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Flammable Safety Cabinets FAQs

The following FAQs are from a post featured on the New Pig blog:

Q. How do I know if my liquids need to be stored in a Flammable Safety Cabinet?

If your facility has flammables, they need to be properly stored to make sure your workers stay safe. © Collins Photography – stock.adobe.com

Check section 9 of the chemical’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the Flash Point and Boiling Point for each of the liquids at your facility. The chart below will help you determine if the chemical needs to be placed in a Flammable Safety Cabinet or not.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.106(a)(19)(i-iv)

  • Category 1 = Flash Point <73.4°F (<23°C); Boiling Point ≤95°F (≤ 35°C) (Equal to Class IA)
  • Category 2 = Flash Point <73.4°F (<23°C); Boiling Point >95°F (> 35°C) (Equal to Class IB)
  • Category 3 = Flash Point ≥73.4°F & ≤ 140°F (≥ 23°C & ≤60°C) (Equal to Class IC and Class II)
  • Category 4 = Flash Point >140°F & ≤199.4°F (>60°C & ≤93°C) (Equal to Class IIIA)
  • No Category for Class IIIB

When a liquid with a Flash Point greater than 199.4 °F (93 °C) is heated for use to within 30 °F (16.7 °C) of its Flash Point, handle it as a Category 4 flammable liquid. [OSHA: 1910.106(a)(19)(v)]

If your facility follows the NFPA Standards, note that they still use the term “Class” instead of “Category” to classify flammables.

Q. What factors need to be considered when choosing a Flammable Safety Cabinet?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What quantities of flammable liquids do you plan/need to store?
  • What size are the containers?
  • Do you want to use the bottom of the cabinet for storage or do you want to keep all containers off the floor? (Note that local codes may prohibit the storage of flammable liquids on the bottom shelf.)
  • How many cabinets will the local authority having jurisdiction (typically a fire marshal) allow in the location where you wish to place the units? The amount of flammable safety cabinets will need to be determined by MAQ (maximum allowable quantity). See 29 CFR 1910.106 Table H-13for how to calculate this. However, depending on the area where the flammable cabinets are to be located, the inspector’s assessment and the local codes will determine the actual number of cabinets that can be placed in any particular area.
  • Where will the Flammable Safety Cabinet be located? There are cabinets for countertops, others that are wall mountable, some that will fit under counters those that have feet to raise them above wet areas and slim line units for tight locations.

Q. Why do some states require self-closing doors while others do not?

Some states have adopted one or more of the following codes as their standard for flammables safety in workplaces. If you’re located in a state that has adopted either of the following standards, then your flammable cabinets must have self-closing doors. Even if your state does not require cabinets with self-closing doors, they do help stop the spread of fire by ensuring that doors are not unintentionally left open after the cabinet has been accessed.

Check out this blog post to learn more about self-closing door regulations and safety cabinet color options.

Q. What is the maximum amount of flammable liquids I can store in a single Flammable Safety Cabinet?

The maximum amount of flammable liquids that you can store in one flammable cabinet is based on the chemical’s Flash Point and Boiling Point. No more than 60 gallons of a Category 1, 2 or 3 flammable liquid or 120 gallons of a Category 4 flammable liquid may be stored in a single Flammable Safety Cabinet. See OSHA 29 CFR 1910.106(a)(19)(i-iv) chart above for determining a chemical’s flammable category.

Q. Where can I find more information about the regulation of flammable liquids?

29 CFR 1926.152(b)(3) for Construction Industries

No more than 60 gallons of Category 1, 2 and/or 3 flammable liquids or 120 gallons of Category 4 flammable liquids shall be stored in any one storage cabinet. No more than three such cabinets may be located in a single storage area. Quantities in excess of this shall be stored in an inside storage room.

29 CFR 1910.106(d)(3)(i) for General Industries

Maximum capacity: No more than 60 gallons of Category 1, 2, or 3 flammable liquids, nor more than 120 gallons of Category 4 flammable liquids may be stored in a storage cabinet.

29 CFR 1910.106(d)(6)(iii)

“Spill containment.” The storage area shall be graded in a manner to divert possible spills away from buildings or other exposures or shall be surrounded by a curb at least 6 inches high. When curbs are used, provisions shall be made for draining of accumulations of ground or rain water or spills of flammable liquids. Drains shall terminate at a safe location and shall be accessible to operation under fire conditions.

Q. Can you store flammable liquid outside of a Flammable Safety Cabinet?

Yes, you can store flammable liquids outside of a Flammable Safety Cabinet, however the amount is based on the Flash Point and Boiling Point of the liquid (see regulations below).

29 CFR 1910.106(e)(2)(ii)(b)

The quantity of liquid that may be located outside of an inside storage room or storage cabinet in a building or in any one fire area of a building shall not exceed:

  • 25 gallons of Category 1 flammable liquids in containers
  • 120 gallons of Category 2, 3, or 4 flammable liquids in containers
  • 660 gallons of Category 2, 3, or 4 flammable liquids in a single portable tank

Q. How many Flammable Safety Cabinets can I have in one area?

For the Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926.152(b)(3)), no more than three (3) safety cabinets may be present in a single storage area.

For General Industry, (29 CFR 1910.106) the amount of flammable safety cabinets will need to be determined by the MAQ (Maximum Allowable Quantity), which is based on a number of criteria. See 29 CFR 1910.106 Table H-13 for how to calculate MAQ).

The local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), usually the fire marshal, has the final say to determine the number of flammable cabinets based on specific criteria including ingress and egress, fire suppression/water sprinkler systems, etc. They can mandate whether zero, one, two etc. cabinets may be placed in any given area. They will also determine how far apart they need to be placed.

Q. Do you need to ground the Flammable Safety Cabinet?

There are no federal regulations stating that you must ground a Flammable Safety Cabinet. However, it’s a best management practice and makes sense for safety reasons. If you are transferring or dispensing liquids from inside of the cabinet, then you must bond and ground to ensure you have an electrical connection per OSHA 29 CFR 1910.106(e)(6)(ii). WMHS

New Pig offers a range of thoughtfully engineered products that help catch leaks and overspray, contain spills and prevent slips, trips and falls. The company’s mission is to keep customers’ facilities clean, safe and productive. For information about New Pig’s exclusive multi-layer pads, socks that suck, mats that grip, drum lids that open with one hand and other high-quality products, go to www.newpig.com.

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