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studio safety: kiln placement

updated sat 31 aug 96


Daniel L. Russ on wed 7 aug 96

Curiosity got the best of me. I asked my friend Dave Mills where we could
find this answer. Dave works for the City of Reno as a Fire
Protection Engineer. Dave directed me to Section 910 of the Uniform
Mechanical Code. It said the following and more:

910.1 General. The provisions of this section apply to kilns used for
ceramics that have a maximum interior volume of 20 cubic feet (.56 m
cubed)and are used for hobby or noncommercial purposes.

910.2 Installation. Kilns shall be installed in accordance with the
manufacturer's instructions and the provisions of this code.

910.3 Installations inside buildings. In addition to other requirements
specified in this section, interior installation shall meet the following

910.3.1 Clearances for interior installation. The sides and tops
of kilns shall be located a minimum of 18 inches (457 mm) from any
noncombustible wall surface and 3 feet (914 mm) from any combustible wall
surface. Kilns shall be installed on noncombustible flooring consisting
of at least 2 inches (51 mm) of solid masonry or concrete extending 12
inches (305 mm) beyond the base or supporting members of the kiln.

910.3.2 Control side clearance. Clearance on the gas or electrical
control side of a kiln shall not be reduced to less than 30 inches (762

910.3.3 Hood and duct clearances. Every hood and duct serving a
fuel-burning kiln shall have a clearance from combustible construction of
at least 18 inches. This clearance may be reduced in accordance with
Table 3-B.

910.3.4 Exterior installations. Kilns shall be installed with minimum
clearances as specified in section 910.3.1. Wherever a kiln is located
under a roofed area and is partially enclosed by more than two vertical
wall surfaces, hood and gravity ventilation duct shall be installed to
comply with Sections 505.8.1, 505.8.2 and 910.3.3

Anyone who would like a copy of Table 3-B clearance reduction chart can
obtain one by sending a SASE to:
Daniel Russ
345 Cortez Court
Sparks, Nevada 89436

Here's some other things that I believe:

*Call the electrician at the factory and ask for his or her
recommendations for a safe installation. Order a new owner's manual while
you're on the phone.

*Direct wiring into a service panel is better than than plugs. A short
beefy electrical cord is better than a long or thin one.

*Ventilation is a good thing, however you achieve it.

*Have a (working) smoke detector between you and your kiln (unless you
stay awake and vigilant for the day or so that it takes your kiln to heat
up AND cool down).

*Own and know how to use a good size fire extinguisher. I like 40
pounders with ABC ratings, although 20 pounders are O.K.
(Does it show that I've been a Fire Fighter for most of my life?)

Hope this is a helpful start.
Daniel Russ aka Nevada Dan
The West's L & L dealer