This requirement looks like if a fuel dispenser is less than 20 feet from the door the entire store will have to be wired as Class I, Division 2. It says, Sales, Storage, Rest Rooms including structures (such as the attendant’s kiosk) on or adjacent to dispensers....Entire volume, if there is ANY opening to room within the extent of a Division 2 or Zone 2 location the entire volume shall be Class I, Division 2. I bet half the gas station in my local community have doors that open into a Class I, Division 2 location because the doors are within 20 feet of the dispensers. Any comments?
I checked a major gas station owned by the Koch Brothers of Flint Hills and the dispensers were 18 feet from the door. The rule says ANY opening and that would mean a door from the way I read it. If the door stayed closed it might not count, but whenever it opens it is an opening. This rule is going to cause problems!
I wonder what the fire marshal says about it? It might be some kind of godfathered thing. The "shop and robs" around here usually have the islands pretty far from the building because they are in line with the window. (easier to see a "drive away") That means they have the driveway and usually some parking in between them.
The NEC generally is not retroactive but applies to new construction only. So existing structures probably will be grandfathered. However, this new change does present some liability issues if there is a fire or explosion at existing facilities. It looks like the Code Making Panel slipped this one in without fully discussing the change. Supposedly this new Table was adopted from NFPA 30A and was derived from Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) 08-01 that was issued August 6, 2009 to NFPA 30A according to the IAEI Analysis of Changes for the 2011 NEC.
The "leaking tank" issue closed most of the old gas stations around here. They pretty much made it "prove your old tank isn't leaking" and it was cheaper to just close the station. They were either torn down or they are some other kind of store now. These days virtually every station in town is a new mini mart with the fueling islands out in the middle of the lot. Out of town, some do still have a kerosene pump and that is closer to the building. That one could be troubling.
We had the same problem with the leaking tanks and many independents went out of business. Some new stations built in the last 25 years still have the problem of less than 20 feet from the door to the gasoline dispensers. Diesel should not be a problem since diesel is not a flammable liquid because it has a flash point above 100 degrees F and does not fall under Table 514.3(B)(1). However, JP4 is a flammable liquid as is Jet B jet fuel. This should be picked up on plan reviews for jurisdictions that have plan reviews.