CfA Safety: Flammable Liquids
 

Intent: To provide a standard concerning the quantities of flammable liquids and flammable gas cylinders that can be stored in laboratory areas. This section does not address toxic gases.

Definitions:

Flammable liquid: A liquid having a flash point below 100°F (37.8°C).

Flammable gas: A gas that will burn in air. (This does not include detonatable gases such as silane and diborane.) Flammable gases include acetylene, deuterium, ethylene, hydrogen, methane, and natural gas.)

Standard:

  1. Flammable liquids:
    • The total quantity of flammable liquids that can be in a laboratory outside of a storage cabinet or in safety cans is 5 gallons per 100 square feet of laboratory space
    • The total quantity that can be in a laboratory is 10 gallons per 100 square feet of laboratory space
    • The quantities of flammable liquids in a laboratory shall be limited to (a) or (b) above or one (1) month's supply, whichever is less
    • Flammable liquids must not be stored near Bunsen burners, ovens, or other sources of heat
    • If flammable liquids are stored in a refrigerator, the refrigerator must be spark-free and must be labeled to denote acceptability for flammable liquid storage

  2. Flammable gas cylinders:
    • Should be limited to three (3) type 1 (10"x50") cylinders per 500 square feet of sprinklered laboratory space, or to two (2) type 1 (10"x50") cylinders per 500 sq. ft. of unsprinklered laboratory space
    • Should be stored in well-ventilated, dry areas
    • Should not be stored near sources of ignition, nor where they might be exposed to corrosive chemicals or vapors, nor where heavy objects might strike or fall on them (e.g. near elevators, service corridors, and unprotected platform edges

  3. Liquefied flammable gas containers:
    • Should be limited to three (3) 9"x30" cylinders per 500 sq. ft. of sprinklered laboratory space, or two (2) 9"x30" cylinders per 500 sq. ft. of unsprinklered laboratory space
    • Workers' eyes and faces shall be protected with face shields while they are handling liquefied gases. Clean, loose fitting, non-porous gloves shall be worn together with a long-sleeved lab coat or jacket

  4. The maximum quantities of flammable gases mentioned above will be reduced on a case-by-case basis if, in the opinion of The Safety Committee, a hazard is created by having such a concentration of flammable liquids and flammable gases present.
  5. Additional codes (e.g. building, fire, OSHA) may require special construction, egress, and practice provisions when dealing with the concentration of flammable liquids and gases allowed in sections (1), (2), and (3) above.

Reference:

NFPA 30, 45, 51, 54, and 58  29 CFR Subpart M 1910.169-1910.171

Contact:

Questions concerning this standard should be addressed to the CfA Safety Office at 5-7478.

See also Compressed Gas Cylinders

 
 

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