Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada


Ammonium Nitrate Storage Facilities Regulations (C.R.C., c. 1145)

Regulations are current to 2022-07-25 and last amended on 2015-06-18. Previous Versions

PART IIIDesign and Construction of Storage Facilities (continued)

 All storage facilities, except those that are self-ventilating under fire conditions, shall be ventilated with permanently open ventilators to assist in the dissipation of the heat and gases produced by the decomposition of ammonium nitrate in a fire.

  •  (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), all electrical wiring, lighting or equipment inside a storage facility or attached to it shall comply with the requirements of the Canadian Electrical Code, (CSA Standard C22.1 — 1962 and amendments thereto), as prescribed for ordinary locations. A storage facility containing bagged ammonium nitrate or ammonium nitrate mixed fertilizer and no other electrical hazard is designated an “ordinary location”.

  • (2) All parts of an electrical system not installed in ordinary locations shall comply with those requirements of the Canadian Electrical Code applicable to the particular hazards present. A storage facility containing bulk ammonium nitrate or ammonium nitrate mixed fertilizer and no other electrical hazard is designated a Class II Division II location.

 The design, construction and maintenance of a storage facility shall be such as to prevent the normal ingress of rain and ground water.

PART IVGeneral

  •  (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), smoking, or the use of heaters, welding or other equipment with an open flame or an exposed electric element, inside a storage facility is prohibited.

  • (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), welding or cutting repairs may be made inside a storage facility to metal equipment or components of the storage facility if the broken part cannot be removed for repair out-of-doors and the following precautions are taken:

    • (a) all ammonium nitrate and other dangerous or combustible materials stored within 10 feet of the repair site shall be removed;

    • (b) the welding or cutting operation shall be completely screened to prevent sparks from leaving the enclosed clean area and if the floor in this area is constructed of wood or other combustible material, its exposed surface shall be drenched with water or protected against sparks by a flame-proof tarpaulin or a metal sheet;

    • (c) a fire extinguisher as prescribed in section 24 and a water hose, or a static supply of not less than 45 gallons of water, shall be available at the repair site; and

    • (d) the operation shall be under the supervision of a qualified and responsible person who shall remain at the repair site for at least 30 minutes after the completion of repair operations.

  • (3) If it is necessary to heat a storage facility, it is recommended that the heat be supplied by an electric heater which complies with section 19 or by low pressure steam, hot water or other enclosed heat transfer media with the heat source located in a detached building at least 10 feet from the storage facility, and heating systems which do not comply with this recommendation shall be approved by the Commission.

  • (4) Heating equipment shall be designed and installed in accordance with the National Building Code of Canada, except that no part of the equipment with an open flame or other source of ignition shall be installed in the storage area.

 A weatherproof sign bearing the words “AMMONIUM NITRATE” and “NO SMOKING OR OPEN FLAMES”, or other wording acceptable to the Commission, in block letters at least two inches high on a white or a light coloured background shall be posted in a conspicuous place near each entrance to the storage facility.

  •  (1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3), the storage or use of explosives, corrosive liquids, radioactive materials, poisons, flammable solids, flammable liquids, liquefied petroleum or other flammable or compressed gases, sulphur, finely divided metals or any combustible or dangerous commodity is prohibited in or contiguous to a storage facility unless such storage or use is expressly approved by the Commission.

  • (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), approval of the Commission is not required to store the following substances or items in a storage facility:

    • (a) ammonium sulphate, ammonium phosphates, ammonium phosphate-sulphate mixtures, calcium metaphosphate, potassium phosphates, potassium chloride, potassium sulphate, phosphate rock, sulphate of potash-magnesia, superphosphates, diatomaceous earth, dolomite, gypsum, kaolin, limestone, farm equipment or machinery with empty fuel tanks, spare parts, hardware, baling twine, or securely packaged herbicides, pesticides and fungicides;

    • (b) urea, urea compounds or bagged grain or grain products if they are separated from bagged ammonium nitrate or ammonium nitrate mixed fertilizer by a wall with a fire resistance of at least one hour or by a distance of not less than 30 feet or by any other method acceptable to the Commission that will prevent mixing of the segregated materials under fire conditions, and the separating wall shall extend above the highest adjacent pile or to the top plate of the outside wall, whichever is the higher.

  • (3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), equipment or vehicles powered by internal combustion engines employing a flammable fuel may be used in a storage facility if their exhausts are equipped with spark arrestor devices, but they shall not be fuelled, repaired or maintained in the storage facility, and except as provided in subsection (4), they shall not be parked in a storage facility overnight or during other periods when the storage facility is unattended for more than four hours.

  • (4) Notwithstanding subsection (3), vehicles and portable equipment powered by engines using a flammable fuel, and used inside the storage facility, may be parked in that facility if

    • (a) the parking area is reserved exclusively for parking of the aforesaid equipment or vehicle;

    • (b) the parking area is separated on all sides from the rest of the storage facility by an enclosure, and this enclosure is of non-combustible construction, and has a fire separation of not less than two hours; masonry walls constructed from hollow core concrete blocks not less than eight inches thick are considered to satisfy this requirement; the door shall be tightly closed during the parking period;

    • (c) no wall of the parking enclosure is less than 30 inches from the nearest pile or bin of ammonium nitrate or ammonium nitrate mixed fertilizer; and

    • (d) the floor of the parking enclosure is of solid concrete not less than six inches thick.

  •  (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), at least one 20-pound or two 10-pound ABC dry chemical fire extinguishers or the equivalent first aid fire protection shall be readily available on the storage premises for fighting small fires involving combustible materials or electrical equipment, but only water shall be used for extinguishing ammonium nitrate fires.

  • (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), only one 10-pound ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher or its equivalent is required for a storage facility with a floor area not exceeding 1,500 square feet.

  • (3) Except as provided in subsection (4), a storage facility with a floor area exceeding 1,500 square feet shall be protected by at least one standard fire hydrant which should be located not more than 500 feet from the storage facility and should be capable of providing not less than 500 gallons of water per minute at 45 psi.

  • (4) The Commission may waive the requirements of subsection (3) if a supply of water is not available and if in its discretion the storage facility is sufficiently isolated or there are other factors which compensate for the absence of fire hydrant protection.

  •  (1) Except as provided  in subsection (2), bagged ammonium nitrate or ammonium nitrate mixed fertilizers shall be piled at least 12 inches and preferably not less than 30 inches from any wall or partition of the storage facility, and the top of the pile shall be at least three feet below the roof and supporting roof members.

  • (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), bagged ammonium nitrate or ammonium nitrate mixed fertilizer may be piled less than 12 inches from a wall or partition if the total approved capacity of the storage facility does not exceed 200 tons and none of the bags is in contact with the wall or partition.

  • (3) The width of a pile of bagged ammonium nitrate or ammonium nitrate mixed fertilizer in a storage facility of a total floor area exceeding 1,500 square feet shall not exceed 20 feet and, unless the storage facility is of non-combustible construction or is protected by an automatic sprinkler system, the length of a pile shall not exceed 50 feet.

  • (4) Piles as prescribed in subsection (3) shall be separated by aisles at least three feet wide, and at least one main or service aisle not less than four feet wide should be provided.

  • (5) Piles or bins should be sized and arranged so that the materials which have been in storage for the longest period are used first.

  • (6) Ammonium nitrate or ammonium nitrate mixed fertilizers in bags or bulk shall not be stored in contact with hot pipes, conduits, ducts, light bulbs or any other object with a surface temperature exceeding 100°F and should be stored at least 30 inches from such objects.

 Ammonium nitrate or ammonium nitrate mixed fertilizers containing residual process heat and having a temperature exceeding 130°F shall not be accepted for storage in a storage facility subject to these Regulations.

 The storage facility should be protected against lightning in accordance with the recommendations contained in the Canadian Standards Association Code B-72 or the applicable provincial code.

 The storage facility and the area surrounding it shall be maintained in a clean and tidy condition at all times; grass and weed growth within 25 feet of the storage facility shall not be permitted to exceed six inches in height and it is recommended that the area within six feet of the storage facility be bare ground or pavement; spilled material from punctured or torn bags or from other sources shall be cleaned up promptly.

 All storage facilities subject to the requirements of these Regulations may be inspected at any time by any authorized officer of the Commission.

 Every fire, explosion, or similar accident involving a storage facility shall be reported by telegram by the owner, operator or employee in charge of the storage facility, within 12 hours of such an accident, to the Director of Operation of the Canadian Transport Commission, Ottawa, and to the railway company concerned, and the telegraphic report shall be followed by a detailed report not later than 30 days after the accident.

 Violations of any of these Regulations are subject to such penalty as may be provided in the Railway Act.

 The principal hazards associated with the storage of ammonium nitrate are discussed in Schedule II.

Date modified: