To start with, flammable material storage cabinets are used for the storage of combustible and flammable materials, for instance flammable liquids used in learning institution laboratories. It is advisable to gain more knowledge about their safe keeping so as to meet the set storage codes and standards. It is however advisable to spend some time reviewing your country’s regulating body standards and codes when it comes to flammable storage cabinets. In this regard, all regulators demand that flammable storage cabinets be made according to the following specifications:
• The cabinet to have two walls that are separated by a 1” airspace.
• The flammable storage cabinet be made of No. 18 gauge steel sheet.
• The doors to have a 3-point latch.
• The cabinet’s joints be welded, riveted or built tight by likewise efficient means.
• The door’s sill be elevated 2” above the cabinet’s bottom so as to retain spilt liquids.
• The materials to be stored should be subjected to a test so as to minimize internal temperature within the cabinet to around 325°F. A 10 minutes fire test must also be carried out.
• The cabinets to have a clearly visible “Flammable Keep Away” legend.
Apart from the listed safety requirements, it is also required that the cabinets have automatic-closing doors that are connected to fusible sinks. Why, you might ask. Well, when a fire reaches 165°F., this will force the fusible link to melt. This action should then force the doors to close automatically.
Flammable storage cabinet types
Before acquiring a flammable storage cabinet, it is recommended that you have an assessment of your storage needs. A typical laboratory for example is home to so many flammable liquids that need proper handling and storage. Other flammable liquids that can be found here include gasoline for machines that are used around the station, lubricants, oil-based paints, paint thinner, automotive fluids, etc. All these need to be stored as safely as possible. And what is a better storage place than storing them in an approved flammable liquid storage cabinet?
There are both automatic and manual-closing configured flammable liquids storage cabinets. But before making the purchase, it is recommended to perform a check with the building and fire code prerequisites in your jurisdiction. These cabinets are available in two colours:
• Red for inks, Class III combustibles and paints
• Yellow for flammable liquids, aerosols and gasoline
Flammable storage cabinet prices
The approved and thus recommended flammable storage cabinets for liquids with automatic closing doors are available in sizes that range from 4 gallons to 90 gallons. A four gallon sized storage cabinet will set you back to around $420 while its 90 gallon counterpart, $1200. Manual closing door storage cabinet models will cost you around $ 100 less than their self-closing counterparts. The 90 gallon storage cabinets are mostly designed for industrial and commercial applications. They can be purchased from both approved online and offline vendors.
Handling flammable liquids at final point of use
To properly understand a flammable liquid, it is crucial to know that it is the vapour and not the liquid itself that burns. For example, explosions regularly occur when rookie mechanics are draining a gasoline tank. They mistakenly assume that it is safe to commerce repairs involving brazing or welding on the tank. Though the tank seems empty, it vapour space contains a lot of gasoline vapours. So if the vapour concentration is within the explosive range and a source of ignition is introduced, an explosion will definitely occur. With this regard, here are work practices that must be followed when handling combustible and flammable liquids.
• Flammable and combustible liquids must be stored in approved flammable liquid storage cabinets or containers.
• Flammable liquids with a flashpoint below 100°F. have to be stored in covered containers when not in use.
• Flammable liquids should be drawn into containers, vessels or portable containers within a building in one of the following way; through a closed piping system, by means of a device drawing from the top, from safety cans or from containers by gravity through approved self-closing valves.
• When flammable liquids are handled or used, a means should be provided to dispose of leaked or spilled liquids and as promptly and safely as possible.
• Transferring of flammable liquids by means of air pressure on a portable storage tank is highly prohibited. This is because it can result in an overpressure that could exceed what the container is designed for, and thereby resulting in an explosion. This sort of atmosphere is particularly sensitive to ignition due to the increased pressure.
• Flammable liquids must be transferred in places with adequate ventilation. Simply put, sources of ignition are not permitted in areas where flammable vapours may travel.
All in all, fire prevention starts in your home. And in order to achieve this, it is advisable to reduce potential fire catastrophes that are presented by storage of flammable liquids by correctly storing them in approved flammable liquids storage cabinets. It is good to remember that whenever highly combustible liquids are improperly stored, they become an instant fire hazard.