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Flammable Liquid Safety

SATIBFlammable Liquid Safety

Flammable liquid safety3

Most establishments make use of flammable liquids in some form, whether it’s paraffin for lanterns at a bush dinner, fuel for vehicles or generators or various cleaning agents used by housekeeping. These are potentially a source of danger in terms of fire, the devastating effects we see frequently in our news.


As such, minimizing the risk and managing it becomes very important. These responsibilities rest with your maintenance department or possibly housekeeping division and often fall out of priority because they are not guest facing matters. The reality is that they should be very much prioritised due to the potential impact on your business should things go wrong.


Flammable liquids are used in many different ways. They present unique hazards to the people that use them. Flammable liquids can cause a fire or explosion, and like many other substances, they can also cause serious health effects from overexposure. The vapours of a flammable liquid often present the most serious hazard, in that they can easily ignite or explode.


To minimize the risk of ignition of the flammable liquid or vapours, follow these precautions;

  • Check the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the material you’re using to understand the specific hazards involved.
  • Store flammable liquids in cool, well-ventilated areas away from corrosives, oxidizers, and ignition sources.
  • Label all containers and cabinets with appropriate “flammable materials” signs.
  • Never smoke in an area where flammable liquids are used or stored.
  • Minimize the amount of flammable liquids used.
  • Use only approved safety cans to store flammable liquids.
  • Ground and bond flammable liquid containers to prevent static charge build-up.
  • Never pour flammable liquids down a drain or sink.
  • Dispose of empty flammable containers in an acceptable manner.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment such as splash aprons and goggles when handling flammable liquids.


Health Effects

Flammable liquids also present health hazards from overexposure. Overexposure to flammable liquids can cause a variety of effects. Inhalation of flammable liquids can cause irritation to the respiratory passages, nausea, headaches, muscle weakness, drowsiness, and loss of coordination, disorientation, confusion, unconsciousness, and death.


Skin contact with flammable liquids can cause the skin’s oils to be removed, resulting in irritated, cracked, dry skin, rashes, and dermatitis. Eye contact with flammable liquids can cause burning, irritation, and eye damage. Ingestion of flammable liquids can irritate the digestive tract, cause poisoning, and death.


PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Make sure to use personal protective equipment when exposed to or handling flammable liquids.  Careless mistakes and safety shortcuts lead to serious problems.