Safe Storage of Hazardous Substances

Fire is a clear risk when flammable and explosive substances are kept in a workplace, even when a relatively small amount is stored, such as bottles of bleach in a hairdressing salon or aerosols in a college art department.

Certain work environments pose a more obvious risk. Just two years ago there was a major fire in a Southampton fireworks store. Fortunately, no-one was injured, but it took more than 70 firefighters 12 hours to tackle the blaze, as they dealt with the added danger of rockets shooting from the building at random angles.

If your business involves the use of hazardous substances, such as explosives, toxic chemicals or flammable gases or liquids, it's vital to follow strict health and safety guidelines for their correct storage.

Depending on the levels of substances, and where they are being used, it may also be necessary to seek 'hazardous substances consent' from your local authority. The council will determine the severity of any risk to the surrounding community and environment, and may rule against the storage, or ask for extra precautions to be put in place.

 

Storage of Hazardous Substances

Advice for Safe Storage of Hazardous Substances

Many of these tips are simply 'good housekeeping,' but all too often it's the basic mistakes that can lead to a devastating incident. For example, the Southampton fireworks blaze started after plastic-wrapped cardboard boxes were accidentally stacked too close to a hot halogen lightbulb.

Precautions you should take include:

  • Storing chemicals according to the manufacturer's instructions
  • Keeping quantities of hazardous substances to a minimum, even though that means regularly re-stocking supplies
  • Safely cleaning up any leaks or spills immediately after they occur
  • Ensuring that 'incompatible' chemicals are not stored next to each other
  • Carrying out regular inspections in areas where hazardous chemicals are kept, checking for fumes and making sure that containers are not damaged

Why You Need a Fire Risk Assessment

If the worst happens and fire does break out, your company or organisation needs to show that it has properly assessed any risk, and ensured that adequate protection is in place. This is necessary for any non-domestic premises: when dangerous substances are being stored, the stakes are even higher.

Here at Allsaved, we provide a full risk assessment service for business premises in Sussex, London and surrounding counties. We use the latest risk management software to make the process swift, hassle free and cost effective.

Our expert staff can advise on the correct fire protection and fire extinguishers that may be needed for your premises. Professional advice is always recommended, because there are many different types of extinguishers for use on different classes of fire. For example, a Class C fire is one which is started by flammable gases such as butane or methane, and should be tackled only with a dry powder extinguisher, never water.

Get In Touch!

Why put your staff or your business at risk when expert support is available at affordable rates?

Call Allsaved today for a free, no-obligation meeting to discuss how we can help. Click here for contact details – we look forward to hearing from you!