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Friday, August 12, 2011

OSHA Flammable Storage Cabinet Requirements Explained

OSHA regulations are very strict regarding the storage of flammable and combustible liquids in order to protect public safety, so if you are looking for a flammable liquid storage cabinet it's important to make sure that the cabinet or unit you purchase meets OSHA requirements.

OSHA Storage Cabinet Regulations forFlammable and Combustible Liquids(1910.106):

  • Volume Limit

    Regulation: 60 gallons for Class I and Class II liquids and 120 gallons for Class III liquids

    Explanation: Overfilling flammable safety cabinets can pose a serious fire hazard because it increases the risk that containers could fall out when doors are opened, causing spills and releasing dangerous vapors. Additionally, some cabinets have specially designed ventilation features, which could be blocked off if cabinets are over capacity.

  • Internal Temperature Threshold

    Regulation: Internal temperature cannot exceed 325⁰F during a standardized 10 minute fire test

    Explanation:This regulation ensures that if a fire breaks out in the area where the flammable cabinet is located the liquids inside will not ignite before firefighters can respond to the emergency. Most flammable and combustible liquids have an auto-ignition temperature of 500⁰F or more, which means that at temperatures exceeding 500⁰F the vapors from flammable and combustible liquids can ignite without an ignition source. Setting the regulation standard at 325⁰F ensures that auto-ignition will not be achieved within the acceptable emergency response time of less than 10 minutes.

  • Safety Labeling

    Regulation: Must be labeled “Flammable – Keep Fire Away”

    Explanation: As a matter of public safety, obvious and consistent messaging must be used to identify the cabinet so that all fires (such as cigarettes, sparklers, portable grills, acetylene torches, etc.) are kept away from the flammable and combustible liquids contained inside.

  • Sheet Metal Construction

    Regulation: Bottom, top, door, and sides must be at least 18 gage (1mm) sheet metal and double-walled with at least 1.5 inches of air space

    Explanation:The 18 gage specification ensures that the cabinet will be strong enough to support the weight of the containers of liquids inside. Specific metals are not outlined because some metals are more reactive than others so flexibility on metal composite within the regulations allows for customization based on which materials will be stored inside the cabinet. But regardless of whatever metal the cabinetis made of, the double-walled specification ensures that the liquids inside will be insulted against the heat. This air barrier acts as insulation in the same way that a thermos can keep hot or cold liquids inside at the proper temperature by containing them in a smaller unit molded inside a larger outer unit.

  • Door Specifications

    Regulation: Doors must have a 3 point lock and be at least 2 inches above the bottom of the cabinet

    Explanation: A three-point lock ensures that the door or doors will close tightly, securing liquids safely inside. Raising the door off the bottom of the cabinet helps to safeguard against spills, making it likely that any liquid spillage inside will be contained within the unit.

  • While not required by OSHA, a highly beneficial feature to have on your flammable liquid storage cabinet is self-closing doors. Storage units can be outfitted with a fusable link that melts at 160⁰F, causing the door closing mechanism to release and close doors automatically in a fire situation.

    For a full listing of all indoor and outdoor storage requirements please visit OSHA’s official page

    1 comment:

    1. In order to better understand the reasoning behind proper storage and handling procedures, a review of the properties and hazards of flammable needs to be in order.thanks for this information very helpful.