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Steps to ensure the safe storage of flammable liquids

Storing flammable liquids requires special safety considerations due to the fire and explosion hazards associated with these types of liquids. Here are some simple steps you can to take to ensure safe flammable liquid storage in your facility.

Step 1 – Ensure adequate ventilation in storage areas

Flammable liquids should be stored and used in areas where there is good ventilation so that ignitable vapours aren’t allowed to build up. Ensuring there is good ventilation will reduce the risk as any vapours from spillages of flammable liquids will be identified more easily and quickly dispersed.

Step 2 – Remove all heat or ignition sources

Flammable liquid storage and handling areas should be free from heat or ignition sources, it’s important to check areas before storing.  Consider storing flammable liquids in other locations when heat and ignition sources are present or remove them from the specific area prior to storing. Sources to look for are things like sparks from electrical equipment and heaters, static electricity or open flames.

Step 3 – Choose the right containment solutions

Choosing the right spill containment solution for flammable liquids will ensure spills are contained and prevented from spreading further.  As discussed in our previous blog article steel containment is the best option for storing flammable liquids Also make sure that flammable liquids are kept in suitable containers with secure lids to reduce the risk of a spillage, and that they are clearly labelled to indicate contents.

Step 4 – Segregate flammable liquid storage and handling areas

Flammable liquids should be segregated from other combustible, corrosive or toxic liquids. Although most facilities don’t have the luxury of unlimited space it is important that flammable liquids are stored and used away from general storage and process areas. If space is limited you may not be able to create a physical distance but a wall or partition could be used to separate areas where flammable liquids are stored or used.

 HSG 51 – The Storage of Flammable liquids provides further guidance on how to ensure safe flammable liquid storage in your facility. Visit for more information.

Did you consider these steps when storing flammables in your facility? We would love to know if our advice helped! Let us know by commenting on our blog or posting on our wall at


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