will be required.

The Fire and Life Safety Division must be contacted before any changes or additions are made to such an approved facility.

Final approval of the installation is required prior to stocking product.