The 2021 International Fire Code, as locally amended by the City of Austin, requires that businesses that are storing or using hazardous materials above-ground obtain Aboveground Hazardous Materials Permit. This requirement allows AFD to track potential hazards and inform responding firefighters about specific chemical hazards at certain locations.

Aboveground Hazardous Materials Permits also allow AFD to incorporate local businesses into fire and accident prevention efforts, specifically as they relate to chemical safety. The need for a hazmat permit for chemicals depends upon the quantity and relative hazard of the inventory at a business. The chemical quantities requiring a permit can be very small if a highly toxic, flammable, or reactive chemical is present. Likewise, less hazardous chemicals do not require a permit unless much larger quantities are present.

Aboveground Hazardous Material Permits for above-ground storage of chemicals and hazardous products can be obtained from AFD’s Fire Marshal’s Office. For questions about the process to obtain a permit, call the Hazardous Materials Section Administrative Staff at 512-974-0160, option 3 or email

To apply for a new Hazardous Materials permit, or renew an existing one, visit: Hazardous Material Permit Application and Instructions, and follow the instructions to complete the submission. The fee for hazmat storage permits varies depending on the type of material and quantity stored. An estimate of the permit cost will be provided at the time of submission, and a bill with the final fee will be provided once the application is reviewed and approved.

Hazardous Materials Storage and Use

Much of the 2021 International Fire Code addresses safety issues relating to preventing chemical accidents and limiting their consequences. These include provisions for operational controls, special building requirements, sprinkler protection, exhaust, electrical systems, separation distances, and maintenance for both new and existing buildings. The AFD engineers can answer questions regarding the Fire Code as it pertains to hazardous materials. They can be reached by emailing

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