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Important Steps to Consider When Buying a Flammable Cabinet is a completely independent review guide covering medical, business and industrial products and software. If readers choose to buy our selected editorial picks, we sometimes earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

Industrial liquids can be extremely harmful if proper care is not given. (Click here for the Flammable Liquids Directorate of Training and Education video)

When dealing with flammable liquids, the potential for danger increases exponentially. Without strict storage procedures your entire business could go up in flames.

Understandably, if your premises contains flammables special regulatory issues apply. In this case guidelines set out by The Uniform Fire Code, OSHA or the International Fire Code will be applicable.

Essentially, the safest way to store your flammable liquids is by using an approved container. In other words, a safety storage cabinet that complies with the above regulatory bodies is what you should buy.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(3)(i&ii) outlines specifics on cabinet design requirements, however this would not be much of a guide if all we did was send you in the direction of some hard legal reading.

To assist you in your purchase of a good flammable storage cabinet, we have set out some of the required attributes below.

What to look for when buying a flammable storage cabinet

  • The cabinet should be a minimum of 18-gauge steel construction in the bottom, top, door and sides.
  • It should feature double wall construction.
  • 1.5″ (38mm) of insulating air space should be contained within the construction. This should be tested to limit the internal temperature to 325 F (163C) when subjected to a 10 minute fire.
  • The cabinet should include a 3-point door latch.
  • “Warning Flammable Keep Fire Away” should be clearly labelled on the front of the cabinet.
  • Riveted joints should be welded
  • The cabinet should feature a 2″ (50mm) raised sill. This is designed to retain any spilled liquids inside.

Other issues to consider

What class or category do the stored liquids fall into?

You need to know the flash point and boiling point for each liquid so you can segregate then accordingly. This is because it is good practice to store compatible materials together.

OSHA state that 60 gallons of Class I & II (Category 1, 2, 3), or 120 gallons of Class III (Category 4) Liquids can stored in a single cabinet.

Where the Cabinet Will Be Used?

Outdoor storage buildings are generally the best solution as this means any potential hazard can be contained.

That being said, for smaller amounts of flammable liquid storage, a cabinet can be used on site.

To this end you will find all manner of storage configurations. Countertop, wall mount, under counter and other flammable cabinets are now widely available.

The cabinet must Meet OSHA and NFPA 30 requirements

Do not buy anything that doesn’t meet the requirements we have listed above, (and are set out by the regulatory bodies). Look out for independent third-party certifications to back up the manufacturers claims.

The Factory Mutual Global (FM) or Underwriters Laboratory (UL) are all reliable testing bodies to this end.

What are the requirements in your state?

Finally, you should look into whether your state and/or county requires any special requirements.

Your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) will also be able to tell you about the required placement of your flammable storage cabinets.

Bottom Line

Choosing the correct cabinet for your flammables is a very important purchasing decision. Hopefully the above steps will help you make the right choice so that all your liquids are safely stored in line with all the correct regulatory guidelines.

Image Credits: USA Safety