Hazardous Material Fire Codes and Standards

Wed, 2012-05-02

Stonehouse Signs offers a full line of Hazardous Material Signs and Fire Safety SignsHazardous materials are present
in every workplace in the United States.  They could be something as simple as cleaning supplies, but also include other types of chemicals, explosives and radioactive materials.

When you combine these ever-present dangers with fire, you have a deadly combination. 

Making sure that all hazardous materials are stored and transported in accordance with state and nationally recognized fire codes & standards is vital for the safety of employees and the public.

This article describes what a hazardous material is, and identifies safety signs that could be used to comply with nationally recognized fire codes.  It also gives a sneak peak of OSHA's revised Hazard Communication Standard.

NOTE:

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Use These Links to Jump to the Information You Are Interested In:

What is a Hazardous Material?
National Fire Codes and Standards
   NFPA 400: Hazardous Materials Code
   NFPA 704: Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials
                     for Emergency Response.

   OSHA Hazard Communication Standard
State Fire Code Adoption

 

Stonehouse Signs offers a full line of Hazardous Chemicals and Materials Signs
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use the Click-To-Chat feature to the right for more information.


What is a 'Hazardous Material'?


According to the Institute of Hazardous Material Management (IHMM), a hazardous material is defined as any item or agent (biological, chemical, or physical) which has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment by itself, or through interaction with other factors.

As you can imagine, this definition includes hundreds of thousands of items that are used every day in businesses and households throughout the world.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) defines specific materials that are hazardous in their Hazardous Materials Code, which we cover in detail below.  To view the items included in this code, register on NFPA’s website and then click on this link to view the 2010 version of NFPA 400.

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National Fire Codes and Standards


There are two national entities that help create fire codes and standards that are adopted by fire departments, agencies and businesses at the state and local levels- the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  

Although the NFPA is the main contributor for the state and local fire codes, OSHA has strict hazard communication standards and fire safety regulations that employers have to follow to avoid injuries, deaths and steep fines.



The National Fire Protection Association is the world's leading advocate of fire prevention and an authoritative source on public safety.  NFPA develops, publishes, and disseminates more than 300 consensus codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks.

Image and Copy Source: NFPA

There are two different NFPA Codes that apply to hazardous materials:

NFPA 400: Hazardous Materials Code
& NFPA 704: Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response.

The sections below include specific sign applications related to hazardous materials that are described by these two codes.

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NFPA 400*


NFPA 400 applies to the storage, use, and handling of the following hazardous materials in all occupancies and facilities:

  (1) Ammonium nitrate solids and liquids
  (2) Corrosive solids and liquids
  (3) Flammable solids
  (4) Organic peroxide formulations
  (5) Oxidizer — solids and liquids
  (6) Pyrophoric solids and liquids
  (7) Toxic and highly toxic solids and liquids
  (8) Unstable (reactive) solids and liquids
  (9) Water-reactive solids and liquids
(10) Compressed gases and cryogenic fluids

To read the details of each section below, register on NFPA’s website and then click on this link to view or purchase the 2010 version of NFPA 400. 
 

NOTE: The signs and information presented in this section is intended for general discussion only.  For more detailed information on NFPA 400 and NFPA 704, register on NFPA’s website to view these codes in their entirety or contact NFPA Directly.

6.1.6.2 (4) Piping, Tubing, Valves and Fittings
(
Shutoff Valves/Remotely Located Controls)
 

Fire Control and Safety Sign- Emergency Shutoff Switch

Fire Control and Safety Sign- Emergency Shutoff Arrow

6.1.8.1.1: Signs- Design and Construction
 

Signs need to be Durable and comply with nationally recognized Sizes and Colors.
 

6.1.8.2: Signs- Hazard Materials Identification
 

Please see NFPA 704- Standard system for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response for more information.

 

6.1.8.3: Signs- No Smoking Signs
 

Fire Control and Safety Sign-Danger No Smoking Within 25 Feet

 

Fire Control and Safety Sign-Danger No Smoking In This Area

Fire Control and Safety Sign- Danger Flammable Gas No Smoking Within 25 Feet

You can also view more No Smoking Signs here!

6.1.18 (4): Hazardous Materials Storage Cabinets

Fire Control and Safety Sign-Danger Hazardous Keep Fire Away

 

 


6.1.19.2.3: Aboveground Tanks
 

Please see NFPA 704- Standard system for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response for more information

 

11.3.2.3.3.6: Compartments: Ammonium Nitrate Bins/Piles
 

Hazardous Material Signs- Danger Ammonium Nitrate

  

14.2.12.1: Special Requirements- Storage
 

Hazardous Material Signs- Danger Organic Peroxide

  

21.2.12: Hazard Identification Signs
 

Please see NFPA 704- Standard system for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response for more information.

21.2.12.2: Hazard Identification Signs- Gas Rooms/Cabinets Containing Compressed Gas
 

Hazardous Material Signs- Danger Compresssed Gas  

21.2.12.3: Hazard Identification Signs- Various Gases
 

Hazardous Material Signs- Danger Hydrogen Flammable Gas No Smoking Open FlamesHazardous Material Signs- Danger No Smoking In This AreaHazardous Material Signs- Danger No Smoking, Matches, Open Lights

Hazardous Material Signs- Danger Explosive Gas No Smoking Within 25 Feet

 

Hazardous Material Signs- Danger No Smoking Within 25 Feet

21.2.16.2.4: Ventilation- Manual Shutoff Switch
 

Hazardous Material Signs- Warning Ventilation System Emergency Shut Off

 

 

21.3.6.3.2: Ignition Source Control- No Smoking or Open Flame
 

Hazardous Material Signs- Danger Flammable Gas No Open Flames Within 25 Feet

Hazardous Material Signs- Danger Flammable Gas No Smoking Within 25 Feet

Hazardous Material Signs- Danger Flammable Gas No Smoking, Open Flames Within 25 Feet

21.4.4.1.1.2: Marking- Stationary Tanks
 

Please see NFPA 704- Standard system for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response.

*Register on NFPA’s website for free to view this entire document online

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NFPA 704*

Displayed in markings commonly referred to as the "NFPA® hazard diamond," NFPA 704 simplifies the determination of the degree of health, flammability, and instability hazards of chemicals. It also provides for the recognition of water reactivity and oxidizers.

To read the details of this code, register on NFPA’s website and then click here to view or purchase a copy of NFPA Code 704.

NOTE: The signs and information presented in this section is intended for general discussion only.  For more detailed information on NFPA 400 and NFPA 704, register on NFPA’s website to view these codes in their entirety or contact NFPA Directly.

Stonehouse Signs offers HAZMAT Classification Placards and Right-To-Know Wallet Cards to help identify chemical hazards based on NFPA Code 704M and Federal Standard 313 (FED-STD-313).

These labels and/or signs need to be included on all hazardous chemical vessels and storage containers and should be easy to read from a safe distance.

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If you have any questions, please call one of our expert staff at
(800) 525-0456, or use the Click-To-Chat Feature on the right!

 

HAZMAT Classification Placards

HAZMAT Signal Kits(1)

Right-To-Know
Wallet Cards

Hazardous_Material_Classifications_NFPA

HMS-Signal-Kits-NFPA

Right-To-Know Wallet Card NFPA

(1)   Each Kit contains sufficient materials for one complete signal.  Numeral panels are furnished with black numerals on a red, blue, or yellow pressure sensitive background.  Symbol Panels are furnished with black symbols on a white pressure-sensitive vinyl background.
*Register on NFPA’s website for free to view this entire document online

Source: NFPA

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OSHA Hazard Communication Standard

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to protect workers from exposure to hazardous materials.  In addition to worker protection, OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) or Right-To-Know, outlines specific standards for labeling, and educating employees about hazardous chemicals they may come into contact with in the workplace. 

The purpose of the HCS is to ensure that the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported into the United States are evaluated, and the information concerning their hazards is transmitted to employers and employees by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which include:

  • Container labeling & other forms of warning
  • Material safety data sheets
  • Employee training

Note:

OSHA has recently revised its Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.  The revised standard will be fully implemented in 2016.

Here are some useful links to pertinent updates from OSHA:

You can also view the applicable OSHA standards related to the HCS here.

Source: OSHA

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State Fire Code Adoption

 

Consensus codes provided by the NFPA can be used by states to establish basic fire prevention requirements and establish a reasonable level of fire safety and property protection from hazards created by fire and explosion.

To date, 20 states have adopted NFPA 1: Fire Code as their Uniform Fire Code.  NFPA 1 contains extracts from and references to more than 130 NFPA codes and standards. Its primary purpose is to address basic fire prevention requirements and to reference or extract the fire prevention and protection aspects of many other NFPA codes and standards.

Hazardous Material Signs are specifically addressed in Section 60.5.1.8, which refers to NFPA 400 & NFPA 704 for detailed information.

Source: NFPA

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