Do you need a flammable storage cabinet?
The use of flammable substances are part of many businesses day to day functions. Properly using & storing these liquids is imperative to protect employees & the environment. COSHH are a set of guidelines set out by the HSE to help businesses use, store and dispose of these substances safely.
Flammable and combustible liquids don't actually catch fire themselves, it's the vapours they give off that burn. The flash point is the minimum temperature at which a liquid forms a vapour above its surface in sufficient concentration that it can be ignited.
Flammable liquids fall into these categories:
Materials whose vapours form potentially explosive mixtures with air and which are flammable in the presence of a ignition source; with a flash point between 23 – 60°c. Examples include - Syrene (used in the manufacturing of polystyrene) & turpentine oil which is used in soap and cosmetics.
Materials whose vapours form explosive mixtures when in the presence of oxygen & an ignition source, with a flash point below 23°c. Examples include acetone and petrol.
The vapours form explosive mixtures when in the presence of oxygen & an ignition source with a flash point below 0°c and boiling point below 35°c. Examples include acetylene, and diethyl ether. Acetylene is used in automotive part manufacturing and fabrication of other metal parts. Diethyl ether is used as a solvent for waxes, fats, oils, perfumes.
Which flammable storage cabinet do you need?
If you have carried out your COSHHH assessment and require a flammable storage cabinet we have a wide range available. After evaluating the risks of the chemicals you need to store and following the storage guidelines you’ll be ready to choose your cabinet. The type of cabinet will depend on how flammable the materials you’re storing are.
Our most popular flammable cabinet is suitable for segregating flammable to highly flammable materials. It is designed with 0.9mm thick steel, COSHH labelling, perforated shelves and sump tray to collect spillages. It is designed maintain its integrity during the early minutes of exposure to fire.
If you’re storing highly flammable materials you might want something a little more robust such as our Justrite cabinets. They are FM approved and designed to withstand fire for a minimum of 10 minutes. Their unique features include 1mm thick double steel walls, with 1.5 inches or insulating airspace for fire resistance. They also have dual vents with flame arresters which are effective in preventing the transmission of a flame.
Where should you keep the cabinets?
Your COSHH assessment will help you identify exactly what you need and how it should be stored. Depending on when and how the flammable substances are used in your business will impact where they’re stored. You might need large cabinets to stored larger quantities of the chemicals and smaller cabinets which can easily be accessed in work areas which will carry smaller quantities.
The guiding principle is that only the minimum needed for frequently occurring tasks or quantity needed for ½ day or one shift should be present in the workroom/working area. We have wall mounted flammable cabinets which are ideal for this type of storage.
The maximum quantity that may be stored in a flammable storage cabinet is no more than 50 litres for extremely, highly flammable and those flammable liquids with a flashpoint below the maximum temperature of the working area; and no more than 250 litres for other flammable liquids with a higher flashpoint of up to 55°C.
It is the responsibility of the employer to carry out a COSHH assessment and ensure that the cabinets meet the legal requirements for the chemicals being stored, but if you need any help or advice choosing a cabinet, our team are happy to help.