Mark Gall – Commerce Township Fire Marshal
Phone: 248-624-5326


Flammable liquids include gasoline and Coleman white gas.

  • Maximum residential storage of flammable liquids (gasoline and white gas) shall be limited to 30 gallons – preferably stored in an unattached garage or shed.
    • Of this 30 gallons total, no more than 10 gallons can be stored in an attached garage, and absolutely no flammable liquid storage is allowed in a basement. (2021 International Fire Code (IFC) 5704.
  • Empty containers shall be counted as full when calculating storage capacity. (2021 IFC 5704.3.3.4)
  • Flammable liquid storage containers shall be of an approved type. (2021 IFC 5704.3.1)
    • Most of these containers are labeled as approved for flammable liquid use and indicates the standards they are designed to meet. (Department of Transportation, American Society for Testing and Materials, National Fire Prevention Association 30, etc.)
    • Always use an approved or original retail container. No milk jugs.
  • If you decide to store flammable liquids at your home, you need at least one 2A20BC rated fire extinguisher located no closer than 10 feet to any flammable liquid and no further away than 50 feet. (2021 IFC 5704.
  • Control of sources of ignition is mandatory! All transfer and dispensing of flammable liquids require that special attention be paid to eliminating static spark discharge and ignition of flammable vapors.
  • Open flames and high-temperature devices must be controlled and approved for use with flammable liquids and smoking is prohibited in the storage area. (2021 IFC 5704.2.4) Flammable and combustible liquids in the fuel tanks of motor vehicles (gasoline, diesel, and 2-cycle blends) are exempt; therefore, these amounts will not be considered as part of your total home fuel storage quantities. (2021 IFC 5704.3.3)

Portable Propane Heaters and Fire Places.

  • Patio heaters shall not be located within 5 feet of an exit (2021 IFC 605. and not within 5 feet of combustible awnings, decorations, overhangs or similar combustible attachments to the building. (2021 IFC 605. (NFPA 58 2020
  • Patio heaters shall be listed and used in accordance with their listing and the manufactures instructions. (NFPA 58 2020
  • Propane tanks, empty or full can NEVER be stored inside the building (2021 IFC 605. Store a propane tank, no matter how large or small, outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Never store a tank in a basement, in your home or in an attached garage.
  • Propane is heavier than air and should always be stored away from cellar windows and doors.
  • Propane gas fired heating appliances are prohibited on exterior balconies.

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  • Annual inspection records shall be made available for the following systems at time of inspection.
    • Portable fire extinguishers
    • Fire alarm systems
    • Fire suppression sprinkler systems
    • Commercial cooking suppression systems and exhaust hood system cleaning
    • Occupancy sign shall be posted in a conspicuous location near the front door for assembly occupancies.


  • Knox Box emergency access system if building has a fire alarm or a fire suppression system and maintained by property owner.
  • All exit signs must be in working order and illuminated at all times – along with back up battery power.
  • All emergency lighting must be in working order and tested every six months.
  • Exits and aisle ways shall be kept clear.
    • 36-inch clearance must be maintained around all sprinkler heads, electrical panels, furnaces, boilers and water heaters
    • 28-inch clearance must be maintained for all non-public aisle ways
  • Combustible materials shall not be stored in exits or exit enclosures and along with boiler, mechanical, or electrical rooms.
  • Exit doors shall open easily.
  • Fire doors and other fire resistance barriers shall not be impaired from proper operation at any time. i.e. fire doors manually propped open.


  • Storage heights in stock and store rooms including basements.
    • 18 inches from ceiling if protected by fire sprinklers
    • 24 inches from ceiling if not protected by fire sprinklers
  • Compressed gas cylinders properly secured.
  • Fueled equipment including, but not limited to motorcycles, mopeds, lawn-care equipment, portable generators and portable cooking equipment shall not be stored, operated or repaired within a building, unless meeting the exceptions in IFC section 313.


  • Proper usage of extension cords and multi-plug adaptors.
  • Extension cords are for temporary use only and must not be used where approved permanent wiring is required.
  • Power strips (relocatable power taps) shall be UL listed, polarized, grounded and have over current protection.
    • Power strips shall be directly connected to a permanently installed receptacle. No daisy chaining.
    • Power strip cords shall not extend through walls, ceilings, floors, under doors or floor coverings, nor be subject to environmental or physical damage
  • Outlets and light switches must be covered with a wall plate, along with electrical junction boxes.
  • Electrical panels shall be unobstructed with 30” of clearance, with circuit breakers labeled.
  • Ensure that fire walls and barriers remain intact i.e. in the attic space.
    • Holes/breaches in the drywall must be fixed and fire walls and barriers need to use fire caulk
    • Ceiling tiles in drop ceilings must be in place

Building Maintenance

  • Fire Department Connections (FDC) must be kept clear of vegetation or other obstructions. Inlets must be sealed with manufacturers caps.
    • Shall be maintained unobstructed and have a minimum a three foot working clearance
    • Vegetation, overgrown landscape and snow shall be removed as necessary to keep 3’ clearance
  • Fire Hydrants shall be maintained unobstructed and have a minimum a three foot working clearance.
    • Vegetation, overgrown landscape and snow shall be removed as necessary to keep 3’ clearance
  • Fire Lanes maintained and unobstructed.
  • Address numbers, not less than 4 inches with a minimum stroke of ½ inch, shall be posted in contrasting colors on front and rear doors.
  • Door labels are required for Electrical, Furnace, Sprinkler, Mechanical and/or Generator rooms.


  • Portable fire extinguishers shall be installed and maintained in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 10 and a minimum size rating shall be 2A-10BC.
    • Commercial kitchens require a Class K extinguisher with 30’ of hood and duct system


  • Elevator keys shall be stored in a Knox Box next to the elevator or bank of elevators at the lobby nearest the lowest level of fire department access.
  • The key box shall be mounted 5’6” above the finished floor to the right side of the elevator bank.
    • The front cover shall be labeled with the words “FIRE DEPARTMENT USE ONLY – ELEVATOR KEYS”
    • Contents of the key box are limited to fire service elevators keys and any additional access tools

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Click here for the Self Inspection Checklist