Fact sheet on flammable liquid storage

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Safety Fact Sheets



  • Storage of flammable liquids must occur in either the original container from the manufacturer, or in approved containers as illustrated in Table 1 of this fact sheet.

  • "Flammable liquid" means any liquid having a flashpoint at or below 199.4 °F (93 °C). Flammable liquids are divided into four categories as follows:

Flammable Liquids




Flash point < 23°C and initial boiling point ≤ 35°C (95°F)


Flash point < 23°C and initial boiling point > 35°C (95°F)


Flash point ≥ 23°C and ≤ 60°C (140°F)


Flash point ≥ 60°C (140°F) and ≤ 93°C (200°F)

  • When liquid with a flashpoint greater than 199.4 °F (93 °C) is heated for use to within 30 °F (16.7 °C) of its flashpoint, it shall be handled in accordance with the requirements for a Category 4 flammable liquid.

Maximum Capacity of Containers for Flammable Liquids


Container Liquids Type

Flammable Liquids

Container Type

Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

Category 4

Glass or approved plastic*

1 pt

1 qt

1 gal

1 gal


1 gal

5 gal

5 gal

5 gal

Safety Cans

2 gal

5 gal

5 gal

5 gal

*Approved means approved or listed by either Underwriter's Laboratories or Factory Mutual Engineering Corporation.

Storage Cabinets: "Maximum capacity." Not more than 60 gallons of Category 1, 2, or 3 flammable liquids, nor more than 120 gallons of Category 4 flammable liquids may be stored in a storage cabinet.

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Number of Storage Cabinets: The number of storage cabinets allowed in a Fire Area is listed below:

Maximum Number of Flammable Storage Cabinets allowed in any one Fire Area

Non-sprinklered Area

3 per fire area

Cabinets separated by 100 feet

3 per each 100 feet of travel distance

Automatic Sprinkler System

6 per fire area

Fire Area: A "fire area" is an area of a building separated from the remainder of the building by special construction. This area has a fire resistance of at least 1 hour and has all communicating openings properly protected by an assembly that also has a fire resistance rating of at least 1 hour.

Flammable Liquid Storage Outside of a Flammable Storage Cabinet: The maximum quantities of flammable liquids that can be stored outside of a flammable storage cabinet are listed in the Table below:

Maximum Quantities Outside of a Flammable Storage Cabinet or Inside Storage Room

Class and Container Type


Category 1 Liquids in Containers

25 Gallons

Category 2, 3 or 4 Liquids in


120 Gallons

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