NFPA Provisions For The Use Of Membrane Enclosed Temporary Paint Booths

NFPA Provisions For The Use Of Membrane Enclosed Temporary Paint Booths

"For One Time Use Only" – NFPA Provisions For The Use Of  Membrane Enclosed Temporary Paint Booths.

The National Fire Protection Association has released new guidelines for the use of  membrane enclosed temporary spray booths, ruling that they can only be used one time and cannot be reused. 

NFPA 33 provides requirements to mitigate fire and explosion hazards in spray areas. Membrane enclosures have been used in body shops and refurbish centers to provide additional spray areas.  They are often considered a temporary solution but subsequently used beyond the code provisions. 

National Fire Protection Association Logo

The 2018 edition of NFPA 33 has a chapter with provisions for the use of membrane enclosures for the application of finishing material.  This chapter (18) has a few highlights.  Many of the same limitations as for a spray booth applies such as electrical classifications, welding, and egress requirements.

inflatable spray booth-1

Special requirement highlights follow. 

  • Spray application operations and processes within the enclosure shall only be permitted for the workpiece for which the enclosure was erected.  This means one project only.  The membrane enclosure cannot be reused
  • Membrane enclosures shall be erected for 180 days or less.
  • Membrane structure shall be maintained at negative pressure to the surrounding environment.
  • The concentration of vapors is limited to 10% of LEL (Lower Explosive Limit) instead of the 25% allowed in a traditional spray booth.
    • This concentration shall be monitored by equipment and interlocked to stop all spraying operations if this level is reached or exceeded.
  • No drying, curing or fusing operations are permitted.
  • Portable fire extinguishers required.

 Note: Membrane enclosures should not be confused with structures using NFPA 701 approved Curtains for containment.  If you would like more information please contact Garmat.

Contribution: Anthony Demarest, Garmat USA, LLC, Codes and Compliance

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