Whatever your work environment, it is likely that you will have at least some flammable materials that need to be stored correctly, be it industrial chemicals or something as simple as cleaning fluids.
It’s vital that all flammable substances are stored correctly and safety, and as the employer or building owner within a company it is your responsibility to ensure that this is done. The first thing to consider is if any of the flammable liquids you have can be replaced with non-flammable alternatives, reducing the hazard altogether. Often this will not be the case, so we’ve listed a few of the things to keep in mind when storing flammables safely.
When deciding where to store flammable substances, it may be useful to keep in mind the basics of the fire triangle: fuel, heat and oxygen. Be sure to keep these three separate, and let this be the basis on which you store all substances.
You should ensure that any cabinet you use to store the liquids is well ventilated, in order to ensure a constant and regular air flow to the containers. This will ensure that any vapours emitted from the substances will diffuse, reducing the risk of spontaneous combustion or dangerous gases building up.
Remove Sources of Ignition
When keeping fuel (the flammables) and oxygen together, it’s vital that any sources of ignition are kept well away. Consider where ignition sources may be in your working environment; open flames, surfaces, and sparks from electrical tools are all hazards.
Inspect each liquid’s container carefully – never use a damaged or broken container, and be sure to check that plastic/metal won’t react with the chemicals if you are transferring the substances. Always store containers upright with the lids on, and fit out the storage cabinet with a spillage tray should any leaks occur.
Labelling flammable items is important to ensure anyone using them knows the risk and that chemicals are not accidentally mixed or mistaken for another. Make sure the name, use and hazard is marked clearly on the container.
Keep flammable substances away from escape routes such as doors and stairways. Storing flammables provides a barrier between the outbreak of a fire and the substances being ignited and escalating the fire, so it’s important that this is stored well away from where people may need to evacuate.
Accidents can still happen despite taking every precaution, so keeping a fire extinguisher nearby will ensure that if a fire does start, it can be tackled quickly and effectively. It is also essential to have a suitable fire detection system in place to alert all employees in the event of a fire.
Here at Protect & Detect, we’re on hand to provide advice and assistance regarding your work environment’s fire safety. We offer detailed fire risk assessments, training, and fire detection system installations at competitive prices.
Contact our team today to find out more about the services we offer, and we’d be happy to help.