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OSHA Flammable Storage Regulations - Liquids and Cabinets


flammable storage

Are you seeking strategies that comply with OSHA's regulations on flammable storage while still keeping your employees safe? Do you have concerns regarding the standards for flammable liquid storage cabinets? So you are in the proper place. You should comprehend and adhere to a standard set by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.


OSHA Flammable Liquid Storage: Get Started


The OSHA flammable liquid storage requirements state that every chemical possessing a flash point below 199.4°F (or 93°C) is deemed “flammable.” You may remember hearing the word “combustible,” but that word is no longer used in the standard. However, some chemicals are certainly more flammable than others. Therefore, it’s necessary to comply with OSHA chemical storage requirements to keep all employees safe on the job.


Depending on a chemical's flash or boiling point, there are several criteria according to OSHA regulations for storage. The number of chemicals held affects how OSHA defines what constitutes flammable storage. The flammable liquid storage regulations also take into account whether the chemicals are kept indoors or outside.


Chemical Storage Guidelines by OSHA


Small Quantity Chemical Storage Requirements

Even if you only retain a small amount, flammable liquids must always be contained and kept out of reach. Smaller volumes, however, can be kept in portable tanks and containers that meet OSHA regulations.


Large Quantity Chemical Storage Requirements

How much flammable chemicals you need to store depends on how much of them you need to keep. You will need to set aside space for big amounts of storage and may even need to build separate indoor or outdoor storage facilities. To meet the requirements of the big flammable material storage rules, it is occasionally necessary to establish pipe systems or permanent tanks.


Flammable Material Storage Regulations


OSHA Compliant Containers and Quantity Categories

Here, you will note chemical categories paired with various OSHA-compliant containers. Further, you’ll note each container’s quantity limits (pint, quart, gallon). While the table provides an overview, you should look to OSHA documentation for more information about the categories of chemicals below.

quantity container categories

OSHA Flammable Storage Limits in a Single Area

After examining the proper flammable storage containers’ sizes, you must further consider the flammable liquid storage requirements and the total amount of liquids you are permitted to store in a single area. The quantity of liquid that may be stored outside of an indoor storage cabinet or room in each building or any fire area of the building cannot exceed the following:

  • 25 gal. of Cat. 1 flammables in containers

  • 120 gal. of Cat. 2, 3, or 4 flammables in containers

  • 660 gal. of Cat. 2, 3, or 4 flammables in a single portable tank


What Should Be Stored in a Flammable Storage Cabinet?

You might find that you need a storage cabinet; in this case, you must comply to the regulations for flammable storage cabinets. This particular container design must adhere to OSHA fire cabinet requirements. More than 60 gallons of combustible chemical liquids from categories 1, 2, or 3 cannot be kept inside. Additionally, you are not permitted to store in your storage cabinet more than 120 gallons of Category 4 flammables.


There are requirements for combustible cabinets made of both wood and metal that need to be addressed. Additionally, there are detailed instructions for building these cabinets (concerning materials, airspace, joints, sills, latches, and labels).


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