small commercial combustion appliance safety toolkit

The toolkit was created by Southface through the Advanced Commercial Buildings Initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. The toolkit is intended to be used by industry professionals to assess combustion appliances in small commercial buildings with respect to the building as a system, and to identify potential combustion safety hazards. The toolkit is not intended to replace any combustion equipment preventative service and maintenance procedures, but rather to add to the visual assessment of combustion equipment during building energy and water assessment walk-throughs.

Intended users of the toolkit include facility managers, engineers, HERS Raters and BPI Building Analysts, college students under faculty supervision and other individuals with a foundation in building science, building-as-a-system evaluation and basic engineering principles.


The toolkit contains a combustion assessment workbook and supplemental guidelines reviewing common combustion issues and solutions in small commercial facilities.

The Small Commercial Combustion Appliance Assessment Workbook provides detailed guidance for the assessor in each step of the combustion assessment process with a template for collecting site-visit and testing data. The extent to which this workbook is used in the field and which tests are performed, is up to the discretion of the assessor. The criteria used for compliance in the workbook is based on input from the ACCA/RESNET Standard 12, ANSI/BPI 1200-S-2015, National Fire Protection Agency 54/ANSI Z223.1, International Building Code, International Fuel Gas Code and International Residential Code.

The Small Commercial Building Assessment Combustion Appliance Guidelines provide an overview of considerations related to combustion air with respect to building-as-a-system analysis, and best practice recommendations for combustion air supply and ventilation. The guidelines also review common types and categories of combustion appliances encountered in small commercial buildings and provide case studies of real-world combustion safety scenarios.

There are many resources available to further assist your combustion appliance assessment services. The appendix to this introduction contains a list of resources you may find useful.

All of the templates are in simple formats so that you may customize them to meet your team’s needs. If you do come across a locked cell or sheet, simply unlock it as no passwords are applied in these documents.

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