Proper storage is essential
to avoid chemical accidents
Chemical storage buildings are designed to keep dangerous items safe and accessible
November 21, 2022
If you’re in the business of storing chemicals, you know that proper storage is essential to avoid dangerous accidents. Designed to keep these dangerous items safe and accessible, chemical storage buildings are facilities used to house hazardous chemical substances and their associated waste products. Unlike storage lockers, they are large enough to store a number of chemicals within a single space without creating a significant risk of hazardous interactions between chemicals. They also provide enough interior space for employees to move and work within.
Chemical storage buildings are classified as Group H (“highly hazardous”) buildings under the International Building Code (IBC).
Chemical storage buildings are classified as Group H (“highly hazardous”) buildings under the International Building Code (IBC). In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most important things to know about chemical storage buildings and what you need to know to make the most of their capabilities.
What are chemical storage buildings?
Chemical storage buildings are often designed to meet specific safety and environmental requirements. The building should be able to resist fire, flood, and earthquakes. The facility should also be able to maintain a particular temperature and humidity level.
Types of chemicals stored in chemical storage buildings
Many different types of chemicals can be stored in chemical storage buildings, including acids, bases, flammable liquids, combustible liquids, and corrosive materials. Each type of chemical has its unique storage requirements that must be followed to ensure safety.
Fire-rated chemical storage buildings
A fire-rated chemical storage building is a type of storage facility specifically designed to protect the contents from fire. These buildings are typically made from concrete or metal and often have fire-resistant coatings or cladding. Fire-rated chemical storage buildings usually store flammable liquids, combustible materials, and other dangerous chemicals.
Non-fire-rated chemical storage buildings
A non-fire-rated chemical storage building is a facility not explicitly designed to protect the contents from fire. These buildings can be made from various materials, including wood, plastic, and metal. Non-fire-rated chemical storage buildings often store less dangerous chemicals, such as acids, bases, and corrosives.
Corrosion-resistant chemical storage buildings
A corrosion-resistant chemical storage building is a type of storage facility specifically designed to protect the contents inside from corrosive materials. These buildings are often made from concrete, metal, or plastic and usually have corrosion-resistant coatings or cladding. Corrosion-resistant chemical storage buildings often store corrosive liquids, such as acids and bases.
Paint safety cabinets
A paint safety cabinets is a type of storage facility specifically designed to store paint and other flammable liquids. These cabinets are typically made from metal and often have fire-resistant coatings or cladding. Paint safety cabinets must be labelled with the proper hazard warnings and kept away from any sources of ignition.
Risks associated with chemical storage buildings
A few potential risks are associated with chemical storage, including fire and explosion. Fire risks can be increased when combustible materials are stored near flammable materials, such as chlorine gas. Explosions can also happen when chemicals react together or are improperly stored. In addition to the risks mentioned above, chemical storage buildings can pose a health risk if contaminated with harmful pollutants.
Steps that municipalities take to ensure safety
To ensure the safety of chemical storage buildings, municipalities typically take several steps. These steps may include: regulating the construction and use of these buildings, issuing permits and inspecting them regularly, requiring training for employees who work in or around these buildings, and installing safeguards such as alarms and fire suppression systems.
Image: David Slaager • Pexels