Flammable Storage Codes: August 2021 Safety & Hygiene Corner

What is required per OSHA and NFPA Codes for Flammable Storage Cabinets?

You are aware of what flammable storage cabinets look like; but do you know what is required per OSHA and NFPA Codes.  We receive a lot of questions regarding flammable storage cabinets, so here are some answers.  This safety corner will address some of the key code requirements.

How much flammable material can I store in one cabinet? –  OSHA and NFPA have a maximum capacity not more than 60 gallons of Category 1, 2, or 3 flammable liquids and not more than 120 gallons of Category 4 flammable liquids may be stored in a storage cabinet.

What is required in the design of flammable cabinets? Flammable cabinet must have a degree of fire resistance.   This is defined in 1910.106(d)(3)(ii) as construction shall limit the internal temperature to not more than 325 degrees F, when subjected to a 10-minute fire test using the standard time-temperature curve as set forth in NFPA 251-1969. All joints and seams shall remain tight and the door shall remain securely closed during the fire test. Cabinets shall be labeled in conspicuous lettering, “Flammable – Keep Fire Away”.  Metal flammable cabinets meet code requirements when the bottom, top, door, and sides of cabinet shall be at least No. 18 gage sheet iron and double walled with 1 1/2 – inch air space. Joints shall be riveted, welded or made tight by some equally effective means. The door shall be provided with a three-point lock, and the door sill shall be raised at least 2 inches above the bottom of the cabinet.

What should I look for when auditing flammable cabinets?

  • Grounding and bonding of the cabinet and any containers you are dispensing from inside the cabinet must be in place.
  • Doors need to be keep closed unless in use and all three points of contact on the doors must be in good working condition. 
  • Cabinet bungs must be in place and secure.  
  • Clearly labeled.
  • Text Box: Figure 1 Photo- OSHA Office of Training and EducationNot located near forklift or equipment access. 
  • Not be placed in aisleways used for emergency egress.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

Sanitizer Storage: March 2021 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: I have a lot of alcohol-based hand sanitizer on hand, due to the pandemic. Is there anything special about storage or placement of dispensers that I should know?

Answer: Yes, alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is greater than 20% alcohol falls under a Class 1B flammable liquid according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Here are some requirements to consider:

  • Individual dispensers located in a hallway must be 0.5 gallons or less (no gallon jugs).
  • Dispensers must be installed at least 1 inch away from electrical receptacles and light switches and must be separated from another dispenser by at least 4 feet horizontally.
  • Dispensers must not be installed above carpeted floors, unless the area is sprinklered.
  • Automatic dispensers (touch free) are required to be tested each time they are refilled, can only activate when the object is within 4 inches of the dispenser and will only dispense the amount required as determined by the United States FDA.
  • The Ohio Fire Code requires the storage of more than 10 gallons in a flammable liquid cabinet or flammable liquid storage room. The NFPA 30 code dictates storage considerations starting at 5 gallons. No storage is permitted in basements.

If you have specific questions about safe storage and handling, consult the Safety Data Sheet for the product or call your local Authority Having Jurisdiction for fire code enforcement. 

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.