Flash fires top the list of the most dangerous types of chemical incidents. These sudden, intense conflagrations only need a small spark to ignite unprotected mixtures of air and chemical residue. What makes flash fires so dangerous is they can occur without warning. Discarded chemical drums often don’t receive the same vigilance as well-stocked inventories. Even small droplets of petroleum and other flammable materials can coagulate. Left to simmer in the hot sun or heated industrial environments, residual chemicals are primed for explosion. Airborne particulates from manufacturing byproducts can quickly spread across manufacturing facilities, just waiting for the chance to blow the roof off your operations. Our fire-rated protection for chemical storage tanks can protect discarded drums and topped-off inventory from producing catastrophic fires.
Steel Gauge Fire Protection for Chemical Storage Tanks
In Louisiana, two contract workers remain in serious medical condition following a flash fire originating from a tank that normally contains large volumes of crude oil. Although the tanks were empty, enough oil was leftover to fuel a mammoth fire. In a matter of seconds, the quickly spreading fire had engulfed the entire storage yard. While we don’t know the exact cause of the flash fire, we believe that errant storage is to blame. To save money, facilities will often reuse empty storage chemical storage tanks as opposed to purchasing new drums. While this is definitely the more cost-effective option, we recommend that empty chemical drums be stored in a climate controlled and well-ventilated storage locker, such as a U.S. Hazmat Storage fire-rated chemical warehouse.
How to Prevent Flash Fires
OSHA regulations require flammable materials to be stored away from flames or a heat source. Chemical inventories should also be stored in proper chemical storage tanks to prevent leaks. Our chemical storage lockers contain an innovative floor sump system attached to the bottom of the units. In the event of a spill, the flammable chemical will simply fall through the grated flooring system and collect in the sump below until it can be safely removed. Our fire-rated protection for chemical storage tanks offer the ultimate protection from accidental spills that could spark large fires. But it’s not just chemical leaks that you need to worry about. Vapors from flammable materials can be just as dangerous as the chemical itself. Mechanical ventilation in our storage lockers forces vapors to dissipate, preventing fuel rich environments from propagating, and also reducing the risk of inhalation by employees. One of the primary causes of flash fires is improper use. By using compartmentalized and separate storage, you ensure that chemical storage tanks will never be improperly used. This will also streamline workflow processes because products will be more easily accessible and inventoried.