What are the Requirements for Flammable Liquid Storage?


Navigating the requirements for chemical handling and storage can be complex. How can you be sure that you comply with flammable liquid storage regulations and standards? When is a flammable storage cabinet required?

Flammable Liquid Storage: Which Laws Apply to You?

It is important to check with local jurisdictions to confirm which laws are relevant to your industry and location. Justrite safety cabinets meet at least one or more of the following regulations:

Choose a safety cabinet that has been independently tested to these standards. Third party certification from FM Approvals (FM Approved) or MPA Dresden (GS) signifies that the cabinet will perform as expected.

Flammable and Combustible Liquid Definitions

Flammable liquid storage requirements depend on how flammable the liquid is. Because NFPA is a fire code and OSHA represents labor law, they have slightly different criteria. However, both use the liquid's flash point and boiling point as key classification elements.

NFPA Classifications:

NFPA 30 uses two terms (flammable and combustible) in their classification of materials. Class I liquids are flammable, while Class II and III liquids are combustible. A flammable liquid is one having a flash point below 100 F (37.8 C) and having a vapor pressure not exceeding 40 lbs. per square inch absolute at 100 F; a combustible liquid is one having a flash point at or above 100 F (37.8 C).

The NFPA breakdown is as follows:

Class Flash Point Boiling Point
I-A < 73 F (22.8 C) < 100 F (38 C)
I-B < 73 F (22.8 C) ≥ 100 F (38 C)
I-C ≥ 73.4 F (22.8 C) - < 100 F (37.8 C)
II ≥ 100 F (37.8 C) - < 140 F (60 C)
III-A ≥ 140 F (60 C) - < 200 F (93.3 C)
III-B ≥ 200 F (93.3 C)


OSHA Classifications:

In 2012, OSHA stopped using the term combustible. It now defines all flammable liquids by flash point with notations about liquids heated within 30 F (16.7 C) of their flashpoint. It also changed to the Category classification to align their Hazard Communications Standard (HCS) with the United Nation's Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Under GHS, all liquids with flash points of 199.4 F (93 C) or less are categorized as flammable liquids. They are further subdivided as follows:

Category Flash Point Boiling Point
1 < 73.4 F (23 C) ≤ 95 F (35 C)
2 < 73.4 F (23 C) > 95 F (35 C)
3 ≥ 73.4 F (23 C) - ≤ 140 F (60 C)
4 > 140 F (60 C) - ≤ 199.4 F (93 C)


When is a Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinet Required?

The OSHA standard sets volume limits on flammable chemicals based on its flammable classifications. For example, no safety cabinet is required to store less than 25 gallons of Category 1 flammable liquids in approved containers. The limit for a single storage cabinet is 60 gallons of Category 1, 2 or 3 flammable liquids, or 120 gallons of Category 4 flammable liquids. And, up to three safety cabinets are allowed in a storage area.

What Can You Store in a Safety Cabinet?

Justrite supplies more than 300 safety cabinet models ranging from 4- to 115-gallons (15- to 435- liters).

Sure-Grip® EX Flammable Safety Cabinets keep flammable chemicals safe. Their double-wall steel structure has an air space for fire resistance.

Do you need a mobile option for storing small quantities of flammable chemicals? Sure-Grip® EX Mini Flammable Safety Cabinets keep flammables for cleaning and maintenance close by. They are easily movable, placing chemicals at the point of need. For those that regularly use aerosol cans, Sure-Grip® EX Benchtop Flammable Safety Cabinets feature two roll-out shelves that can accommodate up to 24 aerosol cans.

EN Flammable Safety Cabinets offer extreme fire resistance for high risk environments. They protect volatile contents for 30- to 90-minutes, depending on the model. This allows increased evacuation times. It also gives emergency responders more time to control the fire before it reaches the flammables contents.

If you produce flammable waste, use Sure-Grip® EX Flammable Waste Safety Cabinets for the temporary collection and segregation of flammable liquid waste. A large FLAMMABLE WASTE warning label on the door identifies its contents.

Safely store 30- to 50-gallon solvent filled drums using Sure-Grip® EX Vertical Drum Safety Cabinets. And Sure-Grip® EX Double-Duty Drum Safety Cabinets allow storage of flammable liquids contained in both drums and safety cans, in the same cabinet.

Order Your Justrite Safety Cabinet Today

Justrite flammable safety cabinets help companies comply with regulations and keep employees safe. See all our flammable liquid storage options.