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Close the Door So I can Get Out!

There must be a real misunderstanding about the purpose of flammable storage cabinets.  When we conduct safety a walk through in preparation for a Hazard Recognition and Control Workshopit is common to find flammable storage cabinet doors standing wide open.  In some cases the door won’t shut because the cabinet is to full of flammable liquid containers.  This is evidence that there is a misunderstanding.

Flammable storage cabinets are in place to contain the flammable material in case fire breaks out in the workplace.  They also serve as a place to keep flammables away from ignition sources, so they don’t catch fire and cause injuries, fatalities, and damage to the property.  One of the most important considerations is fire control.

In the case of a fire breaking out, personnel need to evacuate the area quickly, flammable storage cabinets can provide the time to get out if they are properly located and maintained.  A well designed flammable storage cabinet will withstand the fire long after you have evacuated, if the door is shut and latched.  Recently while conducting a safety walk-through for a client, we found a flammable storage cabinet with the latch broke and gasoline cans stored inside with the door standing wide open.  In this case the cabinet had to be unloaded immediately, taken out of service, and repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Fire safety should be a part of your regular safety topics.  Fire causes to much loss of life and property when the risk can be mitigated.  Walk through your building and identify the flammable storage cabinets you have.  Inspect them to make sure the  door latch shut and that the doors are kept closed at all times.  Do this and you will be creating a safety culture that is focused on zero incidents so that Nobody Gets Hurt.

Be Safe!

Carl Potter,CSP


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