This section is revised to clarify it applies to both liquid-fueled vehicles and gaseous-fueled vehicles. Additionally, it has been modified to all the Fire Code Official the ability to determine the best method of safeguarding the vehicle regarding the battery and electrical system.
314.4 Vehicles. Liquid-fueled or
gas-fueled gaseous-fueled vehicles, boats or other motorcraft shall not be located indoors except as follows:
- Batteries are disconnected except where the fire code official requires that the batteries remain connected to maintain safety features.
- Fuel in fuel tanks does not exceed one-quarter tank or 5 gallons (whichever is least).
- Fuel tanks and fill openings are closed and sealed to prevent tampering.
- Vehicles, boats or other motorcraft equipment are not fueled or defueled within the building.
This section provides for the safe display of fueled vehicles indoors. The first sentence refers to liquid-fueled vehicles, which includes those using gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel, and similar fuels and gaseous-fueled vehicles and intends to apply to vehicles fueled by natural gas, propane, and more recently, hydrogen. However, the use of the word “gas,” which is also the generic term used for liquid gasoline, leads to some confusion. Therefore, the term “gas-fueled” is replace with “gaseous-fueled” vehicles.
For traditional fuels, such as gasoline or diesel fuel, this section is very clear and appropriate regarding disconnecting the vehicle battery. However, technology has advanced and brought alternative fueled vehicles. Some of these alternative fueled vehicles have gas alarms that would be disabled if the batteries were disconnected. Item 1 has been revised to allow the Fire Code Official to determine which method of safeguarding is most appropriate for the vehicle in question. In some cases, it may be more appropriate to leave the batteries connected and the safety systems in operation. For example, many newer vehicles with alternative fuels (hydrogen, CNG, LNG, etc.) have built-in sensors to detect leaks or overpressure. Disconnecting the batteries will drop power to the sensors, disabling these safety devices.