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Flammable liquid storage cabinet

Why Aussie businesses need flammable liquid storage cabinets

As the heat of summer increases, storing flammable liquids correctly in the workplace has never been more important. Protecting staff form the dangers Class 3 flammable liquids pose should be at the forefront of all WHS plans. In this article we will discuss why flammable liquids can be dangerous and highlight how flammable liquid storage cabinets are the safest choice to safeguard you business. 

 

What are Class 3 flammable liquids? 

Flammable liquids are officially classed as Class 3 dangerous goods by the Australian Dangerous Goods Code. Class 3 flammable liquids are substances that are highly volatile and can ignite easily at relatively low temperatures. These liquids have a flash point below 37.8°C and a boiling point at or below 35°C. They are categorized as hazardous materials due to their potential for causing fires and explosions.

 

What are common examples of Class 3 flammable liquids? 

Examples of Class 3 flammable liquids include gasoline, acetone, ethanol, and many solvents used in industrial processes.

These substances are commonly found in various industrial processes, laboratories, automotive applications, and household products. Proper handling and storage, such as the usage of flammable liquid storage cabinets are essential to minimize the risk of fire and ensure safety when dealing with Class 3 flammable liquids.

 

Why are Class 3 flammable liquids dangerous? 

Class 3 flammable liquids are considered dangerous primarily because of their high volatility and propensity to ignite easily. Several factors contribute to their hazardous nature:

  1. Flammability: Class 3 flammable liquids have low flash points, meaning they can ignite at relatively low temperatures. Even a small spark, heat source, or electrical discharge can trigger combustion.

  2. Rapid Vaporization: These liquids evaporate quickly, producing flammable vapors that can accumulate in confined spaces, creating an explosive atmosphere.

  3. Potential for Explosions: When exposed to an ignition source, the vaporized flammable liquids can explode violently, causing significant damage to property and posing a severe injury risks.

  4. Fire Spread: Class 3 flammable liquids can spread fires rapidly, making them challenging to control once ignited. They can also ignite nearby combustible materials, exacerbating the situation.

Due to these dangers, proper storage in flammable liquids storage cabinets is a must to ensure the safety of all personnel. 

 

Do flammable liquids need to be stored in a cabinet?

To ensure safe storage of Class 3 flammable liquids in the workplace they should be stored in flammable liquids storage cabinets to reduce the danger risks. Flammable storage are built with tick steel walls with a thermal barrier to ensure that they don't act as an accelerant in the event of a workplace fire and also contain the fire in the event the liquids combust. Safety cabinets are also built with an in-built containment sump to collect any leaks drips and spills to the inside bottom of the cabinet. 

Extra safety features such as self-closing doors ensure cabinets cannot be accidently left open or ajar. Built-in vent ports allow for the ability to be connected to a ventilation system and integral flash arrestors extinguish any sparks that may pose a threat to combusting the liquids. 

 

What is the Australian Standard for flammable liquid storage cabinets?

To ensure the highest safety standards flammable liquids storage cabinets should be manufactured to meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS1940:2017 - The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids. There are several requirements the standard outlines in regards to manufacturing specifications:

  • The flammable cabinet must have walls, floor, doors, and roof made of double-walled sheet steel construction. The gap between these walls should be at least 40mm wide and can either be empty or filled with fire-resistant insulation.
  • To prevent heat radiation and flame spread during a fire, the gaps around the doors and walls of the cabinet must be sealed.
  • The base of the cabinet should have a liquid-tight sump that is at least 150mm deep, designed to prevent packages from being stored in it and to contain any spills.
  • Shelves inside the cabinet must be perforated for air circulation, sturdy enough to carry maximum loads, and designed to direct spills into the sump.
  • Cabinet doors should be self-closing, close-fitting, and automatically held shut by catches at two or more points. If equipped with a mechanism to hold the doors open during loading, they must automatically close if the temperature exceeds 80°C.
  • Materials critical to the cabinet's structural integrity must not melt below 850°C, with seals and gaskets being the exception to this rule. 

 

How much flammable liquid can be stored in safety cabinets?

Flammable liquid storage cabinets come in a variety of sizes with different storage capacities to suit different requirements. Larger cabinets have greater sump capacities and are larger in size to suit larger drums and containers.

 

Shop Titan Safety's flammable storage cabinets today

Titan Safety's range of flammable liquid storage cabinets are not only made to meet the requirements of Australian Standards but better yet they are made right here in Australia. We stock sizes from 30L through to 350L storage capacities. We hold stock nationally to ensure quick dispatch of all orders. Click here to view our range: https://titansafety.com.au/collections/flammable-storage-cabinets/products/flammable-liquid-safety-cabinets