SY08 Storage, Dispensing and Use of Flammable Liquids on University Property
Subject Matter Expert:
Policy Steward:Director of Environmental Health and Safety>
- Storage of Flammable and Combustible Liquids
- Fire Control
- Table I: Basic Principles for Storage, Dispensing and Use of Flammable and Combustible Liquids
- Further Information
- Cross References
This policy prescribes general procedures concerning the storage, dispensing and use of flammable and combustible liquids. This policy is not all inclusive; therefore, prudent judgement must be employed for those specific applications not otherwise identified in this policy. Additional information may be obtained from Environmental Health and Safety at 814-865-6391.
This policy applies to the storage, dispensing and use of flammable and combustible liquids at all locations of The Pennsylvania State University (except the Hershey Medical Center and the College of Medicine).
- NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code - National Fire Protection Association.
- The International Fire Code as Adopted by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
- The International Building Code as Adopted by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor.
- 29 CFR 1910 OSHA General Industry Regulations- 1910.106 Flammable and Combustible Liquids.
- NFPA 45, Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals - National Fire Protection Association.
- Combustible Liquids
Any liquid having a flash point at or above 100°F. Combustible liquids shall be divided into classes of liquids as follows:
- Class II shall include those having flash points at or above 100°F and below 140°F.
- Class IIIA shall include those having flash points at or above 140°F and below 200°F.
- Class IIIB shall include those having flash points at or above 200°F.
- Flammable Liquids
Any liquid having a flash point below 100°F. Flammable Liquids shall be divided into classes of liquids as follows:
- Class IA shall include those having flash points below 73°F and having a boiling point below 100°F.
- Class IB shall include those having flash points below 73°F and having a boiling point at or above 100°F.
- Class IC shall include those having flash points at or above 73°F and below 100°F.
|IA||Below 73°F||Below 100°F|
|IB||Below 73°F||At or above 100°F|
|IC||At or above 73°F, below 100°F||NA|
|II||At or above 100°F, below 140°F||NA|
|IIIA||At or above 140°F, below 200°F||NA|
|IIIB||At or above 200°F||NA|
NOTE: The volatility of liquids is increased when artificially heated to temperatures equal to or higher than their flash points. When so heated, Class II and Class III liquids shall be subject to the applicable requirements for Class I or II liquids.
- Only approved containers shall be used.
- Containers for flammable and combustible liquids shall conform to Table I, below.
- Not more than 120 gallons of Class I, Class II, and Class III Liquids may be stored in an approved storage cabinet. Of this total, not more than 60 gallons may be Class I or Class II Liquids. When approved, no more than three such cabinets may be located in a single fire area.
- All approved cabinets shall be labeled in conspicuous lettering, "FLAMMABLE - KEEP FIRE AWAY."
- In every inside storage room there shall be maintained one clear aisle at least three feet wide. Containers over 30 gallons capacity of Class I and Class II Liquids shall not be stacked one upon the other. Dispensing shall be by approved pump or self-closing faucet only.
- Egress: Flammable or combustible liquids shall not be stored so as to limit use of exits, stairways or areas normally used for the safe egress of people.
- Containers: The storage of flammable or combustible liquids in containers shall comply with Table I.
- Maximum Allowable Quantities: Quantities must comply with Table [5003.1.1(1)] "Maximum Allowable Quantity Per Control Area Of Hazardous Materials Posing A Physical Hazard". This table can be accessed by referring to the International Fire Code, 2015 Edition.
Suitable fire control devices, such as 1-1/2" diameter hose or portable fire extinguisher, shall be available at locations where flammable or combustible liquids are stored.
- At least one portable fire extinguisher having an Underwriters' Laboratories Classification rating of not less than 20-B units shall be located outside of, but not more than 10 feet from, the door opening into any room used for storage.
- At least one portable fire extinguisher having an Underwriters' Laboratories Classification rating of not less than 20-B units shall be located not less than 10 feet, nor more than 50 feet, from any flammable liquid storage area located outside of a storage room but inside of a building.
- Open flames and smoking shall not be permitted in flammable or combustible liquid storage areas.
- Limit the quantities at any one location to those necessary, but not to exceed the limits specified in the table referenced in Section D.3 of this policy.
- Prohibit smoking and eliminate other possible sources of ignition wherever liquids are stored or used.
- Prevent accumulation of vapors by careful handling and by providing adequate ventilation.
- Use only approved containers, e.g. safety cans or metal drums, for all transportation and handling.
- Avoid sparks from static charges generated by pouring; connect dispensing and receiving containers (if metal) by a suitable electrical conductor.
- Label every container used for flammable liquids with the name of the material and its associated hazards.
- Individual container size shall comply with the chart below.
|CONTAINER||CLASS IA||CLASS IB||CLASS IC|
|Glass||1 pint (a)||1 quart (a)||1 gallon|
|Metal (other than DOT drums) or approved plastic||1 gallon||5 gallons (b)||5 gallons (b)|
|Safety cans||2 gallons||5 gallons (b)||5 gallons (b)|
|Metal drum (DOT Spec.) in lab areas||Not allowed||5 gallons (b)||5 gallons (b)|
|Metal drum (DOT Spec.)||60 gallons||60 gallons||60 gallons|
|CONTAINER||CLASS II||CLASS III|
|Glass||1 gallon||5 gallons|
|Metal (other than DOT drums) or approved plastic||5 gallons (b)||5 gallons|
|Safety cans||5 gallons (b)||5 gallons|
|Metal drum (DOT Spec.) in lab areas||60 gallons (b)||60 gallons|
|Metal drum (DOT Spec.)||60 gallons||60 gallons|
(a) Glass containers of not more than one-gallon capacity are acceptable if the required purity would be affected by storage in metal or if excessive corrosion would result from storage in metal.
(b) In instructional laboratory work areas, no container for Class I or II liquids shall exceed a capacity of one-gallon, other than safety cans which may be of two-gallon capacity.
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.
Other Policies should also be referenced, especially the following:
SY39 - Hazardous Chemical Inventory Management
SY43 - Laboratory and Research Safety Plan
Most Recent Changes:
- January 12, 2023 - Policy reviewed and content is still accurate as documented. Editorial change to update Policy Steward and reference to 2015 International Fire Code sections.
Revision History (and effective dates):
- March 16, 2017 - Upon review, the policy content is still accurate as documented.
- June 20, 2014 - Title updated for clarity; Policy updated to reflect revised definitions, content and references.
- February 27, 2014 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
- June 19, 2006 - Editorial changes; classification tables placed in "table" format for improved readability.
- April 15, 1993 - Updates to Table I
- May 29, 1987 - Updates to "Storage in Inside Buildings" Section.
- March 22, 1976 - Earliest version of policy found in working papers. Cannot confirm if it was the original version.
Date Approved:January 12, 2023>
Date Published:January 12, 2023>