How To Handle Flammable Liquids And Achieve Maximum Safety

Industrial revolution has definitely had a significant impact in the society. It has made it possible to achieve incredible things over the decades. However, there are also a number of setbacks that came about with the advent of industrial revolution. One of them is the increased use of chemicals that are non-water-based. This has led to exposure to hazards arising from the use of the chemicals. A potential hazard that could be well illustrated in this case is flammability. Hazardous liquids pose the risk of fire. Effective fire prevention can be achieved by taking precautionary steps when handling, storing and using flammable liquids.

Flammable liquids


There are quite a number of flammable liquids out there. Two of the major factors that determine the category in which a particular liquid falls are the boiling point and flash point. The flashpoint is the minimum temperature that a liquid produces adequate vapor to create a flammable mixture with air near the liquid surface. In that case, any liquid with a flashpoint of 93 degrees Celsius (199.4°F) qualifies as a flammable liquid. There are several categories of flammable liquids.

First category

Liquids in this category have a flashpoint of below 23 degrees Celsius. Their boiling point can either be 35 degrees Celsius or below. They include ethyl ether and acetaldehyde. The first category of flammable liquids can also be referred to as low flashpoint flammables.

Second category

Liquids in the second category generally have a flashpoint that ranges between 23 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius. A liquid with a flashpoint of 38.5 degrees Celsius or above must be treated as per the stipulated standards (for second category flammable liquids) when being heated to 16.7 degrees Celsius to prepare it for usage.

Third category

The third category comprises of flammable liquids with a flashpoint ranging between 60 degrees Celsius and 93 degrees Celsius. As the liquids in this category are being heat (for use) to 16.7 degrees Celsius of their flashpoint, they should be treated as per the applicable standards for the second category flammable liquids. However, if a liquid with a flashpoint above 93 degrees Celsius is being heated to 16.7 degrees Celsius to prepare it for usage, it should be treated as per the requirements of third category flammable liquids.

Other factors to note

There are other factors that you should take note of apart from the categories when dealing with flammable liquids. These include vapor density, vapor pressure, explosive limits (upper and lower), ignition temperature and specific gravity. These are crucial elements that go a long way to ensure that effective storage units such as dangerous goods storage cabinets are built for maximum safety.

Use of safety cabinets

The use of flammable storage cabinets has a significant impact when it comes to fire prevention. This is because its design allows it to effectively limit the internal temperature to a maximum of 325°F. This is usually the case when the flammable storage cabinet is exposed to fire for nearly 10 minutes. As such, it is a mandatory requirement that these cabinets have a conspicuous label giving a clear warning.

When acquiring the flammable storage cabinets, you will be required to state the amount of flammable liquid that you want to store. This is because there are limits when it comes to amount of flammable liquid for storage as well as the location of the flammable storage cabinets. This precautionary step simply aims at reducing extensive damage in the event a fire hazard occurred due to unavoidable circumstances. It is important to follow all the safety guidelines for flammable liquids. They go a long way in helping you prevent fire hazards that could lead to loss of valuable property and even life.