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Understanding Safety Cabinets

Safety storage cabinets serve several critical functions:

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Safely contain hazardous chemicals to reduce the risk of fire, protecting both personnel and facilities

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Identify, organize, and segregate dangerous liquids

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Offer compliance with federal OSHA regulations and state and local fire codes

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Improve efficiency by allowing solvent to be stored near points of use

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Improve security with keyed locking mechanism

One of the leading causes of industrial fires is the improper storage and handling of flammable liquids. It is important to identify and inventory all chemicals in your workplace. Review the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for each chemical to determine characteristics and recommended storage practices. To avoid generating toxic gases and to prevent fires and explosions, it is important to segregate incompatible chemicals. Some local regulations require positive-pressure ventilation. Justrite cabinets offer fire-baffle protected vents to connect to these systems.

If the chemical being stored is flammable or combustible, OSHA 1910.106 applies. Your state and local codes, in all probability, are based on either the National Fire Protection Association Code (NFPA 30) and/or the Uniform Fire Code (UFC 79). Section 4.3 of the 2000 edition of NFPA covers the design, construction, and capacity of storage cabinets. In addition to passing a fire test, NFPA further requires specific cabinet construction. Whereas both metal and wood construction are acceptable, the most popular choice in industry is metal. One notable distinction in the Uniform Fire Code 7902.5.9.3.2 is the requirement that all flammable and combustible liquid storage cabinets shall be self-closing.

In addition to assuring that cabinets meet applicable codes, it's important to look for safety storage cabinets which carry independent third party certification, such as Factory Mutual (FM Approved) or Underwriter's Laboratories (UL Listed). Codes vary internationally. For example, in some applications in Canada, the Canadian National Fire Code may require cabinets to carry a ULC listing which requires a more stringent fire test than UL Listing. While NFPA does not mandate requirements for the storage of nonflammable acids and corrosives, these chemicals should be properly stored for maximum safety.

A wide variety of code compliant cabinets are available in sizes ranging from 4-gallons (15 liters) to 120-gallons (454 liters). Smaller cabinets allow solvents to be stored at worksite locations saving costly trips to a central storage room. Undercounter, wall mount and piggyback style cabinets add to safe storage, even when space is at a premium. For high capacity storage, including storage of 55-gallon drums, larger sized cabinets designed specifically to house 30-gallon (114 liter) or 55-gallon (208 liter) drums are available. It's important to note that OSHA Code 29 CFR 1910.106 states that not more than 60-gallons may be Class I and II liquids. Custom sized cabinets are also available for unique requirements.

An informed choice is always the best choice.

Anyone who is responsible for safety in their workplace knows the Justrite name is synonymous with safety cabinets. As the industry leader and innovator, Justrite offers over many models from which to choose. Consider the following when making the selection that is just right for you:

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Compliance and regulatory requirements

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Convenience and protection factors

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Chemical characteristics and capacity issues

Chemical Characteristics and Capacity Issues

Size and type of container being stored:
Determine if you are storing safety cans, 30- and 55-gallon drums, smaller paint cans, 4L bottles, aerosols, dispenser cans or other similar containers.

Capacity needs:
Specialty cabinets are available for on-the-spot needs while larger cabinets offer expanded or large quantity storage.

Type of chemical to be stored:
Using color and labeling in your storage practices helps identify, organize and segregate liquids. It also helps fire department personnel recognize hazards when responding to fire situations. While regulatory codes do not mandate the specific color of safety cabinets, industry has customarily observed the following:

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Yellow for flammable liquids

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Red for combustible liquids

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Blue for corrosive liquids

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Green for pesticides and insecticides

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White or gray for misc. such as hazardous waste materials.

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Other neutral colors for laboratory settings to match existing case work.

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Related Info

Safety storage cabinets serve several critical functions:
Compliant Justrite® steel Safety Cabinets are specifically designed to meet OSHA regulations and meet the National Fire Protection Association Standard Code 30. Most Cabinets pass rigorous third party testing by Factory Mutual Research and/or Underwriters Laboratories and are backed by our Ten-Year Warranty.

Convenience and Protection Factors
Ease of use:
Justrite cabinets have self-latching doors on a continuous piano hinge and spill-catcher shelves which adjust easily to fit changing storage needs. Built-in, hidden self-close mechanism allows obstruction-free access to top shelf space... all for improved usability!

Longevity: Quality construction finished in tough powder paint is backed by an industry exclusive Ten-Year Limited Warranty.

Fire protection: Welded construction, self-latching doors, third party tested, built to OSHA/NFPA standards... all ensure maximum protection under fire conditions.

A self-latching cabinet makes a difference!

A self-latching door and handle is critical as it does not require the user to manually rotate a handle to ensure the three-point latch is properly engaged. This is an important detail since an unlatched cabinet leaves the flammable contents exposed to a potential fire, where every single second of protection counts. A safety cabinet must be latched in order for it to perform according to code, providing maximum safety under fire conditions.