Temporary COVID-19 Facilities Need to Follow NFPA 58 Requirements

The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) has been made aware of temporary facilities being erected to prepare for the increased testing, hospitalization, and quarantine rates that are anticipated as more states begin to address the impacts of the advancing COVID-19 disease. As a result, propane tanks are being installed to fuel space heating and possibly other types of equipment in these temporary facilities.

The association notes that from a code perspective, NFPA 58 provides the necessary requirements to make these types of installations safely. The code defines “Temporary Service” as an installation made for not more than 12 consecutive months at a given location. The 2020 edition of NFPA 58 addresses the installation of portable storage containers for temporary use (Section 6.8.5). The code also provides requirements for the temporary use of skid tanks (6.6.2) and porta-pacs (6.6.3).

Typical ASME containers are also allowed to be used for temporary installations as long as they comply with the requirements for appropriate separation distances from buildings. In addition, the separation requirements for relief valve discharges, fill valves and fixed maximum liquid level gauges from sources of ignition will come into play as well as the requirements for regulator vent discharges.

Because propane has a role to play in all emergency situations, its safe use is especially important as communities respond to the COVID-19 outbreak by providing safe, isolated care facilities for people infected by the virus. For additional information, please contact Bruce Swiecicki at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, April 9, 2020. Subscribe for all the latest posted and spot prices from all major terminals and refineries around the U.S., including  a center spread of posted prices with hundreds of postings completely updated and delivered to inboxes each week, along with market analysis, insightful commentary and much more.