Health and Safety agencies recommend that you keep the volume of flammable chemicals stored indoors to a minimum. Ideally, you should store no more than 50 litres or enough for one production shift. This is to reduce the amount of highly flammable material/accelerant which could cause or add fuel to a fire in your building.
The flammable chemicals that you store indoors must be stored in appropriate safety containers in ‘suitable’ cupboards that can resist fire for a minimum time period of 30 minutes. There are many internal flammable safety cabinets on the market, ranging from ‘flameproof’ safety cabinets which are said to provide 30 minutes fire protection,( although they are not tested or certified to confirm this), to insulated Flammables Safety Cabinets with up to 90 minutes fire protection. The 90 minute safety cabinets are of higher quality and are tested to a European standard EN1440-1, however they are approximately four times the cost of the flameproof cabinets .
A high level of fire protection is important because it means that if there is a fire in your building, your highly flammable chemicals which are stored in your Flammables cabinet, will be insulated from the fire. They will not become part of the fire for approx. 90 minutes, allowing you and your staff enough time to evacuate the building and enough time for fire fighters to deal with the fire. Fire fighters will have sufficient time to identify the location of the flammables cabinet and to begin spraying fire suppressant onto it. Flammables safety cabinets should remain closed when not in use and they should be connected to an extraction system to extract any ignitable/ flammable vapours to atmosphere.
Waste flammable chemicals should be treated in exactly the same way as unused flammable chemicals and care should be taken when dispensing flammable liquids. This reduces the risk of ignition of flammable vapours by static discharge. Anti-static kits are available to help you to safely dispense these flammable liquids. Flammable chemicals in use on a work bench etc., should be stored in appropriate safety containers with flame arrestors fitted to prevent accidental ignition of the containers contents.
Larger volumes of highly flammable chemicals should be stored outside your main building in appropriate Flammables Stores or Bunded chemical stores. These chemical storage systems should be positioned in a safe location, away from sources of ignition, boundaries etc.
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