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Municipal requirements vary

Municipal requirements vary


Working with a Racksteel project consultant starts with questions about your operation, pallet weights and sizes, and material handling equipment. Our in-house team prepares preliminary designs with storage options for you to consider.

Make sure to provide us with the site plan and accurate office and warehouse drawings to ensure the drawings are prepared for engineering review.

Before racking capacity and stamped drawings can be provided, there are certain documents our engineering partners require.

1.) Stamped structural drawings (typically S1 and S2) of your building

2.) Geotechnical report and Site Class of the property

A slab letter approving the slab is adequate for the proposed racking system will be required to accompany your racking permit application. 

There are numerous partners we can recommend to help obtain the necessary documents. Contact our Project Sales team for more information.

You will need drawings stamped by an engineer showing the rack system is approved for your use. Once the layout and elevations are finalized, the property conditions such as seismic zoning, geotechnical information, and slab data will be analyzed and maximum capacities for your rack system will be provided.

Contact a fire suppression engineer to issue a stamped letter approving the rack system layout. It will indicate the rack system is acceptable for your building sprinkler system. For example, the fire engineer will need to review the following:

  1. The pallet racking layout and elevation drawings
  2. Your product classification and details of what is being stored

If the fire suppression system in your building is determined to need upgrades, you can consider getting quotes from sprinkler companies to improve the system, or you can adjust the racking system as recommended to be suitable for your building. It’s best you consider this step early in the process. 

The fire suppression letter will in most cases need to be submitted with your racking permit application.

Other key items related to fire suppression to consider:

  • There are sufficient aisles and exit areas in the plan
  • Travel distances to exits do not exceed 45 meters in a sprinklered building
  • Fire safety equipment is accessible 
  • Exits are properly identified and are not blocked 
  • Emergency lighting is properly utilized in all required areas

You will need additional paperwork such as an authorization form filled out by the property owner, a permit application form, and other documents depending on your municipality. Once you have that in addition to the engineered pallet rack package, you can submit the application to City Hall. 

Once the permit application is accepted and approved by your municipality, the engineer will conduct a final inspection after installation and prepare their own letter of approval. The municipality final inspection will expect to see this letter of approval with the permit application package before the final municipal sign off.


Although it’s tempting to avoid the hassles of getting a Building Permit for your pallet racking system, let’s take a look at what can happen if you install a system without one.

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The building permit process is in place to ensure that the applicable Building and Fire Codes are adhered to in the design, engineering, and installation of the system. In jurisdictions where a permit is not required, the business owner is still ultimately responsible to ensure that the facility and the structures within the facility meet code.

Racking systems support thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of pounds of material, and need to withstand the forces generated while in use. Building Codes deal with how the racking system needs to be engineered, manufactured, and installed to ensure they are adequate and safe.

Fire Codes detail how to properly and safely store materials of various classifications and also provide design rules so that people can escape in case of a fire and fire fighters can effectively access and safely control a potential fire. The Fire Codes also determine the type and size of fire suppression equipment required in the facility.

The suitability and condition of the components used, together with the design, engineering, and installation of the system, are what ensures the overall safety of the system. A defect or failure in any of these areas can result in a rack collapse, an unmanageable fire, inadequate emergency egress for workers, or dangerous


Employer responsibilities for workplace safety and pallet racking storage structures are governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulation, and Code; as well as the Criminal Code. Organizations are required to adhere to various building codes and municipal regulations with respect to the assembly and maintenance of pallet racking storage structures.

Keep in mind that employers and workers are required to assess a work site and identify existing or potential hazards before work begins – such as improper stacking, storing and /or securing goods on pallets and storage racks. Workers responsible for stacking, storing, or securing goods, materials, and equipment on pallets and storage racks must be trained in the safe methods for doing so.

As an owner, employer, or supervisor, you’re responsible to ensure a safe work environment for your employees. Failure to do so can result in criminal charges. View Pallet Rack Regulations for more information on Federal and Provincial

pallet rack reg poster


As a business owner, or as a person with  a pallet rack system,  you must be aware of the regulations governing these structures.


During routine inspections, or in the event of an accident involving your racking system, inspectors can request to see the engineering behind the system and your permit approvals. If you don’t have them, they have the right to shut down your operation until you are able to provide them.


If you are moving, adding a location, expanding your existing operation, or even purchasing an existing business then you must apply for a Business Licence for that facility.  An inspection of your facility is a mandatory requirement of the approval process for obtaining a business licence, and if you have a racking system, the inspector will want to see your approved building permit that includes the racking system before your facility will pass the inspection.

If you do not have a building permit for your racking system when the inspector asks for it, you may be in a very bad situation. You could be subject to fines and your business operations could be shut down while you go through the details in the steps above.

During the process of obtaining the building permit, you will have to correct any deficiencies noted by the inspector. For example, remove any damaged components, provide adequate flu spacing, and properly align, plumb, and anchor frames, etc.

In the worst case scenario, if for some reason you are not able to obtain the necessary engineering for your system, or if the fire suppression system, or the floor slab is found to be inadequate, then you may have no choice but to upgrade or replace those items.


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Our customer service philosophy is simple: We will make sure every call and email is prioritized, and that your warehouse gets operating faster.