Flammable and combustible liquids are similar, but not quite the same. They differ in how hot they must become before they catch fire and explode. This is called the flash point. In most cases, combustible liquids don’t reach their flash point until they reach a very high temperature. To get a bit more technical, the flash point means the lowest temperature at which enough vapors collect at the liquid’s surface to catch fire in the presence of a source of ignition.
How to tell if a chemical is dangerous
To determine whether you are dealing with a flammable or combustible, take a look at the container. If the chemical is dangerous, there will be a warning label indicating that the contents are flammable or combustible. This means that you must use extreme caution in handling the chemical because the threat of fire or explosion is high. If there is any question as to whether a particular liquid is a flammable or combustible, treat it as though it is until you know for sure. Assuming that a liquid is just water or some other nonthreatening substance can result in a tragic accident.
Always Follow Storage Instruction
Have storage areas that are clearly marked as storage throughout your facility. However, do not assume there is no danger just because the liquids are tucked away in one of these locations. The designated areas will decrease the danger of an explosion, but can’t completely eliminate the possibility. Make sure you know where these storage areas are located, and do not go into them unless you have received special training. Only authorized employees should enter and interact with flammable or combustible liquids. Keep all ignition sources away from these areas including but not limited to lit cigarettes, sparks from tools and equipment, welding or cutting operations, and portable heating units, and even static electricity.
Use approved containers
Whenever you are getting one of these liquids for immediate use, use an approved container and labeling system that is in compliance with GHS regulations. Never use plastic jugs, jars, or buckets. Open containers can spill. Glass containers can break. Unless the container you plan to use has been approved for use with flammables and combustibles, it is not allowed. When you are not using the container to obtain a liquid, keep it closed to prevent fumes and vapors from escaping.
Good housekeeping is a vital step in this process, keep areas where flammables and combustibles are present clean at all times. If the unthinkable happens and a spill or fire occurs, the less clutter that can burn and accelerate the damage the better.