Flammable Material Storage

Proper storage of flammable materials is extremely important, both from a safety standpoint and a compliance standpoint.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) lists in their Standard 45 the limits on the types and amounts of flammable storage permitted per 100 square feet of laboratory space.   The chart below, taken from the 2000 edition of NFPA 45, shows these storage limits.  Please note that this is for flammables stored inside a flammable cabinet or safety can.

 Class of Liquid

 Flash Point (C)

Amount (gals/100 ft2)

 Class I Flammable

 Below 38


 Class I, II and IIIA combined




The flash point of a material can easily be found on the MSDS.  Remember that 1 gal = 3.8L


  • Do not store any more hazardous materials in the open or on a bench than what you will be using.
  • Store combustibles in their original (DOT-approved) container or in a safety can.
  • 5-gallon and smaller containers that are not safety cans must be stored in an approved flammable cabinet.
  • Do not vent flammable cabinets (i.e. leave the bungs in place)
  • Keep flammables and combustibles away from strong oxidizers such as nitric or chromic acid,  permanganates, peroxides, etc.