Flammable solvents have a low flashpoint that makes them highly incendiary. Consequently, special care must be taken when storing and using the solvents. Below, we prove the point by exploring three chemical storage issues that come with using low flashpoint solvents, and how the issues can be resolved in a way that significantly reduces the chance of solvent ignition.
- Fire Hazard in Storage Area
The problem: One of the most common industrial chemical storage issues, a fire hazard in the solvent storage area usually entails two things: solvents that don’t have a high flashpoint, and a source of ignition in the storage area, such as electrical switchboard equipment that could produce a powerful arc flash.
The solution: Let’s assume you can’t move your flammable solvents to another room to minimize or eliminate the hazard. You could explore creating a fireproof envelope around the room, invest in non-flammable solvents, or use with solvents that have a high flashpoint. If high flashpoint solvents aren’t an option, professional fireproofing may be the best strategy.
- Protecting Against Leaks / Spills
The problem: Leaks and spills in the storage area typically result from faulty solvent containers and workers accidentally mishandling solvent containers, respectively. If a low flashpoint solvent leaks or spills, the liquid can create a fire hazard until it’s properly contained.
The solution: Carefully examining solvent containers before storing them — and immediately separating containers that could leak from the rest of the stock — helps prevent leaks. The best way to prevent spills is to implement a rigid protocol for how workers should handle solvent containers, and provide tools and/or equipment that assist in handling cleaners correctly.
- Convenient Access to Chemicals
The problem: To sustain productivity for solvent-based processes, workers need a way to conveniently access solvents. However, if low flashpoint solvents are in use, they need to be stored in a fire safe area of the building, regardless of the area’s proximity to the work environment, where solvents are applied.
The solution: You could develop a special, inner-building supply chain for safely delivering flammable solvents to areas where you need them, but a better option would be the ideal solution for problem 1: Implementing non-flammable solvents or solvents that have a high flashpoint. Using these solvents is the best way to prevent solvent-based fires in the workplace.
Who We Are
Ecolink is an experienced provider of eco friendly, industrial cleaning solvents. Among our products, you’ll find solvents that have high flashpoints or are inflammable. If you use a low flashpoint solvent that one of our less flammable or inflammable stock solvents can’t replace, we can use toll blending to create a custom solvent that’s tailored to your needs.
To explore your options for implementing solvents that have a better safety profile concerning flashpoint, browse through our Product Selection Guide, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or fill out the contact form on our website. We look forward to helping you address chemical storage issues that pertain to fire safety and any other chemical storage issues you may have.