NFPA 40: Standard for the Storage and Handling of Cellulose Nitrate Film

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NFPA 40: Standard for the Storage and Handling of Cellulose Nitrate Film addresses fire protection for still and motion picture film.

Cellulose nitrate motion picture film requires special fire safety and fire protection precautions due to its extreme flammability. Developed through research and lessons learned, NFPA 40 is your one-stop source for provisions concerning every aspect of storage and handling of cellulose nitrate motion picture film in film cabinets and archival vaults, motion picture projection booths and theaters, laboratories, and film exchanges.

To avoid fire and related hazards -- and protect people and property -- facility designers and engineers, code enforcers and inspectors, and film vault owners and operators need the most up-to-date requirements for safe storage, handling, and fire protection, for nitrate film, including:

  • Construction requirements and arrangements of buildings
  • Fire protection
  • Storage of nitrate film
  • Handling of nitrate film
  • Motion picture projection and special processes
  • Special occupancies

Only the 2016 edition of NFPA 40 provides:

  • Clarification on which types of containers should be used for motion picture film versus flat film
  • New guidance for using laboratory-grade refrigerators or freezers to slow or halt nitrate decay

In another revision, additional Annex material expands on the equivalency between the weight of film and the number of rolls of motion picture film or the number of flat film negatives. This change enables the requirements in the 2016 NFPA 40 (given in mass of film) to be applied to both forms of film. (Softbound, 21 pp., 2016)

NFPA® 40 Standard for the Storage and Handling of Cellulose Nitrate Film 2016 Edition

Chapter 1 Administration
1.1 Scope.
1.2 Purpose.
1.3 Application.
1.4 Retroactivity.
1.5 Equivalency.
1.6 Approval of Plans.
Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
2.1 General.
2.2 NFPA Publications.
2.3 Other Publications.
2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections. (Reserved)
Chapter 3 Definitions
3.1 General.
3.2 NFPA Official Definitions.
3.3 General Definitions.
Chapter 4 Construction Requirements and Arrangements of Buildings
4.1 Construction.
4.2 Exits.
4.3 Explosion Venting.
4.4 Space for Workers.
4.5 Tables and Racks.
4.6 Electrical Equipment.
4.7 Heating, Cooling, and Refrigeration Equipment.
4.8 Duct Systems.
Chapter 5 Fire Protection
5.1 Automatic Sprinklers.
5.2 Water Supplies.
5.3 Portable Fire Extinguishers.
Chapter 6 Storage of Nitrate Film
6.1 General.
6.2 Film Cabinets.
6.3 Vaults Other Than Extended Term Storage Vaults.
6.4 Extended Term Storage Cabinets.
6.5 Extended Term Storage Vaults.
Chapter 7 Handling of Nitrate Film
7.1 General Conditions.
7.2 Containers Required.
7.3 Shielding.
7.4 Scrap and Discarded Film.
7.5 Transportation.
Chapter 8 Motion Picture Projection and Special Processes
8.1 Enclosures for Motion Picture Projectors.
Chapter 9 Special Occupancies
9.1 Motion Picture Film Exchanges.
9.2 Motion Picture Film Laboratories.
Annex A Explanatory Material
Annex B Additional Information on Cellulose Nitrate Film
Annex C History of Cellulose Nitrate Film Use and Storage
Annex D Informational References