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What Does That Mean? A Guide to Chemical Storage Compliance Acronyms


For those of us specializing in code compliance, acronyms have become a second language; flowing with an ease that often leaves onlookers confused.

If you’re new to the game, procuring a chemical storage building while trying to understand the industry jargon can seem daunting. It will help you to have some basic understanding of the definitions for all the shorthand you will soon encounter.

Most Common Acronyms We Work With in Compliance

AHJ – Authority Having Jurisdiction

This is the local, state, or federal official designated and responsible for approving your safety systems equipment, installation, and procedures. It is different for every location, but can be a fire marshal, code inspector, or in larger municipalities there may be an official from an environmental office or public health and welfare office.

BOCA – Building Officials and Code Administrators

An association of professionals that establish and enforce building codes. In 1994, it merged into the ICC (see below) and its work was rolled into the IBC (see below).

EPA – Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is a U.S. government agency comprised of engineers, scientists, legal and technology professionals. It’s officials monitor and conduct environmental assessments of property and enforce the environmental laws of state and local governments. Their enforcement powers involve fines, sanctions, and work stoppage, among other measures.

FM – Factory Mutual Approvals

Starting as Factory Mutual Laboratories, it is a pioneer in third-party certification of products and services. Products with FM Approval meet rigorously tested standards in fire, wind, strength, and other measurable loss prevention features.

IBC – International Building Code

The IBC is an adoptable standard created by the ICC (see below). It addresses health and safety practices during a building’s construction. Many codes deal with compliance after the construction. The IBC requires your designs begin with the standards in fire prevention, accessibility, and means of egress.

ICC – International Construction Council

The creator of the IBC, it is a large international association of building safety professionals created to develop a single set of national construction codes and practices for the building and construction industry.

NEC – National Electrical Code

Also known as NFPA 70, it is a widely used, adoptable standard for electrical wiring, practices, and equipment. Updated and published by the NFPA (see below).

NFPA – National Fire Protection Association

The NFPA is a non-profit organization focused on prevention of death, injury and property loss from fire and electrical hazards. It has created industry standards that are widely accepted.

OSHA – Occupational Safety & Health Administration

Another U.S. government agency, it was formed by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 with the goal of ensuring safe and healthy working conditions by creating and enforcing standards to achieve them.

UL – Underwriters Laboratories

UL is a safety certification company dedicated to testing, inspecting, and certifying equipment and products. Its officials also create standards in categories such as: Life Safety, Building Products, Plastic Materials, and many more.

While this list may not have every acronym you may face on your journey for chemical storage code compliance at your facility, we hope it’s been a good start. Don’t forget, your AHJ is the highest law in your land when it comes to rules, regulations, and compliance. We always recommend you start with your AHJ when working toward compliant storage practices.

If you have further questions, our team of experienced Technical Sales Engineers is ready to help.

Contact Us

Contact U.S. Chemical Storage to learn more about choosing the proper chemical storage building that fits your AHJ and other regulatory needs. Our professional consultants help you find the best solution for your application and we provide complimentary quotes for solutions to meet your regulatory requirements.