The 2015 International Fire Code, as locally amended by the City of Austin, requires that businesses that are storing or using hazardous materials above-ground obtain a permit.

This requirement allows AFD to track potential hazards and inform responding firefighters about specific chemical hazards at certain locations.

Hazmat 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.

Much of the 2015 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 hazardous material permitting or about the Fire Code as it pertains to chemicals. They can be reached at 512-974-0160, but due to large call volume, it may be necessary to leave a message.

Hazardous Material Permits for above-ground storage of chemicals and hazardous products can be obtained from AFD’s Emergency Prevention Division.

To receive a hard copy of the application, call the Hazardous Materials Section at 512-974-0182 or email with your address/phone/fax.

To download an electronic version of the application, Hazardous Material Permit Application and Instructions . Mail or fax a completed, signed copy to the location noted on the application form. The fee for hazmat storage permits varies depending on the type of material and quantity stored. The cost can range from $90 to $4,050.