Flammable liquids that must be chilled or frozen require special flammable storage refrigerators or freezers to minimize the risk of fire or explosion.
Never store flammable liquids of any volume in a standard or domestic refrigerator or freezer. They have numerous ignition sources that could ignite vapors.
Flammable storage refrigerators are available from many commercial manufacturers. Consider negotiating to share a flammable storage refrigerator with neighboring researchers if purchasing one is not in your budget.
Types of cold flammable storage
Two types of cold flammable storage are commercially available:
- Flammable storage refrigerators and freezers have no exposed ignition sources inside the cabinet, such as lights or switches, that could ignite vapors.
- Explosion-proof or spark-proof units have no interior or exterior ignition sources. An explosion-proof refrigerator or freezer may be required in rare circumstances in hazardous locations.
Label refrigerators to avoid confusion
- Label refrigerators used for chemical storage with a Laboratory Use Only sticker.
- Label refrigerators used for storage of non-flammable chemicals with a No Flammable Storage sticker.
Environmental room prohibition
Never use environmental rooms, also known as cold / warm rooms, for storage of flammable or other hazardous materials of any volume.
Environmental rooms have many ignition sources and little or no air circulation from outside. Small quantities of flammable or hazardous materials (500 ml or less) may be used in these spaces, but do not store them there.
- Read Flammable Liquids Storage Guidelines for more information.