When purchasing or specifying a new chemical store, there are a number of optional extras which you should consider which are unlikely to be included as part of a “standard” chemical store package, but are highly important for ensuring chemical safety in your place of business.
- Bund Liners.
Most standard bunds in chemical stores are made from epoxy paint coated mild steel. This type of material is largely resistant to corrosion, but if you are going to be storing highly corrosive chemicals and if there is a high risk of spillage, you should consider a Bund Liner. The Bund Liner is manufactured from thermoplastic, normally polypropylene or polyethylene, which has a much greater resistance to attack from corrosive chemicals. If you plan to be decanting corrosive substances within your chemical store, the likelihood of drips and spills is much higher and so requesting the addition of bund liners to your chemical store would be highly recommended.
- Fire Protection.
If you will be storing highly flammable chemicals in your chemical store and if you plan to locate your chemical store in what is considered an ‘unsafe’ location, i.e. close to an occupied building, source of ignition, roadway or boundary, your store will need to have fire protection. A fire protected store is designed to keep fire out / to prevent your flammables from becoming part of a fire on your premises for long enough to allow staff to escape and fire fighters to tackle your fire. The HSE have a guidance document HS(G)51 on separation distances for flammables stores.
- Ventilation / Extraction.
All chemical stores should be fitted with vents to prevent the accumulation of hazardous vapours within the chemical store. If personnel need to be inside the chemical store for periods of time and/or if you will be decanting or mixing chemicals within the store, you should also choose a forced extraction system /extract fan to ensure that the vapours are removed. A minimum of 10 air changes per hour is recommended for standard chemical stores.
- Frost protection.
Some chemicals are sensitive to low temperatures and may become unusable if they freeze. You should therefore include heating / frost protection in your chemical store to maintain the internal temperature above freezing, especially for outdoor chemical stores in times of harsh weather.
- Temperature control.
Very high temperatures in your chemical store may cause problems with some chemicals, so you should include the option of full temperature control (heating and cooling) in your chemical store. You will be able to set the desired temperature and the temperature control system will heat in winter and cool in summer to maintain a constant temperature within the chemical store. Should chemicals overheat, they can explode causing a chemical accident.
Want to find out more about additional features for your chemical store? Feel free to get in touch with our team. For more information and tips regarding chemical storage and chemical safety, read our previous blog posts.