GB 0208 704 1807
Gas Cylinder Storage – The Do’s and Dont’s

Introduction – Gas Cylinder Storage

This document provides advice and guidance for safe gas cylinder storage. It gives guidance on the construction and management of gas cylinder stores and provides information on the hazards likely to be encountered.

It shall be used when sitting and constructing storage facilities or when reviewing the safety and suitability of existing storage facilities. It does not preclude the use of alternative designs, materials, and methods when they provide equivalent standards of safety.

The content of this publication is in line with advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

If you need any help on a project that involves gas cylinder storage then you need to check out our Gasvault range here.

Scope

This document defines the principles of safe practice for the storage of gas cylinders and gas cylinder bundles and outlines the relevant legal requirements.

Cylinders are never fully empty unless a cylinder is new, de-valved, or following inspection and test where it has not yet been filled with a gas. Therefore, cylinders, containing a gas but regardless of the quantity of gas, shall all be treated in-line with this Code of Practice.

A gas cylinder(s) is deemed to be in storage when:

  • It is not in use; or
  • It is not being transported.

Storage of full and empty LPG cylinders and cartridges. Where a mixture of LPG (>400 kg) and other gas cylinders are stored then the applicable sections of UKLPG CP 7 (60) and this Code should be applied.

Exclusions from this Code of Practice are:

(i) Cylinders in use i.e. connected to the user equipment, or permanently connected for use; for example, fire protection systems and specifically sited emergency response equipment, such as fire extinguishers and self-contained breathing apparatus.

(ii) Cylinders being processed for filling or for periodic inspection and test.

(iii) Medical cylinders in domiciliary use.

(iv) Gas cylinders during carriage by road, rail, air, and sea.

(v) Cylinders permanently manifolded together to form part of a bulk gaseous hydrogen installation.

(vi) Transportable vacuum insulated containers.

(vii) Containers (vessels) for cryogenic liquids.

(viii) Cylinders stored off-shore.

(ix) Aerosols.

Gas Cylinder Identification

Gas Cylinder Idenification Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The cylinder label shall always be used as the primary means of identifying the contents of gas cylinders. The label will identify the product name and the class of hazard (Diamond Hazard Label(s)). Some gas cylinders may have this information stenciled on the body of the cylinder.

Colour coding is a secondary method of identifying certain gases or the properties of others, however, colour coding is not mandatory for most gases but its use is supported by the majority of gas suppliers. Colour coding is typically applied to the shoulder, or curved part, at the top of the cylinder.

Potential Hazards

Gas cylinders present a number of different hazards:

  • Size, shape and weight – Manual handling, security.
  • Pressure hazards.

Size, Shape, and Weight

Gas cylinders are generally heavy and are relatively unstable due to the base diameter to height ratio. Large cylinders can weigh over 100 kg when full they are easily toppled over. Gas cylinders are awkward objects to move safely.

Pressure Hazards

Cylinders contain gases stored under pressure and will have significant stored energy.

Any pressure above atmospheric released from a cylinder has the potential to cause injury to personnel or damage to plant or property.

Pressure can be released by:

  • Inadvertent operation of the outlet valve during handling.
  • Deliberate operation of the outlet valve.
  • Damage to the valve if cylinder topples or falls.
  • Application of heat, for example, fire.
  • Mechanical impact.
  • Leaking valve.
  • Operation of pressure relief devices.
  • Unauthorised modification of the cylinder assembly.
  • Failure of the cylinder wall, for example, from excessive internal and/or external corrosion (by reducing wall thickness).

Cylinder Store – Construction & General Principles

An Image depicting the features of the 8 Gas Cylinder Store equipped with anti corrosion aluminium checker plate, safety signage. i

Risk Assessment

All gas cylinders contain gases under pressure and may present a risk of explosion if not safely handled and stored. Legislation requires that a site-specific risk assessment is required for each gas cylinder store, refer to The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (6) and The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR). Every storage situation must be considered on its merits and special circumstances may necessitate variations on the recommended requirements.

Consent from the local authority may need to be obtained to store quantities of dangerous substances over certain thresholds. The regulations contain thresholds for both named substances, such as oxygen and hydrogen, and for generic categories of substances (flammable, toxic). For example, the threshold for oxygen storage is 200 tonnes, for flammables 50 tonnes, but for hydrogen only 2 tonnes. In some cases, the percentage / partial faction of thresholds (for example, flammables and oxidants) are additive when determining if consent is required.

Location of the Storage Area

The majority of gas cylinders are designed so that they can be stored in the open air and, as such, they will not be adversely affected by inclement weather.

Indoor Gas Cylinder Storage Cylinder Cabinet

Storage areas should be located in an external area where there is good natural ventilation. Adjacent buildings, structures, and geographical features may adversely affect natural ventilation and their effect should be taken into account during the risk assessment. The store should not be located in low lying areas; where gases may accumulate.

Storage within a building is not recommended. Where storage indoors cannot be avoided please see below. Internal storage locations should be at ground level and in the following order of preference:

(i) A bespoke stand-alone dedicated, adequately naturally ventilated building.

(ii) A dedicated room sealed from the rest of the building, adequately naturally ventilated to the outside, only accessible from an external door(s).

(iii) A dedicated room, adjacent to an outside wall, inside a building, adequately naturally ventilated to the outside, sealed from other areas of normal occupancy.

(iv) A dedicated room, inside a building, with forced air ventilation, sealed from other areas of normal occupancy.

(v) In a building, as far as is practicable away from normal work locations.

The location of the store shall take account of the minimum recommended separation distances, refer to Section 5.4.1. Cylinder stores are to be located away from the site designated emergency exits and escape routes.

Gas cylinder storage areas should be segregated from other stores. The risk assessment shall take due regard of the potential hazards of the gases being stored and the risk from other hazardous processes or storage sites that may impact on a cylinder store. It shall also consider the potential for impact due to vehicle movements.

Storage locations should be sited at ground level. Where cylinders are stored at any other level this shall be specifically covered in the risk assessment. If the store is located at another level then consideration needs to be given to providing an area to allow vehicles to collect and deliver cylinders, cylinder movements between levels and the impact in the event of an incident, for example, gas leakage, fire, access for emergency services, proximity to people, etc.

The risk assessment shall take account of both underground and overground services. The location shall be chosen so that it is not directly beneath overhead power or other cables and where it will allow access for vehicles and other plant machinery without the risk of them coming into contact with power or other cables.

Each storage area and its boundaries shall be well defined. The footprint of the store shall allow space for the expected quantity of gas cylinders being stored as well as for the safe movement and handling of the gas cylinders, including access for mechanical handling equipment.

Appropriate access to the site will be required. This will include access for delivery vehicles and the emergency services.

The location of the storage area should consider the security of cylinders to avoid theft and to prevent tampering with the cylinders.

Storage Area Layout and Separation Distances

The physical dimensions of the storage area shall take into account the storage requirements, for example, grouping by hazard classification, full/empty or unserviceable cylinders and providing adequate space for access and egress, for safe manual handling operations and the use of mechanical handling equipment.

Means shall be provided to secure cylinders to prevent them from falling over, for example, pallets, chains, lashing, etc.

Minimum Recommended Separation Distances

Appendix 2 shows the minimum recommended separation distances between cylinders, the store(s) and other features.

Where there are space restraints a permanent physical partition may be used to help achieve the required minimum recommended separation distances. The height of the partition should be relevant to the hazard, however, it should be not less than 2 meters high, unless for non-fire hazards a lower partition can be justified through risk assessment. The required minimum recommended separation distance can include the length of the sides of the partition, as shown in Figure 1. Such partitions should be imperforate and constructed of suitable materials, for example, solid masonry or concrete. Where protecting against fire hazards, they should be constructed to achieve at least 30 minutes’ fire-resistance for best practices in gas cylinder storage.

Correct Seperaration Distances

Where the wall separates vulnerable populations from the cylinders (not including inert gases), the fire resistance provided should be a minimum of 60 minutes.

Figure 1: Use of a partition to achieve the minimum recommended separation distances

Within Figure 1 the minimum recommended separation distances may include the distance measured around the sides of the partition by determining the sum of A + B + C.

If flammable gas cylinders are stored against a building wall the area up to 2 m either side of the storage area and up to 9 m above ground should be imperforate and of a minimum of 30 minutes fire resisting construction.

When planning the gas cylinder storage facility, adequate handling space shall be allowed. The total amount of floor space required will depend on the quantity and the size of the cylinders, and the handling equipment to be used during their movement. Refer to Section 6 and Section 8.

Floor

The floor should be level and constructed from non-combustible, non-porous material. All floor surfaces shall be constructed so that they can be maintained in a clean manner.

Obstacles such as expansion joints, steps, and drainage systems, shall not impede cylinder handling operations.

The floor shall be of sufficient strength to support the weight of the gas cylinders/gas cylinder pallets, plus any mechanical handling aids employed on gas cylinder handling.

The floor should be laid to prevent the accumulation of water so that stored cylinders do not rest in standing water and risk being subjected to corrosion.

Roof

Cylinders are designed for outdoor storage, however, some applications require protected storage conditions for quality, hygiene and security reasons, for example, analytical and medical gases. Cylinders may also need additional protection from local environmental conditions.

Where required, the roofing shall be designed to prevent gas pockets from accumulating, for example, gaps between the wall and sloping roof, natural ventilation in the roof apex etc.

General Security

All stores containing gas cylinders shall be secure and access shall be restricted to authorized personnel. This may be achieved by securing the site with a boundary fence with lockable gates or by securing individual stores. Dependant on the site security requirements both conditions may be required.

Suitable security arrangements shall take into account the classification of the gases and the quantities being stored. The security arrangements shall include appropriate physical and management security controls to prevent unauthorized access, theft, tampering, arson, vandalism and to effectively monitor the usage of gases, as well as any specific local considerations. Keys for each store shall be kept in a secure location and only issued to authorized persons; a log should be kept.

Where electronic security systems, for example, alarms, are installed comply with the electrical requirements on site.

The security perimeter shall meet the ventilation requirements and be not less than 1.8 meters high.

Where the gas cylinder store is enclosed, a suitable emergency exit(s) may be required dependant on the size and/or layout of the store.

All persons handling gas cylinders shall have appropriate training, as required.

Where high consequence dangerous goods, such as toxic gases, are stored on site a security plan shall be drawn up and implemented in compliance with the Health & Safety department.

Ventilation

Ventilation is required to ensure that any small leakage of gas is adequately dispersed and will prevent a hazardous atmosphere being created. An outdoor store with open or ventilated sides and is considered to provide adequate ventilation and is the preferred option.

Where a store may have restricted ventilation, due to, for example, adjacent buildings or a wall acting as a store boundary, it is necessary to ensure that there is through and thorough ventilation in all areas inside the store.

A semi-enclosed store may be considered ‘outdoors’ if it consists of up to three adjacent solid sides, with a roof, provided at least 25 % of the perimeter is constructed to ensure that ventilation is not impaired, for example, meshed cladding.

Where the configuration of the store restricts air flow, the installation of high and low-level vents should be considered to ensure a regular change of air. The design of a roof shall meet the ventilation requirements. Minimum recommended separation distances should be considered when locating vents.

A store with less than 25 % of the perimeter open is to be considered an indoor store.

Examples of store design are displayed below.

If a store is located against a building wall, then the risk assessment shall take account of the likelihood of escaped gas entering the building, and the method of entry, for example, an overhanging roof, cellars, windows, air intakes, etc.

Gas Cylinders Storage

Access

Gas Cylinder Cage

The storage area should be located so that it is readily accessible for cylinder movements with manual handling distances kept to a minimum and clear access maintained at all times for deliveries and the emergency services.

Access to the delivery and storage area(s) is to be kept clear, with no parking allowed, except for the loading and unloading of cylinders. No vehicles are to be allowed within the minimum recommended separation distance.

Aisles should be provided to allow safe access to cylinders, to facilitate good housekeeping, stock control and for the ease of handling. They should be a minimum of 1 metre wide.

The layout of the storage area should allow for the safe movement of gas cylinder handling trolleys, forklift trucks, and any other powered vehicles. The layout shall take account of the separation of personnel and vehicles with appropriate traffic routes defined.

Where the gas cylinder store is enclosed suitable access and egress shall be provided. The risk assessment (refer to Section 5.1) shall determine the maximum travel distance to enable escape and therefore identify the number of exits required.

Where installed, all designated emergency exits shall open in the direction of escape and shall be fitted with panic furniture of a type not requiring a key, card, or code to open. They are to provide an unobstructed means of escape and in operation shall not obstruct any other escape route. These exits shall be properly identified by signage and maintained in a serviceable condition at all times. Ensure that emergency exits are secure and cannot be opened from the external side of the store (whilst still allowing emergency escape from the inside of the store).

Lighting

The area should have adequate lighting to assist in providing a safe work environment, to allow the identification of the cylinder contents, signage and where necessary to assist with security. Where artificial lighting is used it shall give suitable colour rendering to enable colour labelling to be easily recognised by persons with normal colour vision.

Where required, emergency lighting shall be to the requirements of BS 5266 (28).

Electrical Equipment

Only electrical equipment that is necessary for the safe and practical operation of the gas cylinder store shall be installed. As a minimum, all electrical installations shall conform to BS 7671 (31), Requirements for electrical installations. IET wiring regulations. Where flammable or oxidising gases are stored the risk assessment (refer to Section 5.1) is to determine whether protected electrical equipment is required, if so refer to BS EN 60079, Part 14 (33), Explosive atmospheres. Electrical installations, design, selection, and erection.

Fire Safety Requirements

A responsible person shall carry out a Fire Safety Risk Assessment on all gas cylinder storage areas to determine the hazard and the risk associated with a fire originating from a gas cylinder and/or a fire impacting on a gas cylinder(s). The findings from which are to be incorporated into the Site Fire Safety Management Plan that is to be implemented and maintained. As necessary, advice should be sought from the Fire and Rescue Service. The risk control measures identified shall be incorporated into the construction of the gas cylinder store(s).

The location of each gas cylinder store shall be recorded within the site’s hazardous locations record. This record should include information on the products stored, their maximum quantities and their hazardous classification. This should be updated on a regular basis. This is to be made available to the emergency services in the event of an incident.

Training

Training Presentation

All personnel who are required to handle and store gas cylinders shall receive suitable information and instruction regarding the hazards associated with gas cylinders and the gases being stored, and provided with the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their job safely.

It is the duty of the employer to ensure their persons are adequately trained and to establish competency. It is recommended that a training programme is carried out under a formalised system where an acceptable level of competency has to be achieved. Records shall be kept of the training provided and the competence level achieved. The training programme shall make provision for periodic re-training.

Training should be reviewed and/or updated following:

  • A related accident or incident.
  • The receipt of gases which have not previously been used on site.
  • Change to guidance or information previously provided.
  • The appointment of new and/or transferred employees.

All persons engaged in the storage of gas cylinders shall have training commensurate with their responsibilities and should include, but not confined to the below subjects.

  • Identification of the cylinder and its contents.
  • Properties and hazards of gases, including pressure.
  • Cylinder and valve types.
  • Movement of cylinders, including local carriage.
  • Stock management.
  • Store management.
  • Actions to be taken in an emergency situation.

Specific training and certification requirements are required for persons handling fluorinated gases.

If you require further help from the team at Chemstore then get in touch with one of our sales engineers today!

Flammable Material Storage – Eliminating the Risk

Eliminating the Risk – Handling & Flammable Material Storage

flammable symbol risk

Flammable materials are substances that can ignite easily and burn rapidly. They can be common materials that are at most work sites in gas, liquid and solid forms. Proper flammable material storage needs to be followed to avoid an accident in the workplace. Some flammable materials which pose a risk include:

Gases — Natural gas, propane, butane, methane, acetylene, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide. Flammable gases usually have with a lower explosive limit of less than 13% in the air or have a flammable range in air of at least 12%. For example, butane is a flammable gas because its lower explosive limit in the air is 20%. Carbon monoxide has a lower explosive limit of 13% and an upper explosive limit of 74% in air, it is flammable over a range of 61%.

Liquids —  Many solvents such as acetone, alcohols and toluene, paints and paint thinners, adhesives, degreasers, cleaners, waxes and polishes. Flammable liquids have a flashpoint below 37.8⁰C (100⁰ F).

Solids — Some types of coal, pyrophoric metals (metals that burn in contact with air or water, such as sodium and potassium) solid wastes that are soaked with flammable liquids (rags, paper, spill clean-up products) and matches.

To read more about our best-in-class flammable materials storage, read up on our Fireavault range here.

How Do Fires Occur

For a fire to occur, three elements must come together at the same time and in the right proportions, fuel, heat (ignition source) and oxygen. Remove any of the elements and the fire will go out.

The “fire triangle” is commonly used as a model to understand how a fire starts and how it can be prevented.

Fuel — Fuels are flammable or combustible materials and can be gases, liquids or solids.

Heat — These are ignition sources and include an open flame, lit cigarette and sparks (such as from electrical current and static electricity shorts). A chemical reaction that creates heat can also ignite a fuel and oxygen mixture.

Oxygen — The most common source of oxygen is air, but oxygen can also come from chemicals called oxidizers. Examples of common oxidizers are some types of acids and chemicals such as chlorine, chlorine dioxide, potassium permanganate and potassium chlorate.

Fire Triangle Combustion Triangle Diagram

The spread of fire is also dependant on a fourth factor, the chemical chain reactions that occur after the fire is started. Fire prevention consists of making sure that the three legs of the fire triangle never meet. It is important to note that a fire will not always start even when the legs of the triangle meet unless all three elements are present in the right amounts. For example, vapours from a flammable liquid must be mixed with a certain amount of air and exposed to the right amount of heat to ignite and burn. Once vapours from a flammable liquid have ignited, the flames may “flash-back”. This means the flames travel back, through the vapour air mixture, to the container or source of the flammable liquid. This can create an explosion. Most flammable liquids produce vapours that are heavier than air. Some flammable gases are also heavier than air. These gases and vapours can spread a considerable distance along the ground or floor and be ignited by a distant spark or flame or source of heat. Certain chemicals such as organic peroxides (e.g. benzoyl peroxide) contain both fuel and oxygen.

Work Procedures and Training

The employer must develop work procedures for the use and storage of flammable materials and ensure workers are trained on these procedures. Because of the potential fire hazard, the employer will also need to have additional procedures in place to deal with fires and spills.

Work procedures should address:

Training Presentation
  • Storage
  • Dispensing
  • Spill clean up
  • Incompatible materials
  • Use and maintenance of engineering controls used in the workplace (such as ventilation)
  • Required personal protective equipment for handling flammable products
  • Fire protection and prevention

Storage of Flammable Materials

In general, flammable materials must not be stored near exits, electrical equipment or heating equipment. They should always be stored in a separate, well-ventilated storage area, away from potential sources of ignition. If the material is removed from its original container, it must be placed into a container that is appropriate for flammable materials.

Portable Storage Containers for Flammable Liquids

When flammable liquids are transferred from their original container (one they were purchased in), or from bulk storage such as a drum or tank, the proper type of portable container must be used. Containers that are approved for the use and storage of “portable quantities” are usually made of metal or plastic, are vapour-proof and have:

flammable material storage cabinet Q90
  • Welded seams.
  • Spark or flame arrestors.
  • Pressure release valves or spring closing lids with spout covers.

Portable containers must be properly labelled. The labelling should include the following information:

  • Container contents
  • The contents are flammable
  • The container should be kept away from ignition sources (heat, spark, open flames)
  • The container should be kept closed when not in use
  • A reference to the “SDS” material safety data sheet for the product.

Storage Cabinets

flammable material storage cabinet under desk

When individual containers of flammable liquids are not in use and are stored inside a building, they should be stored in a storage cabinet. The European Standard EN 14470-1 was implemented in April 2004 and has since been published as a national standard in many European countries as the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Spain, UK, Italy etc.

Since the 1st of January 2005, the former German Standard DIN 12925-1 can no longer be taken into consideration for testing Safety Storage Cabinets.

Test and construction requirements, compared to the DIN 12925-1, have become stricter and in some details stated more precisely. The following points describe the basics and main safety, test and construction requirements.

The range of applications

– The standard specifies the performance required of the design and fire resistance of safety storage cabinets used for storing flammable liquids in working areas.

The principal safety requirements

– Minimisation of the fire risk associated with the storage of flammable materials.

– Protection of the contents of the cabinet in the event of a fire for a known (and tested) period of time.

– Minimisation of the fumes released to the working environment.

– Retention of any possible leakage within the cabinet.

– Provision of enough time, in the event of a fire, for personnel to leave the room,

and sufficient time for fire service personnel to enter the building before the

stored materials turn a small fire into an uncontrollable blaze.

Fire protection

– In the event of a fire the cabinet must ensure that, over a period of time defined by the manufacturer (but in any event at least 15 minutes), its contents do not present an additional risk that the fire will spread.

 Doors

– The cabinet doors must close entirely, starting from any position (closing time max. 20 seconds).

– Immobilising equipment fitted must release the locked doors at a temperature of 50 (-10) °C.

– Avoiding the risk of injury: the closing force of the doors must not exceed 100 N.

– One-handed operation must be possible, and the doors must close entirely even if open and locked.

Side and rear walls

– The side and rear walls of the cabinet must have the same thickness and comparable structures.

Air inlet and outlet openings

– The cabinets must have openings for air inlet and outlet (for connection of the cabinet to an exhaust system).

– The ventilation openings must close automatically at a temperature of 70 °C.

flammable material storage cabinet long

Storage locations (shelves or drawers)

– Storage surfaces must be able to support the loading specified by the manufacturer throughout the test in the furnace. Design evidence of the load-carrying capacity of shelves and drawers in the event of fire based on EN 1365 (fire resistance tests for self-supporting components).

Spill containment sump

– The spill containment sump must retain its ability to function after the fire resistance test. This is to be checked visually by filling the spill containment sump with water

Fire resistance

– Must be investigated by tests on a design sample.

– The fire-resistant cabinet is exposed to flames in a suitable furnace.

– The doors, walls and ceiling of the cabinet being tested must be exposed to the same heating conditions.

– Cabinets must be tested as free-standing single cabinets. The example being tested must be positioned with its rear wall at least 100 mm from the furnace wall.

– The flame exposure is carried out under the standard temperature curve of BS EN 1363-1.

– The temperature rise is measured inside the cabinet.

– The cabinet must then be classed as type 15, 30, 60 or 90, according to the time that has elapsed before the temperature rose by 180K.

Large Fire Rated Store – Firevault

At some work sites, there are many different types of flammable materials or large volumes of particular materials used. At these sites, flammable materials may be stored in large containers (drums or tanks) or there may be a specific flammable material storage room. The specific requirements for above ground storage tanks and storage rooms is HSg51.

flammable material storage firevault

In general:

  • Do not store other types of chemicals beside bulk storage containers for flammable materials or in storage rooms for these products.
  • Bulk storage containers should be located away from potential ignition sources such as heat, sparks or open flames.
  • Do not store compressed gases beside flammable material containers.
  • Bulk storage areas should be equipped with spill protection.
  • Bulk storage areas and rooms must have appropriate signage or placards.
  • Smoking should never be allowed near flammable material storage areas.
  • Drums or large containers of flammable materials should never be stored beside exits or in a way that blocks access.
  • Make sure that storage rooms have properly designed ventilation systems that are regularly maintained.
  • Minimum separation distances from the occupied building, boundary, process unit, flammable liquid storage tank or ignition source (metres) Fig 1.
Quantity Stored (L) Distance (M)
Up to 1,0002
1,000 to 100,0004
Above 100,000 7.5

Handling Flammable Materials

flammable risk barrel

To prevent fires, flammable materials must be properly managed in the workplace. There are three main ways to prevent fires:

Limit the amounts of flammable and combustible materials

  • Keep only what you need on-site
  • Purchase materials in the smallest volumes necessary
  • At work locations, keep only those chemicals that are needed for the present task
  • Do not let hazardous wastes accumulate at the worksite
  • Store products, including wastes, used at the worksite in proper containers
  • Keep flammable materials separate from other processes and storage areas

Provide proper ventilation to ensure flammable vapours do not accumulate

  • Install properly designed ventilation in the storage area
  • Ensure that processes that use or make flammable materials do not exhaust back in the work site
  • Ensure that equipment, such as spray booths, where flammable materials are used, is exhausted outside of the building, and away from air intakes
  • Ventilation systems must be properly maintained and comply with local regulations

Control ignition sources

Danger flammable liquids risk
  • Ground and bond all work and ignition-proof equipment
  • Ensure that there is no smoking in work areas where flammable materials are stored or used
  • Never store flammable materials near hot equipment or open flames
  • Use intrinsically safe and non-sparking tools It is important for the employer to assess the worksite and identify potential fire hazards. This will allow the employer to identify the best ways to control these hazards.

Static Electricity

Static electricity is an electric charge that cannot move. It is created when two objects or materials that are in contact with each other are separated. While the objects are in contact, the surface electricity charges try to balance each other. When the objects are separated, they are left with either an excess or shortage of electrons, causing them both to become electrically charged. If these charges do not have a path to the ground, they are unable to move and becomes “static”. If static electricity is not quickly removed, the charge will build up. Eventually, it will develop enough energy to jump as a spark to some nearby less highly charged object. In an explosive or flammable atmosphere, the spark can set off an explosion or fire. The danger is greatest when flammable liquids are being poured or transferred.

Static electricity can be produced by:

Static electricity fire hazard
  • Non-polar liquid flowing through a pipe or hose (e.g. hydrocarbons)
  • Spraying
  • Blending or mixing
  • Filling containers or tanks
  • Movement (and friction) between materials
  • Movement of dry powdered material through chutes or conveyors
  • Movement of non-conductive conveyor belts or drive belts
  • Appliances that are plugged into electrical outlets
  • Flipping a light switch on or off

Static electricity can be controlled by:

  • Bonding and grounding
  • Humidification
  • Static collectors
  • Additives

Bonding and grounding are techniques that are used to prevent sparks (a source of ignition) from being created when liquids are transferred between containers. Bonding is when there is an electrical connection between two or more conductive containers. Bonding ensures that the containers have the same electrical charge. Without a difference in charge, a spark cannot be created that jumps from one container to another. Bonding does not eliminate the static charge which is why it is used in combination with grounding. A container is grounded when there is an electrical connection between the container and the earth. Grounding quickly drains the static charge away.

If you have any questions about our Firevault range or flameproof cabinets, get in touch today by calling, emailing or using the Live Chat feature on the bottom left corner of your screen.

Leading university chemistry department specifies walk in flammable storage solution Hand Sanitiser Storage, Are you aware of the Fire Risks?

The outbreak of The COVID 19 pandemic has shaken global society. All aspects of life are affected, and containing the spread of the virus during, and post lockdown is now the main priority. Masks, gloves and hand sanitiser are quickly becoming the norm. This has made safe and proper hand sanitiser storage essential.

We are all working to reduce the risk of further outbreaks of the virus and public safety is a priority.

The health of our economy also poses a considerable risk, and we need as a society to ensure that the country gets back on its feet to maintain jobs and income while sticking to the guidelines.

 

hand sanitiser article feature image

We are all familiar with the guidelines issued by the government and as we enter the latter stages of restriction lifting, and more businesses and schools prepare to reopen.

It is now more critical than ever that we consider all the risks and spend time carrying out assessments regularly.

Hand Sanitiser consumption and demand has exploded over the last few months since the outbreak, and most workplaces across the country are installing sanitising means for employees and customers which is a very positive step for hygiene reducing the spread of the virus.

As schools, hospitals, creches, and all other businesses introduce new requirements, including the use of hand sanitiser, there is a need to recognise the fire risk storing hand sanitiser in bulk creates.

We have already had numerous companies contact us regarding bulk hand sanitiser storage of this product and looking for advice.

What is Hand Sanitiser made from?

Antibacterial Hand Sanitiser is predominantly manufactured using Alcohol and Triethanolamine. The product ranges from 60 – 80% alcohol and by its nature is a highly flammable liquid and an eye and skin irritant

what is it made from hand sanitiiser

Pure Alcohol has a flashpoint of 13 degrees, and Sanistiser with concentrations of 70% alcohol can be as low as 15 degrees which creates a serious fire hazard if storing the product in bulk on your premises.

fire safety flammable

Storage Guidelines

As with any flammable liquid, it is essential when storing bulk quantities that adequate safety measures are taken.

Flammable materials must not be stored near exits, electrical equipment or heating equipment. They should always be stored in a separate, well-ventilated storage area, away from potential sources of ignition. If the material is removed from its original container, it must be placed into a container that is appropriate for flammable materials.

We recommend storing flammable Hand Santiser in a certified safety cabinet or with bulk quantities above 1000 Litres in an external store that is bunded and has a certified Fire Resistance.

For specialist advice for how to safely handle and store Hand Sanitiser please contact Chemstore today for a free no obligations site assessment or to discuss your specific concerns.

Five steps for safer storage of flammable substances

While there is widespread appreciation of the need to store flammable substances safely warehouse fires are still a regular occurrence and incorrect storage of flammable substances is often found to play a part in these incidences.

When such a fire occurs it is not necessarily the case that there is a complete disregard for safety, but there are some common mistakes that we witness during site visits that put premises and people at increased risk.

One example is the assumption that storing drums containing flammable substances in an off-the-shelf chemical store means they are safe when this may well not be the case. Often standard stores don’t offer thermal protection which means once the weather heats up the products inside the store do too at which point they can start to give off a flammable vapour and become hazardous.

This is a very simple example but the reality is that storing flammable substances is rarely straight forward with every site having a bespoke set of factors that need to be taken into consideration. It’s therefore useful to consult a hazardous storage expert to ensure that you find the most appropriate solution for your needs but this doesn’t mean you can’t do some ground work first to help you build a picture of your requirements.

The most useful reference tool you have when looking at how to store a flammable substance safely is the product’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS) which will either be provided with the product or be available online – if in doubt contact the manufacturer/supplier. Safety Data Sheets can seem overwhelming at first glance but once you know what you are looking for they are actually quite easy to navigate and the following steps can help.

1. Identify the chemical. First of all, you need to know what you’re dealing with so refer to sections 1& 2 of the Safety Data Sheets to identify the substances you want to store and their associated hazards. Once you have this information use section 9 of the Safety Data Sheet to identify the flashpoint of the substance – make sure you are clear about the difference between the flashpoint and the auto-ignition temperature as it is a common mistake to get these confused. A misconception is that the flashpoint of a liquid is the temperature at which it auto ignites – this is incorrect – the temperature at which it auto ignites is called the autoignition temperature. The flashpoint is the temperature at which the liquid gives off flammable vapour. It is not the liquid but the vapour that ignites, so storing a product below this temperature means that no flammable vapour is created. Controlling the temperature also has another benefit that the flammable or hazardous material may work better in process or application when stored at a certain temperature, this temperature can be found in Section 7 of the Safety Data Sheet.

2. Consider compatibility. If you are storing more than one substance, consider whether they are compatible as certain chemicals need to be segregated within a storage facility.  Refer to Section 10 of the Safety Data Sheet to identify incompatible materials.

3. Define the application. Consider how you are using the substances as this will affect the level of risk. Bulk storage of unopened items in sealed containers poses a much lower risk of giving off a flammable vapour than storing products in use where a seal has been broken and lids may not be replaced properly. That said, manufactured sealed containers can cause an issue when stored above the flashpoint and the container is trying to release the vapour because the vapour has nowhere to go which will create pressurised containers that eventually burst or go bang. Remember that you need to think about what will happen to your store if a fire breaks out elsewhere in your facility as well as the risk of a fire breaking out within the store itself.

4. Combat the risks. Think about how you can combat these risks using a hierarchy of hazard controls approach. First, consider whether you could use an alternative substance that poses less of a risk. If this isn’t possible think about what you can do to reduce the risks. Firstly think about thermal protection and temperature control – ensuring a product is stored at the correct temperature as per the Safety Data Sheet will help to prevent flammable vapours from occurring – you also need a way of monitoring this temperature – preferably via a remote system that will alert you of any critical changes in temperature. Next consider whether you need an extraction systems to remove vapour in the event that it does get released, once again this needs to include VOC/gas detection monitoring so you receive an alert if there is a rise in vapour so you can address the situation. The next step is to think about fire detection systems to raise the alarm if you have a fire – a double knock system can reduce false alarms so this might be worth considering. Your unit also needs to include the most appropriate fire suppression media which varies depending on the hazard and will be highlighted in Section 5 of the Safety Data Sheet. Frustratingly sometimes the information within these sections can seem contradictory, for example within the Safety Data Sheet for acetone Section 5 recommends using water sprays but not to use water jets – this is why consulting an expert in hazardous storage is advisable.  There is also currently some confusing and contradictory information surrounding the most appropriate media for extinguishing lithium-ion battery fires. This reiterates why it is important to consult a hazardous storage expert with experience in these areas.

5. Have a fire response plan. Anyone storing flammable substances needs to be able to instantly know what’s in their building and what you’ve done to protect your site and the surrounding neighbourhood so ensure you have a detailed inventory that can be accessed quickly in the event of an incident. For example Chemstore’s cloud-based hazardous material management software system, Chempli, which can be specified with a unit, includes a QR code that can be featured outside a building or at a security gate enabling the user to instantly access the relevant information in the event of an incident.

Conclusion

This is a very basic guide to some of the factors that need to be taken into account when planning the storage of flammable substances but hopefully it provides enough information to give you an understanding of the needs on your site. If you are in any doubt about your current storage arrangements, or you are in the process if specifying a new system, contact Chemstore Engineering today for a free site survey.

Reusable Face Covering

Chemstore Reusable Face Covering with Valve.

-Each Covering supplied with three PM 2.5 reusable filters.

-CE Certified

-Supplied in Black & Red Colour.

Respirators

FFP2 Valved Disposable Respirator

CE standards: EN 149:2001+A1:2009

EN 149 2001 +A1:2009 Symbol

FFP2 (N95) rated protection level

 

Description

-Acupuncture cotton +Filter+PP

-Plastic/Metal nose clip, spandex ear-loop

-Colour: White

-Customized labelling and packaging

-Simple, comfortable cup design shaped to fit user’s face

 

Chempli

Chemstore Compliance (www.chempli.com) provides the most advanced software platform for the management of an organisation’s hazardous material; mitigating risk, lowering costs and guaranteeing compliance.

Using our 27 years of experience we have listened to you, the customer and understand the challenges and risks your job present. Through years of hard work and research, we have developed the compliance management software to enable you with a live, ready for use system guaranteeing compliance on your site.

Chempli will keep you step ahead with the latest safety regulations and expert articles and guides.

Comprising of a suite of modules, it provides your company with a cost-effective point of entry, coupled with a scalable architecture, enabling seamless migration to more advanced management, control and workflow functionality at any future point.

Imagine one centralised platform allowing you to:

  • Pass Safety & Quality Audits first time and drastically reduce the workload required for preparation
  • Create a safer workplace for you and your colleagues
  • Reduce Insurance Premium Costs
  • Have all critical safety data to hand and remain prepared at all times.
  • Decreased Risk of accidents & near-miss incidents
  • Save money by maintaining your chemical and equipment inventories 

Chempli is already being utilised in key industries such as Food Processing, Pharmaceutical, Universities & Medical Devices as some of our keynote clients have been instrumental for Chemstore developing this Compliance Management Software for Hazardous Materials – Chempli.

Chempli is compatible with the complete range of Chemstore storage solutions for flammables, compressed gases, hazardous, temperature-controlled, battery and corrosive material stores. It may also be seamlessly integrated with your organisation’s existing chemical storage infrastructure, to provide a central platform for the effective management of hazardous materials enterprise-wide.

For further information and to book a demo today please visit www.chempli.com

You can also download our pdf brochure detailing fully our compliance management software for hazardous materials here:

PDF Download for Chemstore Compliance - Chempli Brochure

 

Lithium Ion Storage and Charging cabinet – 90 Minute Fire Rated

Introducing the ION-LINE Cabinet, The Solution for Lithium-Ion Battery Storage.

 

In Active Storage, lithium-ion batteries or battery packs are charged in a cabinet.

When charging lithium-ion batteries heat can be generated, if this heat output is too high, a fire may occur, for example, if the lithium-ion battery, charger or the cable is defective. Another major risk factor is thermal runaway of lithium-ion batteries. To combat this major issue we introduced a lithium-ion storage cabinet.

You can rest easy in the knowledge that you can charge your batteries overnight and they will be protected by a 90-minute fire-rated cabinet that has smoke detection and fire suppression built-in.

 

 

Dimensions: External 1,196W x 616D x 1,968H (mm).

Cabinet Weight: 424Kg.

Loading: 180Kg evenly distributed load per shelf.

Storage: 6 No. shelves and 1 no. bottom collecting sump.

Spillage Collection: 33 L Leak tested, welded steel, liquid collection sump in the base.

Access: Twin hinged wing doors.

Finish: Chemical resistant powder coat finish (Blue).

 

 

Chempliold

Chemstore Compliance (www.chempli.com) provides the most advanced software platform for the management of an organisation’s hazardous material; mitigating risk, lowering costs and guaranteeing compliance.

Using our 27 years of experience we have listened to you, the customer and understand the challenges and risks your job present. Through years of hard work and research, we have developed the compliance management software to enable you with a live, ready for use system guaranteeing compliance on your site.

Chempli will keep you step ahead with the latest safety regulations and expert articles and guides.

Comprising of a suite of modules, it provides your company with a cost-effective point of entry, coupled with a scalable architecture, enabling seamless migration to more advanced management, control and workflow functionality at any future point.

Imagine one centralised platform allowing you to:

  • Pass Safety & Quality Audits first time and drastically reduce the workload required for preparation
  • Create a safer workplace for you and your colleagues
  • Reduce Insurance Premium Costs
  • Have all critical safety data to hand and remain prepared at all times.
  • Decreased Risk of accidents & near-miss incidents
  • Save money by maintaining your chemical and equipment inventories 

Chempli is already being utilised in key industries such as Food Processing, Pharmaceutical, Universities & Medical Devices as some of our keynote clients have been instrumental for Chemstore developing this Compliance Management Software for Hazardous Materials – Chempli.

Chempli is compatible with the complete range of Chemstore storage solutions for flammables, compressed gases, hazardous, temperature-controlled, battery and corrosive material stores. It may also be seamlessly integrated with your organisation’s existing chemical storage infrastructure, to provide a central platform for the effective management of hazardous materials enterprise-wide.

For further information and to book a demo today please visit www.chempli.com

You can also download our pdf brochure detailing fully our compliance management software for hazardous materials here:

PDF Download for Chemstore Compliance - Chempli Brochure