Fire Cabinets for Chemical Storage
If you are working in an industry that deals with a lot of flammable liquids, it is a must to know how to properly handle them and keep them the right way to prevent fires. Failing to do so will result in damage to property or even cost a life. This is why having fire cabinets in place is a must.
Both NFPA and OSHA have set guidelines and regulations that govern how you can legally and safely store flammable liquids.
A short explanation
The majority of people are aware that the liquid itself is not the one that is flammable but the vapor that it releases when chemicals evaporate that catches the fire. A flammable liquid has a very low evaporation point.
For example, 45 degrees Fahrenheit is the evaporation of gasoline and this is also what the majority of people keep in their shops and garages. The vapor that it releases is so heavy compared to air and is likely to settle in the lowest point that it could get to. The danger with this is that even the smallest spark could ignite the gas and burn very hot and quickly. In high concentrations, it could cause explosions.
Storing the Flammables
Through time, testing and studies performed by NFPA, OSHA, and other groups have discovered that there are different ways to store flammable liquids safely. By considering the properties of the vapor, you can keep the liquids inside of safety can that comes with a lid. Since vapors do not float in the air, instead, they stay low as they can, this prevents them from escaping.
You also need to store liquids in fire cabinets or flammable storage cabinets. These types of cabinets are specifically built to store liquids that could leak and so they are not ventilated, thus allowing any vapor out as it could build up.
The base of a safety cabinet is created with a lip around it, about 2 inches that contain a liquid that could leak. This base is also designed to be liquid-tight to keep the liquid inside and to safely clean it without having to expose it to any kind of hazard.
Moreover, as its name says, a fire cabinet is flame-resistant so even in case of fire, the contents will not be exposed and so they will not worsen the fire. Any person who deals with chemicals is aware that they are accelerants as they have the tendency to make fires burn hotter and faster.
It is highly recommended that containers for all flammables should be clearly labeled so they can be easily identified. For individual liquids, they should be in red with a label “flammable”. Storage bins and cabinets need to be labeled conspicuously and should have a symbol for flammable clearly visible.
Proper storage of flammable liquids inside of safety cabinets and containers can help avoid costly damages and dangerous disasters.