Workplace Safety: Storage Cabinets for Flammable Chemicals


Flammable liquids must be stored in cabinets or rooms which meet certain construction standards. this is often done to decrease the danger for private injury and damage to property and equipment. Flammable chemicals must be stored separately from others that are incompatible. If two or more incompatible chemicals are mixed accidentally as within the breakage of containers, the result’s generation of gases, heat, fire and possibly the creation of a really toxic substance. Chemicals should be stored by their compatibility group, never en bloc alphabetically, as this automatically creates incompatible groupings. The MSDS sheets for many chemicals provide information on incompatible substances.

Storage Cabinets For Flammable Chemicals

Metal Storage cabinets

Must be constructed with a minimum of 18 gauge plate iron and double-walled with 1½ inch air space.
Joints must be riveted or welded to form the cupboard tight.
There must be a 3 point lock on the door.
The doorsill must be a minimum of 2 inches above rock bottom of the cupboard .
The National Fire Prevention Association Code 30 doesn’t require venting for ‘fire prevention purposes’. However, if the cupboard is vented, it should be vented from rock bottom to the outside .
Some cabinets are manufactured with vents which have plugs which will be removed to satisfy requirements within the few areas where local regulations still require venting.
Cabinet must be clearly labeled FLAMMABLE – KEEP FIRE AWAY
Wooden Storage cabinets
Must be constructed with rock bottom , top and sides of an approved grade of plywood of a minimum of 1 inch thickness, which can not break down or delaminate when ablaze .
All joints must be rabbetted and fastened in 2 directions with flathead screws.
If quite 1 door is employed , there should be a rabetted overlap of not but 1 inch.
Hinges must be mounted in such how on not lose their holding capacity thanks to looseness or burning out of screws when subjected to the hearth test.
Both metal and wooden storage cabinets must pass a ten minute fire test as outlined in NFPA 251-1969, Standard Methods of fireside Tests. the interior temperature of the cupboard must not rise quite 325° F. All joints and seals must remain tight and therefore the door must remain securely closed during the hearth test.

Maximum Capacity for A Storage Cabinet

No quite 60 gallons of sophistication I or Class II liquids

No quite 120 gallons of sophistication III

Maximum Number of Flammable Storage Cabinets allowed in One Fire Area

Area With No Sprinklers 3 cabinets per fire area

Cabinets 100 feet apart 3 per each 100 feet of travel distance

Automatic system 6 per fire area

Safety Check

Flammable liquids should be stored either in an approved storeroom or an approved and designated cabinet.
Incompatible chemicals must be isolated and stored aside from one another .
Flammable solids shouldn’t be stored within the same cabinet with flammable liquids.
Flammable chemicals shouldn’t be stored in direct sunlight or near a heat source.
Storage cabinet must be clean and dry, out of the daylight .
Chemicals that need extra cool temperatures should be kept during a specially designed explosion proof refrigerator.
Flammable liquids must be kept capped and never stored for any length of your time on top of a piece bench or out of the cupboard .
No sources of open flames should be allowed anywhere near flammable liquid storage or transfer areas.
All ignition sources must be eliminated, including any sources of electricity .
Liquids must be transferred into containers employing a closed piping system, safety cans, safety pump, self-closing faucets.
Liquid transfers must be administered in well-ventilated area.
Transferring liquids by means of atmospheric pressure on the container is prohibited.
A bonding and grounding system must be in situ for the transfer of flammables.
All spills should be cleaned up quickly following appropriate procedures.
Flammable chemicals are present in many workplaces and, if used or stored improperly, explosions, serious fires, injury, and possibly death may result.

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