Storage and Use of Flammable and Combustible Liquids
This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: June 2014
The purpose of this policy statement is to list the basic standards for the storage and use of flammable and combustible liquids applicable to Campus operations. The standards listed here are by no means comprehensive but represent those cited most frequently during inspections of Campus facilities.
- Laboratory Unit
- A laboratory unit is defined as a room, or suite of rooms, separated from adjacent areas by walls and doors having at least a one hour fire rating.
- Flash Point
- The minimum temperature at which a liquid gives off vapor in sufficient concentration to form an ignitable mixture in air.
- Flammable Liquids
- A flammable liquid is any liquid having a flash point below 100°F (37.8°C). Flammable liquids are also known as Class I liquids and subdivided according to flash point and boiling point as indicated in the table below.
- Combustible Liquids
- A combustible liquid is any liquid having a flash point at or above 100°F, and is known as a Class II or III liquid as indicated in the following table.
- Flammables Combustibles
- IA IB IC II III
- Flash point <73°F <73°F 73°F – 100°F 100°F – 140°F >140°F
- Boiling Point <100°F 100°F> <100°F
- Container Type IA IB IC II III
- Glass 1 pt. 1 qt. 1 qt. 1 gal. 1 gal.
- Metal or Approved Plastic 1 gal. 5 gal. 5 gal. 5 gal. 5 gal.
- Safety Cans 2 gal. 5 gal. 5 gal. 5 gal. 5 gal.
- Shelf or open storage/use:
- Glass, plastic, or cans: 10 gallons
- Safety cans: 25 gallons
- Approved storage cabinets (maximum 2 per lab unit)
- Class: 30 gallons
- Class I & II & III: 60 gallons
- Inside Storage Room (meeting NFPA Code recommendations)
- with sprinkler: 4 10 gal/ft2
- without sprinkler: 2 4 gal/ft2
The following guidelines were adopted by the University on the recommendation of the Deputy Commissioner of Insurance.
- If a one gallon quantity of one specific liquid represents more than a thirty day supply of a Class IA or IB flammable, one pint (IA) or one quart (IB) shall be used.
- Multiple cans and/or bottles of any one specific flammable will not be permitted in a laboratory in open storage or storage cabinet if it represents more than a 30 day supply of that flammable.
- Quantities stored in inside storage rooms shall not exceed a 90 day supply for that building.
- Deviations from these guidelines may be granted in exceptional cases following approval by the University Fire Marshal.
NOTE: Fisher Scientific will set up orders for weekly or more frequent deliveries of goods ordered in volume, thus maintaining the advantage of lower prices for volume orders. However, it will be the responsibility of the laboratory supervisor to see that the weekly and maximum amounts are not exceeded.