Flammable and Hazardous Materials

1.The total inventory of flammable liquids in a laboratory must not be excessive. As a guide to acceptable quantities of stored chemicals, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) has set the following limits for storage of flammable liquids in laboratories:

2. Flammable chemical storage cabinets should be double-walled metal cabinets whose backs are securely bolted to a masonry or brick wall, if possible, to prevent tipping. The doors of these cabinets should have positive-catch latches (i.e., a handle must be turned, not merely pulled, to open the door).

3. Flammable chemicals requiring refrigeration must be stored only in approved flammable material-storage refrigerators or freezers.

4. Substances with particularly noxious or toxic vapors must be stored inside a ventilated storage cabinet or, if necessary, in an operating fume hood. If the fume hood is also to be used for experimental work, then it should be provided with a separate metal cabinet for chemical storage.

5. Because of the possibility of formation of explosive peroxides, storage for longer than 30 days of opened containers of ethers, especially cyclic ethers and ethers derived from primary and secondary alcohols, is particularly hazardous. Containers of ethyl or isopropyl ether should be labeled with the date that they are first opened, and the entire contents should be either used or destroyed within one month after first opening the container.

6. Potential sources of ignition, such as flames or non-explosion-proof electrical motors, are not allowed in areas where flammable chemicals are used or stored.

7. Incompatible chemicals, such as strong acids and bases or strong acids and organic reagents, must not be stored in close proximity.

8. Rubber bottle carriers or carts (available from the research stockroom) are required for transporting glass containers of chemicals in building corridors.

Departmental Safety Regulations