If you use or store flammable liquids in your place of business, you are required to follow OSHA guidelines. Failure to do so may result in a hefty fine, and may very well put your employees and property at risk. Every year, one of the main reasons for fires in the workplace is the improper storage of flammable liquids. It is estimated to cost in the billions of dollars for facility losses alone. So, assuming you decided to stay in compliance, what is required of you becomes the question.
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Act), all flammable liquids must be stored in appropriate containers when not being used at that moment. Inside storage rooms for flammables must be fire resistant, liquid tight, have self closing fire doors, 4 "sills and a ventilation system that changes the air over at least six times per hour.
If your quantities do not justify a storage room, then you can store them in safety cabinets that are designed to NFPA standards. OSHA relations on NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) to set the standards for how a safety cabinet must be made. When purchasing a safety cabinet, make sure it meets the NFPA code and is FM approved. If it is FM approved your insurance inspector will consider it appropriate and so will the OSHA inspector.
Basic characteristics of a compliant safety cabinet include
o Doors that usually close tight (Note: Auto closing doors are required in California)
o All welded double wall 18 gauge steel construction
o Twin 2 "flame arrestor vents
o Adjustable level feet
o Grounding connector
o Safety signage visible from 30 feet away
o Leak proof sill to contain leaks
o OSHA compliant
o NFPA code 30 compliant
o FM approved
There are standard colors for differenting materials for these cabinets. Yellow is for flammable liquids, red is for paint, green for pesticides and blue for corrosives. Each must have a bold label on the frontating the class of ingredient stored inside. These safety cabinets come in all sizes, from 2 gallons to hundreds of gallons and are a good choice if you want to avoid building a block room for the purpose of storing flammables.