Guide to Flammable Goods Storage Cabinets

The improper storage and handling of flammable materials is one of the leading causes of industrial fires. To minimise risks to personnel and worksite facilities, flammable goods must be stored in purpose-built cabinets. 

Improve safety and productivity outcomes by ensuring your flammable goods storage solutions:

  • Comply with relevant Australian Safety Standards 
  • Do not exceed 850L per 250m2 of floor space on ground floors, and 250L per 250m2 of floor space on other levels of a facility     
  • Display relevant cabinet signage requirements
  • Are positioned appropriately to minimise potential fire or injury hazards
  • Offer maximum protection through premium features such as self-latching doors, adjustable levelling feet for stability, rounded safety corners on doors and edges, and a dual locking system for increased security.

Purpose of Flammable Goods Storage Cabinets

To mitigate fire or explosion hazards and encourage positive safety outcomes, it is important to identify all flammable goods in use at your facility and, where elimination or substitution is not reasonably practicable, store them in purpose-built cabinets.

You should always refer to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of each dangerous material for detailed chemical characteristics and storage recommendations.

Purpose built flammable goods storage cabinets serve to:

  • Reduce the risk of fire and protect personnel and the facility. 
  • Segregate flammable goods from other incompatible hazardous materials such as acids and corrosive to reduce the risk of dangerous chemical reactions.
  • Improve productivity and efficiency by enabling the safe storage of flammable liquids close to their point of use.
  • Ensure facilities are compliant with the Australian Standard for the storage and handling flammable goods. 

Compliance with Australian Standards 

Facilities that store, distribute or use flammable materials should review, understand and ensure compliance with AS1940:2017, the Australian Standard for the safe handling and storage of flammable goods. 

The aggregate capacity of flammable goods storage cabinets should not exceed 850L per 250m2 of floor space on ground floors, and 250L per 250m2 of floor space on other levels of a facility. 

Storage cabinet requirements include a double walled steel construction with at least 40mm between walls, self-closing doors that latch in two places, and a spill containment sump at least 150mm deep. 

Cabinets that comply with AS1940:2017 are suitable for the storage of all classifications of Class 3 Flammable Goods under the Australian Dangerous Goods Code. These divisions are:

  • PG I: Flash point < 23°C and initial boiling point ≤ 35°C e.g. carbon disulphide
  • PG II: Flash point < 23°C and initial boiling point >35°C e.g. acetone, ethanol, petrol
  • PG III: Flash point ≥ 23°C and ≤ 60°C e.g. kerosene, jet fuel

Signage requirements

In line with AS1940:2017, all flammable goods storage cabinets must clearly display: 

  • The ‘NO SMOKING, NO IGNITION SOURCES WITHIN 3m’ placard, with lettering at least 50mm high;
  • The ‘Class 3 Flammable Liquids - Dangerous Goods’ label at least 250mm in height;
  • The maximum capacity of the cabinet;
  • The name and address of the cabinet manufacturer; and 
  • The name of the Australian distributor if the cabinet is imported.

Features of Justrite Flammable Goods Storage Cabinets 

Selecting the best brand of flammable goods storage cabinet will help ensure improved regulatory, safety and productivity outcomes for your worksite.

Big Safety provide a range of Justrite storage solutions with premium features including:

  • FM Global fire certification meaning during a ten minute fire exposure test, the cabinet maintains structural integrity and an internal temperature below 163°C; 
  • Easy close, self latching doors;
  • Fusible links to hold doors open that melt at 74°C for automatic closure;
  • A double walled construction of 1.2mm sheet steel with 40mm wall spacing;
  • Fully-welded, not riveted, construction that holds squareness for longer life, offering greater protection in a fire since air gaps are reduced;
  • Durable and chemical resistant lead-free powder coat paint finish which retains high gloss finish and minimises the effects of corrosion and humidity;
  • Adjustable levelling feet for stability;
  • Rounded safety corners on doors to protect personnel from hand injury;
  • 150mm deep sump to contain spills or leaks within cabinet;
  • Sloped safety shelves that direct any spills to the back and towards the spill sump;  
  • An exclusive U-Loc™ padlockable handle for extra security; and
  • A 10 year warranty.

Positioning the cabinet

Most flammable goods storage cabinets are designed for indoor use. Exposure to extreme heat or sunlight can cause the vapour levels inside the cabinet to increase creating an explosion hazard. Rain or moisture that enters the cabinet can accumulate between the internal walls and corrode the steel compromising the cabinet’s structural integrity. 

However, Big Safety does offer weatherproof customisations on 160L, 250L and 350L Justrite flammable goods storage cabinets if you require an outdoor storage solution. Custom features include stainless steel hinges, weatherproof guttering and forklift channels to help keep the cabinet dry while on the ground. Outdoor cabinets will also require the installation of an exterior barrier to protect them from potential impact damage.

Both indoor and outdoor flammable goods storage cabinets must be located at least three meters away from ignition sources including electrical sockets, open flames or hot surfaces, which can ignite flammable vapours from the chemicals in the cabinet. 

The placement of flammable goods storage cabinets must not impede the easy escape of personnel in case of emergency evacuation. 

For more information about flammable goods storage cabinets, contact Big Safety to discuss your requirements.