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Do I need a boiler room?


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I am working on getting a 350,000 BTU natural gas fired atmospheric steam boiler installed at my location. The one company I am getting a quote from to do the install in convinced that I will need to build a dedicated and fire rated boiler room.

My research seems to indicate that a boiler that is either under 400,000 BTU or one that operates at under 15psi does not need a dedicated fire proof room. Additionally I have seen comments that indicate even if you go above 400,000 BTU or 15psi you still do not need a dedicated room if there is a fire suppression system. My building is fully spriklered.

The other company that I have received a quote from did not mention needing a boiler room. I also can't recall any other distillery that I have visited having a dedicated boiler room, and many of them have/had significantly larger boilers than what I am looking to install. I am in Pennsylvania. If I do need a boiler room, what authority would it be that requires it? Labor and Industry, state codes, local codes?

If anyone had run into a similar situation or has any insight into this issue I would sure appreciate anything you can share!


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Generally speaking, gas-fired stills require a dedicated room. However, this is not always the case, obviously. Koval Distillery in Chicago has their boiler in a dedicated room, as does Las Vegas Distillery. However, I know of a distillery in South Carolina that does not have theirs in a dedicated room. Rather, they run a VERY long length of pipe from the boiler to the still.

I have not found the same requirements for electric steam boilers. I would be interested in hearing from others with different experiences.


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I currently use an oil fired 340K BTU steam boiler that is literally within arm's reach of my stills. Hasn't been a problem to date, and the fire inspector for the county didn't have a problem with the setup either. As stated above, the regs governing what you can and can't do here are going to be 100% dependent on your local code and inspectors.

Best of luck,


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If you have factory rated occupancy (very small amounts of ALC on premise) you may not need a room. We have high hazard occupancy and are required to have a fire rated room. I believe there may be closed combustion boilers available, we do not have one and in keeping with Coop's philosophy like to keep flame away from vapors.

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Thanks for all the feedback everyone!

It looks like my local jurisdiction uses the 2009 International Building Codes. After speaking with the fire marshal he does not see any reason I would need a boiler room as what I am looking at putting in is under 400,000 BTU and also operates under 15 PSI. He cautioned that he sees no reason I would need it as an incidental use, but that I should check with my commercial code officer as well. Not sure what makes a boiler an incidental use or not? I am meeting with the commercial code enforcement officer tomorrow and will find out what he thinks.

Is anyone familiar enough with the 2009 IBC to opine if they think I should have a boiler room assuming I am classified as F1?

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