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Flammable Storage Cabinet – knowing the requirements will help you store chemical safety

Updated on August 29, 2010

Flammable Storage Cabinets are more than just the ability to store chemicals in a safety cabinet, they are the reassurance that your business will be able to operate safely and legally with less to worry about.  There are tons of things that people have to worry about in the normal everyday tasks of the job that safety tends takes a back seat.  In fact in most work places that require flammable storage, the employees are unfamiliar with the flammable storage requirements.  This is why most places will get a chemical storage cabinet; it helps to reduce the burden on the workers to keep things stored correctly.  But there are numerous classes of chemicals and storing them correctly requires different things.  Below are just a few examples of how to store flammable chemicals correctly.

Everyone knows that OSHA requires that flammable chemicals require safe storage that would prevent them from catching on fire and adding fuel.  But do you know which chemicals are flammable and what type of storage they require?  There are three classes of flammable chemicals: I, II, III.  Class I is divided up into three sub-classes: A, B, and C.  Class IA flammable chemicals are the most dangerous us because they have a flash point under 73F meaning they catch fire under that temperature.  Class IB have a flashpoint under 73F as well but will only vaporize above 100F (it’s the vapors that are the dangerous fire hazards).  While Class IC has a flashpoint above 73F but still below 100F.  All of these chemicals require a flammable storage cabinet for quantities over 1 quart.  While some of these chemicals are easy to identify and store correctly there are many everyday household and workplace chemicals that fall in to the category of flammable and also require storage.  Things like aerosols, industrial solvents, gasoline and other fuels all require storage in a flammable safety cabinet. 

Not only are correctly storing flammable liquids your only concern, but there are many corrosive chemicals that require special storage.  Storing corrosive chemicals require that these chemicals are separated from non-corrosive chemicals, ideally in their own corrosive cabinet.  These chemicals are especially a hazard as they can eat through their containers and possibly eat into the flammable chemicals’ containers as well which can cause a problem.  If you do need to store corrosive chemicals in the same flammable storage cabinet as other chemicals make sure to put them into a spill tray and place them at the bottom of the cabinet to prevent any spills from affecting other chemicals. 

Chemical  storage cabinets will help to meet OSHA requirements on storing flammable chemicals; however, there are a few things that need to be done in addition to just purchasing a flammable storage cabinet.  The first thing you’ll need to do is to make sure that the chemical cabinet is located in an out of the way place.  It’s important to make sure that the cabinet is not in the way of any doors or escape routes.  This can be a problem in tight work areas, so a little bit of thought will go a long ways.  Also, you’ll want to make sure that the storage cabinet is properly ventilated.  There are vents on the sides of the storage cabinet that will help to prevent any chemical fumes from building up and becoming a hazard.  You’ll also need to make sure that the flammable cabinet properly bonded and grounded as even a small electrical spark can ignite the flames from the flammable chemicals.  Finally you’ll want to find a chemical storage cabinet that has door that automatically closes.  This feature is important in meeting the flammable chemical storage requirements because it prevents the doors from being left open on accident and defeating the purpose of the storage in the first place. 

Finding the right storage cabinet for your needs can be a bit tricky.  You’ll want to take a look online at some of the retailers to make sure that the cabinet will actually meet all of these requirements.  There are some chemical storage cabinets that don’t meet these requirements so a little bit of research will be required.  Beyond that the only other criteria will be to find the lowest price on an affordable flammable storage cabinet.  With a little bit of research you should be able to find one that will both fit your needs and be affordable too.

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