Emergency Guide[ Fire Emergency ] / [ First Aid ] / [ Chemical Spill ] / [ Storage]
General Storage Rules
- Minimize the amount of chemicals stored
in the laboratory.
Each storage room must be constructed in a manner such that it has at least 2 hour fire rating. An automatic exhaust and a sprinkler system must be installed in each storage room. All electrical equipment in all flammable liquid and all flammable gas storage rooms such as motor controllers, thermal cutouts, switches, relays, the switches and contactors of autotransformer starters, resistance or impedance devices or other devices which in their normal operation tend to create arcs, sparks, or high temperatures, shall not be installed unless such devices are of a type approved for use in explosive atmospheres. Lamps in fixed positions are to be enclosed in a manner approved for explosive atmospheres and must be properly protected by substantial metal guards where exposed to being broken. Lamps cannot be of a pendant type unless the lamp is supported by hangers of rigid conduit or flexible connectors approved for explosive atmospheres. All rubber covered wired used must have insulation no less than three sixty-fourths of an inch thick.
Generally, flammable liquids and volatile flammable oils (VFOs) are stored in metal containers. However, they may be stored in approved glass containers when there is a concern for maintaining the purity of the liquid. They may also be stored in glass containers when the liquid would cause the metal to corrode. The maximum capacity of these glass containers is one gallon. Containers used to store VFOs must be placed in steel storage cabinets.
Limited amounts of flammable gases may be stored in the laboratory when the gas is used for part of an ongoing operation only. Under NO circumstances may the flammable gases be used or stored below grade level. The flammable gases must be stored separately from chemicals, acids, and oxidizing agents.
Compressed gas cylinders are often used in the laboratory. All compressed gases are potential hazards because of the pressure within the cylinder, their flammability, and/or their toxicity. Severa1 safety procedures must be followed when dealing with compressed gases.
- Cylinders must be secured in an upright
position using a belt or a chain. In no case may the cylinder be secured
to plumbing or electrical conduits. All cylinders are color-coded. This
color code is used to identify the contents of the cylinder. - Never
change the color of cylinder. The valve protection caps must be replaced
when cylinders are not in use. Care must be taken when handling the cylinders
to prevent physical damage. Cylinders should be transported using suitable
handtrucks and should never be rolled or dragged.
Corrosive Acids and Bases
Area used to store corrosive acids must be carefully designed to make sure that of nitric acid will not come into contact with bare metal or cellulosic materials. Strong organic acids should be stored separately from mineral acids. The perchloric acids must be stored in glass containers separated from the organic materials. Containers of sodium bicarbonate or other suitable neutralizing or absorbing agents must be provided in these storage areas. They can be poured onto acid spills to help neutralize and contain the spill. These agents must be positioned in a location that remains accessible at all times. Strong acids must be stored separately from strong bases. Care must also be taken to make sure that the acids are not stored near substances which react with them to evolve heat, hydrogen or explosive gases.
Water Reactive Chemicals
Water reactive chemicals must be stored in enclosures or receptacles that protect the chemicals from contact with water. It is essential that these materials are kept dry at all times and should not be stored directly under sprinkler heads.
These chemicals are hazardous because of their
extreme sensitivity to shock, sparks, or other forms of accidental ignition.
Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for storing and handling peroxides.
The peroxides should be stored at the lowest possible temperature consistent
with solubility or freezing point. Never tore peroxide below its
freezing point, as its shock sensitivity will be increased. The peroxides
must be store in a location that will protect them from friction, grinding,
and all forms of impact. This is especially important for solid peroxides.
Use only the amounts of peroxides required to complete the task. Do not
return the unused peroxides to the container. Caution must be used when
mixing the peroxides. A ceramic or wooden spatula should be used during
mixing. A metal spatula must never be used. Smoking, open flames, or other
sources of ignition are not permitted near peroxides.