ATF Federal Explosives regulations noted in 27 CFR Part 555 Subpart K specify detailed construction requirements for explosive magazines. All explosive material MUST be kept in locked magazines UNLESS:
In the process of manufacture
Physically handled by a licensee or user during the operating process
Currently in use
In transport to a place of storage or use by a licensee, permittee, or an individual who lawfully and legally acquired explosive materials under Section 106 Subpart F
Explosive materials MUST be kept in magazines that meet the construction, locking, andspecified table of distance requirements noted in Subpart K. When none of the specified conditions and standards listed above apply:
All explosive materials must be stored in appropriate magazines
Magazines must meet construction and housekeeping fulfillments noted in Sections
555.211 & 215
Magazines must meet table of distance requirements presented in Section 218
Magazines must be inspected every 7 days
Permanent outdoor magazines must have a solid foundation or be metal skirted to prevent access from underneath
Explosive materials may not be left unattended in Type-3 magazines (including “day boxes”) and must be removed to Type-1 or -2 magazines for storage
Storage regulations DO NOT apply to binary explosives until mixed
Explosive Types and Storage
High explosives is a function by detonation that causes a rapid decomposition of the material caused by a shock wave moving through the product at a rate faster than the speed of sound. All high explosives (including blasting caps, detonating cord, dynamite, shaped charges, boosters, etc.) in accordance to Section 555.203 must be stored in:
Low explosives detonate producing a large volume of heated gas. All low explosives in accordance to Section 555.203 (such as black powder, display fireworks, safety fuse, igniters, etc.) must be stored in:
Type-1, -2, or -4 Permanent, portable or mobile (indoor/outdoor) magazines
Blasting agents are a material or mixture that consists of fuel and oxidizer that is intended solely for blasting and that cannot be detonated by a No. 8 test blasting cap when unconfined. Blasting agents may be stored** in:
Type-5 Permanent, portable, or mobile (indoor/outdoor) magazines
**Blasting agents stored WITH high explosives must be stored in a Type-1 or -2 magazine
Hinges and Hasps
Hinges and hasps must be attached to storage doors by bolting, riveting, or welding so that the door bolts cannot be removed from the outside.
Having the appropriate locks will help hinder robberies and break-ins. The ATF recommends that any padlock securing an explosives magazine have an ASTM (American Society of Testing Materials) rating of at least 5.
More information can be found in ASTM’s F883-97 “Standard Performance Specifications for Padlocks”.
Two mortise locks
Two padlocks fastened in separate hasps and staples
Padlocks must have at least five tumblers and a casehardened shackle of at least ⅜-inch diameter
Padlocks must be protected with no less than ¼-inch steel hoods constructed so as to prevent sawing or lever actions on the locks, hasps, and staples
Combination of mortise lock and padlock
Mortise lock requiring two keys to open
The locking requirements for indoor magazines are similar to outdoor magazines requirements with a few exceptions. An indoor magazine located in a locked secured room with door hinges and lock hasp securely fastened to the magazine (noted in 27 CFR 555.208(b), 555.210(b) and 555.211(b)), may have each door locked with one steel padlock that meets the stated requirements above.
“Hockey Puck” Locks
“Hockey puck” locks have no visible shackle. The locking bolt and staple are completely covered and protected by the lock body. For the locks to be approved for use, the lock must have a casehardened shackle and a close-fitting shroud to prevent sawing or prying of the lock.
Prior to installation, the licensee/permittee must submit a request for a variance.
Flush Mounted Locks
Flush mounted locks (aka “flush-mount lever locks”) do not provide sufficient protection against pulling or prying the lid off the magazine. A flush mounted lock fails to provide an acceptable level of theft-resistance for indoor storage of low explosive materials and may not be used to secure Type-4 indoor magazines. Additional information can be found at ATF Ruling 2004-3.
Licensee and/or permittee who desires to use this type of lock in a secured room that is locked as noted in subparagraph (b) of 27 CFR 555.210 may submit a request for a variance.
Type-2, -4, and -5 unattended vehicular magazines must have the wheels removed or otherwise immobilized by kingpin locking devices. Other methods must be approved by the Director.
Magazines must be inspected at least once every 7 days. Inspection must be sufficient to determine if there has been unauthorized or attempted entry
A full inventory of your explosive materials is required annually and entered into your Daily Summary of Magazine Transactions
Federal regulations require that Type-1 and Type-2 explosive magazines be bullet-resistant. “Bullet-resistant” means resistant to penetration by a bullet of 150 grain M2 ball ammunition (nominal muzzle velocity of 2,700 feet per second). Construction requirements for Type-2 outdoor magazines (i.e. exterior and doors constructed of not less than ¼-inch thick steel and lines with at least 2 inches of hardwood) are fixed to guarantee bullet-resistance.
ATF Ruling 76-18 details alternate construction standards for explosive magazines.
Bullet Resistance for Type-2 Indoor Storage
Type-2 indoor magazines do not need to be bullet-resistant if the buildings in which they’re stored in provide protection from bullet penetration. Type-2 indoor magazines have less strict construction regulations due to the additional protection afforded by the associated building (see Part 555.208(b)). Please note that if the magazine, nor the building in which it is located, is bullet resistant, then the magazine and building must meet bullet-resistance requirements.
If there’s a concern that the combined construction doesn’t meet listed requirements and ATF Ruling 76-18 doesn’t address the situation, a licensee or permittee may submit a request for a variance to the requirements contained in 27 CFR 555.208. Variance requestions should be submitted to the Explosives Industry Programs Branch via your local ATF office. When submitting your request for a variance, please include specific construction information for both the magazine and building in which it is located.
Up-cycling of old cardboard boxes and materials is quickly becoming an important business operations tool for small, medium and enterprise-wide businesses. Converting your incoming cardboard into outbound shipping materials is more than eco-friendly, it’s a direct effect on the bottom line of businesses worldwide.
When business and environmental goals align, companies worldwide are recognizing practical benefits including:
Metrics for Carbon Foot Prints of Products
Environmental Product Design & Shipping
Sales & Marketing Benefits of Sustainable Business Practices
Widely used by industrial businesses, the trend in recycled cardboard into shipping and packing materials is making its way to mom & pop shops and business of all sizes and markets. HSM has been touted as the most reliable and best reviewed brand of cardboard shredders and cardboard recycling machines on the market and we are proud to now offer the HSM ProfiPack 400 and HSM ProfiPack 425 cardboard recycle machines.
HSM ProfiPacks are ideal cardboard box solutions for companies seeking to reduce costs and reduce environmental impact by minimizing your need to purchase packing peanuts, bubble wrap or other shipping supplies and materials. The HSM ProfiPack is one of the best ways to create a cost savings plan that converts & upcycles old cardboard boxes into high quality packing materials for outbound shipments.
Whether you are a manufacturer that ships out packages or oversize shipments or simply want to create Eco-friendly packaging as part of your internal environmental initiatives such as ISO 14000 Environment management , ISO 14006:2011, or other non accredited environmental improvement strategies; the HSM carboard recycling machines and shredders are one of the best investments for ROI in the age of business sustainability.
Environmental Management Systems & Processes
Measuring and managing environmental impact is a key metric for many businesses, particularly with certified ISO 14000 or other similar standards for sustainability. By incorporating planned continual improvements for the recycling of cardboard and conversion to packing materials, some companies are realizing benefits that improve operations across multiple areas such as reduced costs, improved sustainability, achieving standards for greenhouse gas accounting, verification and emissions trading, as well as metrics used for measuring the carbon footprint of products that are manufactured.
Businesses around the world, as well as their customer and shareholders or stakeholders, are increasingly aware of the need for environmental management, socially responsible manufacturing and shipping of products that all dovetail into long-term sustainable growth and development. When small and large businesses take proactive management of the environmental aspects of product design, shipping materials and cardboard recylcing, there are clear benefits for operational efficiency and bottom line profits.
Custom Built Solutions
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In general, there are three main types of commercial fireworks. These three categories of devices are closely regulated by several government agencies, with special focus on the the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
Display fireworks are the large and grandiose type of displays usually utilized in professional fireworks displays. These shows are closely supervised by a trained pyrotechnician. This type of firework produces a visible and / or audible effect in the form of combustion, deflagration, or deterioration. This includes all fireworks falling under the following distinctions;
Containing more than 2 grains (130 mg.) of flash powder
Aerial shells containing more than 40 g. of pyrotechnic compositions
Display pieces which exceed the limits of explosive materials classified as “consumer fireworks
Fused set pieces containing components which together exceed 50 mg, of flash powder
These fireworks are all classified under the Department of Transportation under UN0333, UN0334, and UN0335, and must be transported under the guidlines set aside for fireworks.
Commercial fireworks are the standard type of fireworks one will find readily available in stores and roadside stands. These fireworks are small, and commercially available to the general public. These include;
Ground devices containing 50 mg. or less of flash powder
Aerial devices containing 130 mg. or less of flash powder.
While commercial fireworks are not regulated by the ATF, they are still classified by the Department of Transportation as products UN0336 and UN0337, and any person manufacturing consumer fireworks for commercial use MUST obtain a Federal Explosives Manufacturing License.
These particular devices are pyrotechnic devices manufactured for professional use. They are similar to commercial fireworks in chemical composition and construction, but are not intended for consumer use. These devices also fall under the regulation of 27 CFR 555.11. STORAGE MAGAZINE DISTINCTIONS FOR FIREWORKS STORAGE
The aviation industry is rife with numerous chemicals, compounds and materials that qualify as either “flammable”, or “combustible” , or “explosive” according to The National Fire Protection Association standard 30 (NFPA 30). According to NFPA 30, a “flammable” liquid is any chemical that has a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while a “combustible” liquid is any chemical that has a flashpoint above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most commonly encountered NFPA 30 chemicals that are encountered in the aviation industry are; acetone, ammonia, asbestos, carbon monoxide, chlorofluorocarbon 113 (CFC 113), ethylene glycol, methylene chloride, and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK). More chemicals can be found for all industries listed on the Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), which should be on site at any facility storing any of the 0ver 4,000 chemicals listed on this list.
Aviation chemicals may be stored by four separate methods; aboveground tanks, below ground tanks, storage tank buildings, and container / locker storage. All aviation chemicals to be stored in a container / locker MUST adhere to NFPA 30 Sec. 9.5.3 which states that a “flammable storage cabinet” must be designed to limit the internal temperature of the container / locker to no more than 325 degrees Fahrenheit from the center of the cabinet to within 1” of the top of the cabinet when subject to a 10 minute fire test.
Aircraft Ejection Seats & Explosives Storage
Certain materials used in aircraft ejection seats may be required to be stored in qualified storage magazines, day boxes or Type 2, Type 3 or Type 4 cabinets and boxes. These may include cartridge activated explosive devices, boosters, or impulse cartridges.
Cartridges are typically stored where they are not exposed to direct sun or high temperatures, this generally means storage in a cool, dry place or storage magazine. Local jurisdiction will provide requirements for storage of percussion-fired cartridges.
Large quantity storage regulations for propellants, pyrotechnics and explosives may include fire walls, operational shields, substantial dividing walls, blast resistant roofs, containment structures, and earth-covered magazines in accordance with NASA-STD-8719.12
COMMON AVIATION CHEMICALS AND THEIR INDUSTRY USES
Acetone – Acetone is an organic compound that is extremely flammable. It is used as a solvent, and in the degreasing process. Primary aviation uses are in the area of painting and buffing of aircraft.
Ammonia – Ammonia is a colorless compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with a very pungent odor. It’s primary uses in the aviation industry is the base ingredient in many aviation cleaning products.
Asbestos – Asbestos derives from a group of chemicals occurring naturally in the environment that can be separated into thin, durable threads. These threads are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals, and do not conduct electricity. Prior to the 1980s, asbestos was found many places in the aviation industry including the engine, insulation, brakes, cockpits, heating systems, heat shields, torque valves, gaskets, electrical wiring, and insulation. Once the carcinogenic effects of asbestos were thoroughly examined, the aviation industry began to phase out the product. It is not very rarely found, and then predominantly in adhesives and epoxies.
Chlorofluorocarbon 113 – (CFC 113) CFC 113 s a organic compound formed from carbon, chlorine, and fluorine, and is produced as a volatile derivative of methane, ethane, and propane. CFC 113 is commonly known by its DuPont trademark name “Freon.” CFC 113 is used in aviation primarily as a refrigerant. Use of CFC 113 was severely curtailed in the 1980s when its negative effects on the ozone layer were discovered.
Ethylene glycol – Ethylene glycol is a colorless, odorless, sweet tasting syrup that is used in the manufacture of polyester fibers and antifreeze. It is used in aviation primarily as the main component for de-icing fluid.
Methylene chloride – Methylene chloride (commonly known as Dichloromethane, or “DCM”), is a colorless, odorless, volatile organic compound with a moderately sweet aroma that is predominantly used as a solvent. The primary uses of DCM in the aviation industry are as a paint stripper, degreaser, and aerosol propellant.
Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) – MEK (commonly known as butanone) is a colorless organic compound with a sharp, sweet odor reminiscent of butterscotch and ammonia. It is commonly used as a solvent, and plastic welding agent. Its primary use in aviation is as a cleaner for bare metal surfaces.
There are a wide variety of ammonia based materials, compounds and products that require secure, safe and OSHA Approved or ATF Approved storage cabinets and storage buildings.
Whether your needs are for the job-site or need to be mobile or simply need cabinets for the storage of mining, blasting or quarry materials, we can help.
Our full line of OSHA Approved Storage Buildings and ATF Storage Magazines are designed to meet your exact needs.
We can also custom build a solution that is right for your storage requirements.
AMMONIA – Ammonia is a colorless, odorless compound of nitrogen and hydrogen gas intended for use as a fertilizer. Ammonia is shipped under pressure as a liquid. In any form, ammonia is corrosive to aluminum, tin, copper, lead, silver, zinc, and their alloys.
AMMONIUM NITRATE – Ammonium nitrate is a prill used extensively in the mining industry as a solid oxidizer ingredient for explosive compositions. Ammonium nitrate is very soluble with water and does not precipitate with any other common chemicals. Ask us how we can help you with Storage of Ammonium nitrate.
AMMONIUM NITRATE LIQUOR (ANL) – Ammonium Nitrate Liquor is a clear, colorless liquid that is heated to greater than 225 degrees fahrenheit to keep salt dissolved in a solution. ANL is infinitely soluble in water, and does not precipitate with any common chemical. ANL is predominantly used in the mining industry.
AQUA AMMONIA – Aqua ammonia is synonymous with ammonium hydroxide. Both distinctions are defined as a solution of ammonia in water. These high purity solutions are produced using demineralized water. Aqua ammonia can is a preferred form or ammonia for users who need to avoid storage of compressed gasses. This form of ammonia can be injected as a liquid and vaporized with the addition of heat into water vapor and gaseous ammonia. Aqua ammonia is also used as a base to neutralize acidic conditions.
Stay in Compliance with Standards & Regulations set forth by the following organizations:
Bureau of Mines
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA)
Compressed Gas Association
Department of Transportation
International Fertilizer Industry Association
Institute of Makers of Explosives
MSDA = Ammonia Materials Safety Data Sheet
National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association
The Fertilizer Institute
BLENDED NITRIC ACID (BNA) – Blended nitric acid is a clear and colorless (to slightly yellow) liquid that can come in varying strengths. BNA is created by oxidizing anhydrous ammonia over a platinum catalyst at extreme temperatures. The resulting gases (nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide) are cooled and demineralized into water. BNA is used for nitration of organics for production in plastics, surface coatings, dyes, pesticides, and explosives.
CARBON DIOXIDE LIQUID (CDL) – Carbon dioxide liquid is a colorless, odorless gas that is shipped under pressure as a liquid. This liquid absorbs readily into water to form carbonic acid, which is typically referred to as carbonated water.
DIESEL EXHAUST FLUiD (DEF) – DIesel exhaust fluid is a urea solution produced by combining pure liquid urea with clean plant stem condensate to produce a desired concentration. DEF is marketed as an ultra clean liquid fuel for catalytic abatement of nitrogen oxide emissions.
MIXED ACID – Mixed acid is a blend of strong nitric acid (98%) and oleum (sulfuric acid saturated with sulfur trioxide). Mixed acid is designed as a nitrating agent for industrial processes. Mixed acid reacts violently with oxidizable organic substances, to the point that ignition can occur. Mixed acid is used in the nitration of organics, as well as for production in plastics, surface coatings, dyes, pesticides, and explosives.
REFRIGERATION AMMONIA – Refrigeration ammonia is a colorless, odorless gas that is shipped under pressure as a liquid. Refrigeration ammonia has a pungent odor that is irritating to the mucosal membranes of the eyes and lungs. Contact with refrigeration ammonia liquid can cause frostbite. Refrigeration ammonia absorbs readily into water to form alkaline ammonium hydroxide solution, which is used as a refrigerant. Refrigeration ammonia can be easily compressed into a liquid, and back into a gas. Refrigeration ammonia is corrosive to aluminum, tin, copper, lead, silver, zinc, and their alloys. UREA AMMONIUM NITRATE (UAN) – Urea ammonium nitrate is a solution created by dissolving amide nitrate salt in water. UAE produces a slight ammonia odor. It is predominantly used in fertilizer solution.
UREA FEED GRADE (UFG) – Urea feed grade is a small spherical white solid that is easily decomposed to ammonia and carbon dioxide by heating, and is soluble in water. UFG is added to cattle feed to boost protein content. UFG may also be used as a slow release fertilizer. UREA PRILL – Urea prill is a small, spherical white solid that is soluble in water. It is suitable for use as an agricultural and forestry fertilizer, as well as having other industrial applications which require a high quality nitrogen source.
UREA SOLUTION – Urea solution is a dissolution of pure amide directly into clear condensate so no ions of any metals are present. Urea solution is marketed as an ultra clean liquid fuel for catalytic abatement of nitrogen oxide emissions.
Whether your operation us utilizing bulk or packaged Ammonium Nitrate, ANFO, Emulsions, ANFO/Emulsion Blends or other agents for mining, construction or quarry operations, we have a Storage Magazine (indoor and outdoor certified) to ensure you stay in compliance with ATF, OHSA or DOD safety standards.
The Library below is meant for educational purposes on technical information of many explosives that our magazines are used for in compliance with safety & explosive hazards regulations.
AMMONIUM NITRATE – Composed of the nitrate salt of ammonium, this white crystalline solid is highly water soluble. Ammonium nitrate is predominantly used in agriculture as a high nitrogen fertilizer. One other major use of ammonium nitrate is as an explosive in mining, quarrying, and civil construction. Ammonium nitrate is the main component of ANFO (ammonium nitrate / fuel oil), which accounts for 80% of all explosives used in North America.
CAST BOOSTERS – Cast boosters are used to amplify the energy of a detonator. The booster acts as a conduit between a weak conventional detonator, and a low sensitivity explosive. (Ex: TNT). The most common form of cast booster is a cylindrical shell made of extruded or pressed cardboard or plastic which the explosive material has been cast into.
DELIVERY SYSTEMS – A delivery system is a generic term used to describe the method in which an explosive charge is ignited. 95% of all explosives are delivered into the borehole by bulk loading methods. DETONATING CORD – Also known as a detonation cord, detacord, detcord, primer cord, or sun cord, the detonating cord is a thin, flexible plastic tube usually filled with pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN). The cord is a high speed fuse which explodes, rather than burning. Detonation cords are used for detonating high explosives, and act as a downline between the trigger and the blast area.
ELECTRIC DETONATORS – An electric detonator allows a circuit to be tested before firing a shot. Electric detonators come in three categories; instantaneous electric detonator (IED), short period delay detonators (SPD), and long period delay detonators (LPD). The detonation of SPDs are measured in milliseconds, while the detonation of LPDs are measured in seconds.
ELECTRONIC DETONATORS – Electronic detonators offer better precision for delayed ignition. These detonators are designed to provide precise control to produce accurate and consistent blasting results. Electronic detonators are primarily used in mining, quarrying, and construction. These detonators are programmed in one millisecond increments from 1 millisecond to 10,000 milliseconds.
EMULSIONS – Emulsions are explosives composed of water in oil based explosives. Emulsion explosives are ideal for bulk loading both on the surface and underground. Emulsions are the most commonly used explosive based on ammonium nitrate / fuel oil (ANFO) chemistry. These explosives are water resistant, and offer a higher bulk density. NON-ELECTRIC DETONATORS – Non-electric detonators are shock tube detonators used to initiate explosions. A hollow plastic tube delivers a firing impulse to a detonator instead of electric wires. This makes non-electric detonators immune to most hazards associated with stray electrical current. A non-electrical reaction travels at approximately 6,500 feet per second along the length of the tube with minimal disturbance outside of the tube.
List of materials found in a typical high school or college chemistry stockroom and laboratory that based on respective MSDS sheets, should be stored in a fire cabinet, hazardous materials cabinet, or corrosive materials storage cabinet.
One of the more tedious things for a secondary science educator is to properly maintain and take inventory of their chemical stockroom. This needs to be done every couple of years for effective safety measures. It is a well-known fact that certain chemicals should be stored in certain areas, and many of these hazardous chemicals may need to be stored separately within said safe storage vessel. After taking inventory in my stockroom with the help of some of my upper level students, I compiled what my total inventory consisted of, along with the conditions each chemical was in, shelf life of each chemical, and where it is safely stored. In this post, you will find a glossary of the types of chemical and compounds that need to be stored in an OSHA compliant storage cabinet. This post will be broken down into two main categories of chemical based on their proper storage area. A brief description of each chemical, along with its inherent hazards based on MSDS sheet will also be provided.
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Flammability ratings are as follows:
Flammability (Red Label)
Flammable gas or extremely flammable liquid
Flammable liquid flash point below 100°F
Combustible liquid flash point of 100° to 200°F
Combustible if heated
If a chemical has flammability ratings of 1-4, it must be stored in an OSHA compliant fire safety container. The following is what my classroom currently stores in terms of flammable materials. All of these materials are stored in a Flammables Cabinet.
Acetone: Dimethyl ketone, or more commonly referred as Acetone, is an extremely flammable Solvent used in numerous chemical applications. It is a great solvent in the lab (which translates to great for cleanup after lab exercises) and is used in gas chromatography as well. It is an extremely flammable category 2 liquid. Also causes eye and respiratory problems if directly exposed.
Amyl Alcohol: Also commonly referred to as Pentyl Alcohol, is a class two flammable organic alcohol. It is commonly used as a solvent to dissolve resins and some oily compounds. It is also commonly used to manufacture a number of other chemicals both on a small scale and large commercial type lab operations. It is a volatile compound that can cause issues in the respiratory tract if inhaled directly. Must be used in a ventilation hood or ventilated area.
Carnoy’s Solution: Carnoy’s solution is a mixture of multiple volatile compounds that is used in numerous biological laboratory tests. Its uses range from the treatment of specific types of tumors, to the fixation of cell samples in the lab. The primary ingredients in this mixture are Ethyl Alcohol and Chloroform, both of which are extremely flammable and should be stored in the proper cabinet.
Ethyl Alcohol: This alcohol is also the alcohol commonly found in alcoholic beverages. It is used as a common laboratory solvent that can be used for numerous applications, and also an additive in gasoline referred to as gasohol. It is a category two flammable liquid, possessing chemical properties that produce a highly flammable liquid and vapor. It also is harmful if swallowed, and can cause eye damage and irritation. Due to the possibility of this being a possible form of substance abuse for the students, and the high flammability of the compound itself, it must be stored in a locked flammables cabinet.
Ethylene Glycol: Although Ethylene glycol is not inherently a high risk flammable compound, it is still considered a class one flammable compound, which still needs to be stored in the proper cabinet. Ethylene Glycol is also extremely poisonous, even at very small doses. It is common uses in the lab include the precipitation of proteins from solution, fractionation, purification, and crystallization.
Isopropyl alcohol: a very common compound found in many medicine cabinets, first aid kits, and cleaning supply cabinets. It most commonly used as an antiseptic in minor cuts and scrapes, or as a cleaning solution for white boards and electronics. Isopropyl alcohol also has numerous uses in the biology and chemistry classrooms. In biology it is used to extract DNA from solutions of cellular material, which separates the DNA from the rest of the solution. It can also be used to preserve and or subdue live specimens for examination, mainly in the dissection lab. It is also commonly used in the chemistry setting to react with various substances. Considered a category two flammable liquid, isopropyl alcohol is a liquid that is commonly stored incorrectly. It is so common, that it is often stored on the shelf in the stockroom, but it is highly flammable and needs to be relocated to its proper storage container.
Methanol: Methanol is another alcohol that needs to be stored in a flame retardant cabinet. A toxic compound, which can cause blindness when ingested in small amounts; or can cause death if larger quantities enter the body. It is used in the synthesis of many organic compounds in the lab. It is also a common laboratory solvent, and is also used in High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Methanol is a Category three volatile substance that must be stored within an OSHA approved flame retardant cabinet.
Mineral Oil: also commonly referred to as “baby oil” or Paraffin oil is commonly found in the chemistry stockroom to store highly reactive metals such as Calcium, Potassium, Cesium, and Sodium. It is used to prevent water vapor in the air from contacting these highly unstable pure metal samples. It is also considered a flammable compound that should be stored in the proper storage cabinet.
Petroleum Ether: A category two flammable liquid and carcinogen, Petroleum ether is a compound that must be stored properly, and handled with extreme care. Over time, exposure to this compound can cause mutagenicity in human cells, resulting in various types of cancer. A natural byproduct in the making of gasoline also referred to as “benzene”; this chemical is commonly used as a solvent for many organic chemistry applications. It can also be used as a glue or adhesive remover.
Tolulene: This compound is extremely dangerous for multiple reasons, the most immediate threat is it is a class two flammable liquid. Toluene is a common solvent that is able to dissolve paint, paint thinners, silicone, and rubber. It is also used to make numerous products in the lab; the most famous of these is Tri-Nitro-Toluene or more commonly referred to as TNT. It should never be stored with any acids, especially any of the nitrogen containing acids. It also has applications in making plastic polymers. Toluene also has been shown to cause reproductive failure and cell degeneration in the reproductive organs of lab animals. Safe handling and storage is a must for this chemical.
Xylenes: found in the group of aromatic hydrocarbons, this compound is one of the more flammable compounds found in the chemistry lab. It is a class three flammable liquid and vapor, which also is internally and externally toxic to human beings as well. Mainly used in histology for the fixation of cellular samples, it does have some chemistry applications as a solvent as well.
Storage of other hazardous materials such as acids (Class “E’ materials or Corrosives) is very similar to storing flammables in a special cabinet. My stockroom has a corrosives cabinet that is used to store all of my concentrated lab reagents. There are however, specific rules for storing acids in your stockroom that must be followed in order to ensure the safety of the students and faculty. Although the inert risk of flammability of pure acids and bases are not an issue, their seamless ability to react with other compounds stored near them is a danger in itself. Sometimes this requires certain lab reagents to be stored within a container or compartment separate from the rest of the acids within the cabinet. Special consideration needs to be made when determining what chemicals are going to be stored together.
Many corrosives are characterized by the following abbreviations:
C- Combustible liquid or solid
HT- Highly Toxic
PEC- Potentially Explosive Chemical
WR- Water reactive
An acid is a substance that donates hydrogen ions. Because of this, when an acid is dissolved in water, the balance between hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions is shifted. Now there are more hydrogen ions than hydroxide ions in the solution. This kind of solution is acidic.
A base is a substance that accepts hydrogen ions. When a base is dissolved in water, the balance between hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions shifts the opposite way. Because the base “soaks up” hydrogen ions, the result is a solution with more hydroxide ions than hydrogen ions. This kind of solution is alkaline.
Anything stored in a corrosives cabinet usually has a pH of below 2 and above 12 on the pH scale. A reagent with a pH lower than 7 is considered acidic and above 7 is considered basic. The scale runs from 0 (most acidic) to 14
Corrosive materials also have a myriad of side effect upon exposure, either directly, or from the toxic vapors they emit. Concentrated acids should always be diluted in a chemical hood and always handled with proper eye, body, feet, and hand protection. These concentrated chemicals are extremely dangerous.
Many people think that because something is on the basic side of the pH scale (pH of 7 through 14) that it is not as dangerous as a corrosive that is on the lower end of the pH spectrum. This is not the case; bases tend to cause more damage to tissues because they penetrate deeper into the skin, causing much more damage to the lower layers of skin on the body.
Below you will find a list of acids that are currently stored within my OSHA compliant Corrosives storage cabinet in my stockroom.
Ammonium Hydroxide: One of the least dangerous acids in my cabinet (although still very dangerous!). Very dilute ammonia solutions are sold over the counter as a house hold cleaning agent, but lab grade concentrated ammonia is very dangerous. Due to its high pH level, ammonium hydroxide solutions are alkaline. As a result, it is a severe eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritant that readily burns tissues it comes in direct contact with. Most commonly used in the chemistry lab to neutralize strong acids for proper disposal.
Hydrochloric Acid: hydrochloric acid is one of the most used lab reagents in the lab. This acid has a very wide use in high school chemistry. For me personally we use it for titrations involving acid base neutralizations. It is also commonly used in dilute forms for geological identifications of different types of rocks, or to show chemical weathering to simulate acid rain with different rock samples. Considered extremely corrosive in higher concentrations, it must be stored in a corrosives cabinet. It also must be diluted within a chemical hood because the fumes when adding the acid to water can severely damage the respiratory tract. Full protective equipment is an absolute must when handling this acid.
Nitric Acid: Most commonly used in the production of farm grade fertilizers, rocket propulsion, metal finishing, and explosives; Nitric acid is commonly found in high school chemistry labs as well commonly used for lab demonstrations and dehydration reactions. Extremely corrosive and fatal if swallowed, nitric acid is another extremely dangerous acid to handle and store. In addition to being stored within a corrosives cabinet, Nitric acid must be stored separately within the cabinet itself (My OSHA corrosives cabinet has a separate compartment to store nitric acid within). It is not to be stored with other acids, mainly ammonium hydroxide because of the inherent risk of explosive compounds being inadvertently formed during long term storage.
Sulfuric Acid: one of the most important industrial chemicals in the United States, more of this acid is made than all of the others combined annually. It is used to make many of the other acids mentioned earlier, along with the manufacture of fertilizers and manufactured goods. It is also the main component of traditional batteries, especially automotive batteries. For high school chemistry, it is used to react with many metals as lab demos, or to produce hydrogen gas for demonstration as well. Once again, another highly corrosive substance that needs to be stored in a corrosives cabinet. It also needs to be handled with extreme caution while also wearing all of the necessary protective clothing.
After reading this article, it is very apparent that student safety is the most important thing to consider when storing and handling these types of chemicals in the lab. Proper storage and safety drastically reduces the risks of injury or damage to the building. It is imperative that the instructor practices and teaches students the importance of how to handle these chemicals safely. This is just a very small list of all of the different types of hazardous compounds that may be found in a common chemistry lab. There are numerous others that are not mentioned in this article, so it is always important to keep MSDS sheets handy when an instructor or student is unsure of the risks involved with many of these chemicals. It is also extremely important that the building administrator be aware of where the MSDS sheets are located in the event of an emergency so that proper care can be taken during the situation. Stay safe and good luck!
Jacob K Hogan
Chemistry, Biology, and AP Environmental Science Teacher
Teaching Chemistry in a high school or college setting involves a variety of safety hazards. When people think about safety in schools, topics like bullying and students bringing weapons to school are at the forefront of news media, however, there is another important school safety issue that teachers and administrators may not even know exists – chemical lab storage and stock room safety. Improper storage is more than an OSHA violation. If these chemicals are not stored properly, or if the teacher does not have the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to accompany every material (acids, corrosives, flammable materials) in the stock room, the safety of the building and therefore, everyone inside the school could be at risk. These two factors remain one of the most important aspects of maintaining a comfortable learning environment, and improper chemical storage can have very negative consequences if not handled correctly.
Why MSDS Sheets are important to chemical storage safety
In the chemistry lab, the teacher and students are often handling very hazardous and flammable substances and materials – all with an inherent risk of injury at any moment’s notice. This is why Students need to be taught proper lab safety when performing any type of hands on activity. Additionally, this is also why the chemistry teacher need to have their MSDS sheets (Materials and Safety Data Sheets) on hand in the room. A compilation of the MSDS sheets allows the teacher to effectively determine every single type of hazard that any given chemical can cause. From Flammability to corrosiveness and even if certain chemicals have inhalation hazards. These sheets also provide extensive information on how to store these volatile chemicals safely in OSHA approved storage cabinets in the stock room.
OSHA Approved Chemical Storage Cabinets
One thing that sometimes goes unrecognized as a teacher and or building supervisor is proper OSHA storage of certain lab chemicals, mainly acids and flammables. Possessing and maintaining a proper storage cabinet for these types of chemicals is a necessity in a chemical store room to contain hazardous materials. For example, when referring to the common types of lab grade acids you may find in a high school chemistry lab, many of these acids have storage risks associated with them over time. Everyone knows the dangers of handling acids, but many are not aware of the types of explosive compounds these acids can form if not properly stored. Nitric acid is a very common lab reagent, and it requires a separate compartment within the OSHA compliant safety cabinet to be stored properly. The reason for this is that nitric acid being an organic acid, if stored with inorganic acids such as acetic or formic acid can create toxic and or flammable fumes within the safe storage cabinet if they are next to each other. This is why nitric acid should be stored separate from all other acids within the acid storage cabinet or inside its own acid storage cabinet. Once again, this is why MSDS sheets are extremely helpful in determining safe storage of chemicals. Flammable materials should also be stored in a flammable materials cabinet. Compounds that are considered highly volatile need to be stored in their own cabinet so the fumes cannot react with other compounds in storage. These compounds include any alcohol, acetone, mineral oil, or “ene” compounds (xylene, toluene, hexene…). This also keeps all flammable items away from any type of heat source i.e. a heater or electrical equipment that could ignite flammable vapors inadvertently. The chances that something would react during storage are slim, but these are the types of scenarios that usually end in serious injury to staff and students if not properly maintained at the school.
These are just a few of the reasons teachers and administrators need to stay up to date on the types of chemicals stored in the classroom, and above all if they are stored properly. Ordering proper storage cabinets is a cheaper alternative to lawsuits filed by staff and parents in the event an accident happens. It is also cheaper than the fines dealt out by OSHA if a problem is detected in your building. These regulations are meant to do one thing, keep the building safe. It is extremely important to remember that a safe building fosters learning and a sense of security for staff and students.
TYPE 2, 3, AND 4 STORAGE MAGAZINES for Explosives, Fireworks & Pyrotechnics
Storage magazines are used in the storage and transportation of both high and low explosives. This brief summary will focus on Type 2, 3, and 4 storage magazines. All of the magazines covered in this summary are rated to store both high and low explosives.
High explosives are materials that will detonate. These include; blasting caps, detonating cord, dynamite, shaped charges, and boosters. Low explosives are materials that deflagrate, producing large volumes of heated gas. These include; black powder, display fireworks, safety fuse igniters, igniter cord, and fuse lighters.
Type 2 Storage Magazines
Type 2 storage magazines can be used for both indoor and outdoor storage, and can be both mobile and portable. All Type 2 magazines must meet or exceed ATF specifications CFR 555.11. These qualifications for Type 2 magazine as defined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms state that in order for a Type 2 magazine to be in compliance it must have;
double wall, welded construction with 3” or airspace throughout
exterior walls of 10 gauge, formed, Galvanized steel
a roof of 16 gauge steel
interior wall of ⅜” steel plate
Type 2 magazines are manufactured predominantly for the storage of high explosives. These magazines are made for indoor or outdoor placement. As directed by the ATF, these magazines can not hold more than 50 lbs. of explosive materials. Outdoor Type 2 magazines must be built to bullet resistant design. Type 2 magazines are easily portable, and can be housed most places with a flat surface. These magazines are built for turn-key installation, allowing for easy location.
Type 3 magazine storage containers are commonly known in layman’s terms as “Day Boxes.” These magazines are utilized mainly in the transportation of high and low explosives to sites in the field, and are to mean to be attended at all times. Per the ATF, “Explosive materials are not to be left unattended in type 3 magazines and must be removed to type 1 or 2 magazines for unattended magazines.
Magazines meeting the criteria for Type 3 classification must be easily portable. Type 3 magazines can be mounted to a vehicle or trailer, or can be left free standing to be carried by hand. A textbook example of the Type 3 storage magazines it the Securall Type 3 Daybox. Features of the Day Box include;
12 gauge steel
Interior lined with ½” plywood
all spark producing material covered or sealed
padlock hasps welded, riveted, or bolted with nuts on the inside
finish of 2 part chemical resistant aliphatic polyurethane
Type 4 Storage Magazines
Type 2 storage magazines are designed for the storage of low or high explosives. These magazines are made of steel, and are weather, fire, and theft resistant. Like its type 2 counterparts, a type 4 magazine is made for indoor, outdoor, portable, or mobile use. However, a type 4 magazine can also be used in a permanent location.
2 hooded hasps for padlocks placed on door to prevent tampering or forced entry
Larger units of type 4 storage magazines are manufactured with I Beam supports running the length of the structure, and the magazines can be drug along surfaces by the end of the I Beams. These magazines can also be equipped with fork channels and casters to make relocation even more simple.
It should also be noted that 1.3G display fireworks (formerly Class B fireworks) that are for aerial display are to be stored in approved storage magazines. Whether these are for pyrotechnics storage or ATF 54 licensed persons requiring day boxes, our full line of fireworks storage containers and solutions are designed to meet your price point and budget.
Hazardous chemical storage is an incredibly heavily regulated industry,incorporating the laws and regulations of many government agencies and corporate entities. In order for a building to be legally labelled as “Hazmat Certified,” there are many criteria that must be met.
Securall Hazmat Buildings are designed for outdoor storage with 55 gallon drum encasement containing flammable or combustible liquids. The outer wall of the unit is manufactured with welded 16 or 12 gauge steel. Inner walls are constructed of 20 gauge steel. The buildings come standard with a commercial grade lockset handle, and 3” airspace through the unit.
Securall Fire-Rated Storage Buildings carry the Factory Mutual System Approval label. Factory Mutual Global offers world wide industrial and commercial production certification and testing services via FM Approvals. In order to receive FM Approval, a building must be examined and analyzed to be certain building construction is performed to evaluate:
the suitability of the building;
proper operation and performance of the building as specified by the manufacturer and requirements of FM Approvals; and, as far as practical,
durability and reliability of the building itself.
In addition to being compliant with the previous codes and regulations, Securall also meets Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) requirements for closed shipping vessels with a liquid capacity from 450 L to 3,000 L (119-793 gallons).