Types of Flammable Substances
- There are many types of flammable substances found in the home and workplace. Different flammable substances can include liquids, gases, dusts and solids. Flammable solids include packaging peanuts, plastic foam, and other textiles. Flammable dusts include wood chips and other finely divided grains. Flammable gases include oxygen, propane, and natural gas. Flammable liquids include gasoline, cleaning chemicals, and oils. Storing liquids is especially dangerous because vapors, when mixed with air, can create a dangerous explosion.
- The United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive reports that when storing flammable substances, the storage location must be well ventilated. Flammable substances that are stored in a poorly ventilated area can experience a buildup of gas if a leak occurs. This can place the area at a high risk of exploding or catching on fire from the substance’s fumes.
- When storing a flammable substance, ensure that all ignition sources are removed from the immediate area. The area should be free from sparks, open flames, and other heat sources that could potentially ignite a fire and cause severe burns for people in the vicinity.
- Ensure that all flammable substances are stored in appropriate containers. Store flammable substances only in approved containers such as gasoline tanks. Check that lids are tight on containers. Spillage trays may help reduce any spills, burns, or fire hazards.
Workplace Safety Precautions
- The Health and Safety Executive recommends that workplaces store flammable substances away from general storage areas. Having a separate storage area can increase workplace safety, since it limits the number of personnel exposed to the flammable chemicals. Keeping the flammable storage area locked at all times and showing appropriate caution signs can help keep contact with the chemicals to a minimum.
Exchanging Flammable Substances
- Make a list of flammable substances in your home or office and find out if they can be exchanged for less flammable ones. Common flammable substances that can be switched include cleaning chemicals. Researching chemicals that pose a minimum safety hazard will help protect loved ones and coworkers.