October 31, 2002
Flammable and Combustible
The storage and use of flammable
and combustible liquids requires careful attention and consideration.
In fact, so much consideration is needed that detailed codes,
standards and regulations for safe storage and use of flammable
liquids have been developed and implemented by numerous
groups and agencies.
In an effort to prevent flammable
and combustible liquid fires and personal injury, requirements
have been set forth by the National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA), the Uniform Fire Code (UFC), the Uniform Building
Code (UBC), the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR - OSHA),
the International Fire Code (IFC) and others.
Many states have adopted either
the NFPA 30 requirements or the UFC requirements. Many
local governments have even enacted codes and ordinances
that may be stricter than that of the state.
Among the complex assortment
of flammable and combustible liquid requirements, one common
factor exists between them. That is the requirement for
classification, use of properly designed containers and
proper management and control of quantities of these liquids.
Before you can begin to place
materials into proper containers and manage the quantities,
you must classify your flammable and combustible liquids.
This is because the container, storage and use requirements
differ depending upon the class of liquid you are using
NFPA 30, the Flammable and Combustible
Liquids Code, defines a flammable liquid as "any liquid
that has a closed-cup flash point below 100 degrees Fahrenheit".
The code indicates that these materials are classified as
Class I liquids. Class I liquids are further subdivided
into IA, IB and IC.
A Combustible liquid is then
defined as "any liquid that has a closed-cup flash
point at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit". Combustible
liquids are classified as either Class II or Class III depending
upon flash points.
To help prevent fires and injury,
you should familiarize yourself with the flammable and combustible
liquid classification, storage and use requirements that
affect you. You need to understand what type of liquid
you are using, which containers are safe to use and which
quantity restrictions you may be faced with. In addition,
you need to have proper training on the use of such materials.
Remember, each town, city, state
and country may have adopted different codes. Therefore,
a call to your local fire department would be a good way
to start learning more about how to work safely with flammable
and combustible liquids.
Listed below are some helpful
links related to flammable liquids:
liquid storage cabinets 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(3)" prepared
by Montana Department of Labor and Industry
State University Flammable Storage Policy
Uniform Fire Code
University policy document on Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets
of the Interior sample "Flammable Liquids Program"
of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Environmental Health, Safety &
Risk Management "NFPA Storage Rules for Flammable
of Rochester Flammable Liquid Storage in Laboratories
NFPA and Uniform Fire code adoption map
Online - NFPA 30
of Houston laboratory
flammable and combustible liquid container and storage requirements
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