3Flammable LiquidsFlammable liquids can cause a fire or explosion, and like many other substances, they can also cause serious health effects from overexposure.Examples of flammables:-acetone-gasoline-lacquer thinner3Note: On the NFPA diamond label, a fire hazard rating of 3 or 4 denotes a flammable liquid.
4Flammable LiquidsA flammable liquid is any liquid having a flashpoint below 100°F.Exception: Any mixture having components with flashpoints of 100°F or higher, the total of which make up 99% or more of the total volume of the mixture.FLSP page 43Note: The flash point is the lowest temperature at which a liquid gives off enough vapor to form a flammable mixture with air.
5Flammable LiquidsThe vapors of flammable liquids often present the most serious hazard.The vapors can easily ignite or explode.Flammable liquid vapors are heavier than air and may settle in low spots, or move a significant distance from the liquid itself.
6Explosive LimitsThe explosive concentration of vapors in air has a lower and upper limit.The Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) is the lowest concentration that will ignite.The Upper Explosive Limit (UEL) is the highest concentration that will ignite.If the vapor concentration is between the LEL and UEL, there is serious risk of fire or explosion.
7Explosive LimitsAbove the Upper Explosive Limit, the mixture is too rich to burnUPPER EXPLOSIVE LIMITExplosive RangeLOWER EXPLOSIVE LIMITBelow the Lower Explosive Limit, the mixture is too lean to burn
8ClassificationFlammable and combustible liquids are classified according to their flashpoints.This is important to know because the quantity of flammable/combustible liquids that can be stored in any one location is determined by the class of the liquid.
9Flammable Liquids Class 1A Liquids having flashpoints below 73°F and having a boiling point below 100°F.Class 1BLiquids having flashpoints below 73°F and having a boiling point at or above 100°F.Class 1CLiquids have flashpoints at or above 73°F and below 100°F.FLSP page 43
10Combustible LiquidsA combustible liquid is any liquid having a flashpoint at or above 100°F.Note: Check your Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) sheet for the characteristics or classification of a particular liquid.FLSP page 43Examples of combustibles:-kerosene-fuel oil-Stoddard solvent
11Combustible Liquids Class II Liquids with flashpoints at or above 100°F and below 140°F.Class IIILiquids with flashpoints at or above 140°FClass IIIAThose with flashpoints at or above 140°F and below 200°F.Class IIIBThose with flashpoints at or above 200°F.FLSP page 43
12Area Exempt AmountsThere are certain amounts of flammable and combustible liquids stored in each control area that are considered exempt.If these amounts are exceeded, then the area or building may have to be reclassified as a Hazardous Use Group under the building code.FLSP page 43
13Excessive storage is a serious violation of the fire code! Contact the EHSS Fire Safety Engineer at for assistance, if necessary.
14Storage AreasFlammables should be stored in an approved cabinet in a cool, well ventilated area to avoid pressure buildup and vaporization.FLSP page 15
15Storage AreasThere should be at least one fire extinguisher in the area.Large storage areas should have a fire protection system installed and must be approved for this use.FLSP page 15
16Storage CabinetsUse flammable liquid storage cabinets where greater quantities of liquids are needed.Contrary to popular belief, these cabinets are not designed to contain a fire, but to prevent an outside fire from reaching the contents for a period of 10 minutes – enough time to evacuate the area.FLSP page 15
17Flammable Liquid Exempt Amounts (in gallons) ConditionIAIBICInside; unprotected by sprinklers or cabinets.306090Within approved cabinet; unsprinklered structure.120180Not in approved cabinet; sprinklered structure.In approved cabinet; sprinklered structure.240360Outside storage.
18Combustible Liquid Exempt Amounts (in gallons) ConditionIIIIIAIIIBInside; unprotected by sprinklers or cabinets.12033013,200Within approved cabinet; unsprinklered structure.24066026,400Not in approved cabinet; sprinklered structure.unlimitedIn approved cabinet; sprinklered structure.4801,320Outside storage.
19Limitations on Storage The maximum storage of flammables and combustibles in any one area under the Virginia Fire Prevention Code is 60 gallons of flammables and 120 gallons of combustibles.Va. Fire Prevention CodeThese quantities must be in an approved storage area, i.e. a flammables cabinet or other acceptable means.
20There are also limitations on quantities stored in individual containers. FLSP page 44
21Storage ContainersContainers should be tightly sealed when not in use.Approved safety cans are recommended for smaller quantities.The spring-loaded safety cap prevents spillage, prevents vapors from escaping, acts as a pressure vent if engulfed in fire, prevents explosions and rocketing of the can!FLSP page 15
22Flammable Liquid Limitations (in gallons) ContainerIAIBICGlass or approved plastic1 pt.1 qt.1Metal (other than DOT drum)5Safety cans2Metal drums (DOT specifications)60Approved portable tanks660FLSP page 44
23Combustible Liquid Limitations (in gallons) ContainerIIIIIGlass or approved plastic1Metal (other than DOT drums)5Safety CansMetal drums (DOT specifications)60Approved portable tanks660FLSP page 44
24PrecautionsThe unsafe use, storage, dispensing, or disposal of flammable materials can be a prime source of fires and explosions.Read labels of all spray cans to identify those with flammable gas-propellants.FLSP page 12Ex. Butane and Propane
25Precautions gasoline benzene xylene toluene Some flammable liquids have a tendency to accumulate a static electric charge, which can release a spark that ignites the liquid.Always bond metal dispensing and receiving containers together before pouring.FLSP page 15gasolinebenzenexylenetoluene
26PrecautionsTo bond containers, each container is wired together and one container is connected to a good ground point to allow any charge to drain away safely.Because there is no easy way to bond plastic containers, their use should be limited to smaller sizes (no more than 4L).FLSP page 15
27PrecautionsOverexposure to flammable liquids may present health hazards.Consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on the material you will be using to identify health hazards and protective measures to be taken.
28Precautions Effects of overexposure to flammable liquids includes: Inhalation: Irritation to respiratory passages, nausea, headaches, muscle weakness, drowsiness, loss of coordination, disorientation, confusion, unconsciousness, and death.From Toolbox Topic
30Preventive MeasuresQuantities of flammable and combustible liquids located outside of storage cabinets should be restricted to one day’s supply, or to what can be used during a single shift.If possible, substitute nonflammable, non-hazardous materials for flammable liquids.FLSP page 15
31Preventive MeasuresTo prevent the accumulation of vapors inside of storage areas, a continuous mechanical ventilation system must be in place.FLSP page 16
32Preventive MeasuresAll nonessential ignition sources must be eliminated where flammable liquids are used or stored.Common ignition sources include:Open flames from cutting and weldingFurnaces, matches, heaters, smoking materialsStatic electricity, friction sparksMotors, switches, circuit breakersFLSP page 16
33Preventive MeasuresMaterials that contribute to a flammable liquid fire should not be stored with flammable liquids. For example,OxidizersOrganic peroxidesFLSP page 16
34Preventive Measures If a spill occurs: Limit spread by diking with suitable absorbent material.Minimize vapors by covering surface of spill with same absorbent material.Ensure all sources of ignition are off or controlled.Notify your supervisor immediately and call 911 if necessary.FLSP page 16
35Preventive Measures If a spill occurs: Begin cleanup right away. Sweep saturated absorbent material into a dustpan.Place material into a metal container with a tight fitting lid.Place any saturated rags or cloths into the same container.Contact EHSS at for pickup and proper disposal.FLSP page 16
36Preventive MeasuresAlways check the labels of containers (or the MSDS) for recommended personal protective equipment to be worn.Lab coatsSplash apronsEyewearGlovesOverboots
37SummaryCareless mistakes and safety shortcuts lead to serious problems when it comes to flammable liquids.Respect flammable liquids and their dangers - their hazards are deadly…
38Contact InformationEnvironmental, Health and Safety ServicesFire SafetyThank you!