Four Flammable Materials Storage Tips For Your Business

31 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog


If your business uses paint, paint thinners, or other flammable materials on the shop floor, proper storage is a must. Not only does the right storage system ensure everyone's safety, it also keeps these supplies in working condition. The following guide can help ensure you store hazardous items correctly.

Tip #1: Keep the Container

It's best to keep most hazardous materials in their original container. The original is made to safely contain the material, plus it has all the pertinent information, such as contents, safety, and use, printed right on the label. If you must store items in a different container, make sure the container is rated for holding the specific material, such as using paint buckets for extra paint or gas cans for fuel. Correctly label all non-original containers to avoid mishaps.

Tip #2: Read the MSDS

Every flammable item used in the average business has a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Much of this information is available on the label, plus you can request the fully detailed sheet from the manufacturer or supplier. Make sure you are familiar with all the safety precautions on the MSDS for a specific item. The MSDS will tell you proper storage temperature, usage safety needs, and any special storage requirements. These can differ greatly, depending on the material, so it's vital you know the storage needs for each new material that enters your shop.

Tip #3: Manage the Environment

In most cases, flammable materials should not be stored at high temperatures, since this can cause them to combust. Keep the storage areas for these materials in a cool location, away from direct exposure to flames and heat sources, such as pilot lights. You will also want to pick a room with ventilation so fumes do not build up in the storage space.

Tip #4: Choose the Right Cabinet

A proper storage cabinet is a must. Industrial storage cabinets are rated for different uses. For example, there are cabinets that are made to contain acids in the event of a spill, and those that are meant to properly ventilate flammable materials while still providing a fire-safe storage environment. A flammable materials cabinet is typically made from metal and it contains ventilation holes along the sides and back. The cabinet isn't typically tall, since it's best to avoid storing items above eye level. High storage makes spills more likely. When storing items in the cabinet, group like items together. For example, all spray paint on one shelf and all paint thinners on a separate shelf. Make sure the heavy duty storage cabinets are properly labeled as holding flammable materials, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby.