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Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets: Everything You Need to Know

Updated: Jul 15, 2023

What is a flammable liquids storage cabinet and what is its purpose?

A flammable liquids cabinet (or fire-proof cabinet) is designed to protect flammable liquids stored inside from fire for a specified period of time. It is purpose-built to prevent the liquids contained inside from exploding or igniting and spreading fire more rapidly.

Flammable Liquid Cabinet

Woodworker Safety

Woodworking poses several risks that extend beyond the obvious threats of sharp blades and high-speed machinery. These risks include exposure to flammable fumes, consistently loud noise, and poor air quality. To ensure your safety and well-being in the shop, it is important to stay informed and protected from all potential hazards. The following articles provide helpful information on how to do so.


Practical advice to protect your ears and reduce noise leaving your shop


Effective, low-cost tool to control sawdust and keep it out of your lungs


What are the requirements for a fireproof cabinet?

To qualify as a fireproof cabinet, its construction must meet strict criteria governed by the National Fire Protection Agency - specifically code NFPA 30 - and enforced by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It must be constructed to limit the internal temperature at the center of the cabinet and 1 inch from the top of the cabinet to 325 degrees F, when subjected to a 10-minute fire test.


The cabinet construction must meet the following criteria:

  1. The bottom, top, door and sides of the cabinet shall be at least 18 gauge sheet steel

  2. The bottom, top, door and sides must be double walled with 1-1/2" (38mm) air space

  3. Joints shall be riveted, welded, or made tight by some equally effective means

  4. The door requires a three-point latch arrangement

  5. The sill shall be raised at least 2" (50mm) above the bottom of the cabinet

Additional flammable liquids storage cabinet features

Though not a requirement under NFPA 30, there are a few additional safety features many flammable cabinet manufacturers add, including:

  • Grounding cable

  • Self-closing doors

  • Ventilation ports

What is the difference between flammable and combustible?

There are two OSHA standards that govern the terms, each with different temperature thresholds. The General Industry Standard applies to most work sites while the Construction Standard applies specifically to construction sites.


Construction Standard 29 CFR 1926

  • Flammable liquids have a flashpoint < 140° F

  • Combustible liquids have a flashpoint ≥ 140 °F

General Industry Standard 29 CFR 1910

  • Flammable liquids have a flashpoint < 100° F

  • Combustible liquids have a flashpoint ≥ 100 °F

Do I need a flammable liquids storage cabinet?

Though you may not be required to store liquids in an approved fireproof cabinet, it is a good idea as a low-cost measure to protect your home and its occupants. Many insurance companies do require the use of flammable liquids storage cabinets as a condition of insurability. This is especially true if you are running a small business from your garage or home-shop.


Flammable Liquids Cabinet Fire

Businesses fall under the regulatory eye of OSHA who requires flammable liquids of certain categories and quantities to be stored in flammable cabinets.

  1. Not more than 25 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids may be stored in a room outside of an approved storage cabinet.

  2. Not more than 60 gallons of flammable (flashpoint below 140 degrees F) may be stored in any one storage cabinet.

  3. Not more than 120 gallons of combustible (flashpoint at or above 140 degrees F) may be stored in any one storage cabinet.

Your local authority may require flammable storage cabinets under terms more strict than OSHA. It is important to consult your local regulations to ensure you are in compliance.


Where can I buy a flammable liquids cabinet?

There many places to purchase a fireproof cabinet, and you will find they are routinely priced over $1,000. Typically that is for a large capacity cabinet which may be overkill for a small shop or DIYer's garage.


The relative new-comer in this space is VEVOR. Manufactured to meet or exceed NFPA 30's construction requirements, VEVOR sells flammable liquid storage cabinets in 3 sizes perfect for the small shop - starting at under $140!

VEVOR 16 Gallon Flammable Liquids Storage Cabinet

VEVOR fireproof storage cabinet

VEVOR sent me their 16 gallon cabinet to test it out in my small woodworking shop. I am impressed with the quality and features. It either met or exceeded NFPA 30 requirements in construction and did it at the lowest price point around.


Features:

• Dimensions: 18” x 18” x 35.4”

• Capacity: 16-gallon

• Weight: 66 lbs

• Finish: Yellow powder coat

• Material: 14-gauge double walled cold-rolled galvanized steel with isolation layer in between


• Grounding: ESD Grounding cable to prevent electrostatic spark explosion

• Sill Depth: 2” leak-proof sill to contain spills inside cabinet. Drain hole included.

• Vent: Internal and external vents allow harmful fumes to escape safely

• Lock: 3-point key lock to keep hazardous materials secured




Pros:

VEVOR fireproof cabinet features
  • Perfect size for a small shop to store paints, stains and other flammables

  • It exceeds OSHA requirements in steel thickness

  • Added benefit of a grounding cable and two vents

  • It meets all other requirements such as the sill depth, locking mechanism, etc.

  • An affordable way to get in the good graces of your insurance company


Cons:

Although, I am very happy with VEVOR’s cabinet, there were a couple small disappointments.

  • Despite being packed very well, I did receive a cabinet with some slight damage to the door. It does nothing to prevent the functionality of the cabinet – more of an aesthetic defect.

  • The other minor issue is with the door latch, but I believe this is due to the heavy duty nature of the door. It requires I push the door shut all the way as the latch is pretty stiff. It closes securely, but I cannot just swing it shut.

Final Verdict:

This is a great buy! I encourage you to step up your safety game and add this flammable liquids cabinet to your shop. You shouldn't have to compromise your wallet for safety. This cabinet includes all of the safety measures you need. The construction is heavy duty and the price is a bargain.


VEVOR has recently reduced the price of their cabinets and have been kind enough to offer readers of this article an additional discount on their 16 gallon cabinet - be sure to use the discount code below.


Fireproof Cabinet Discount Code

Use code: TW33OFF during the checkout for an additional $17 off!




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