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Don’t let your HAZMAT cook!

Special care must always be taken when transporting and storing flammable liquid and compressed gases, but especially when temperatures soar outside.

When the temperature goes up, or when containers are stored in direct sunlight, vapor pressures can rise causing internal pressures to go up. You can guess what happens next — KABOOM!

Flammable liquids and compressed gases

There are no secrets when it comes to protecting flammable liquids and compressed gases. Here’s some guidance:

Design. Only use containers that are specifically designed to carry flammable liquids. Make sure they are strong enough to prevent leakage during transportation and handling, and that the closures are tight on all containers.

Filling containers. Containers should be filled to a level that allows for expansion that may occur due to temperature or altitude changes. Never fill containers beyond rated capacity, and ensure flammable liquids aren’t stored next to or in contact with oxidizers, organic peroxides, or batteries.

Securement. When transporting compressed gas cylinders, ensure they are secured against shifting and movement.

Storage. In storage, cylinders must be secured in an upright position, unless they are designed to be used in a horizontal position. Store compressed gas cylinders in dry, cool areas, out of direct sunlight and away from steam pipes, boilers, or other heat sources. Follow the gas suppliers’ recommendations for storage temperatures. To prevent excessive pressure buildup, never exposed cylinders in storage to temperatures above 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

Follow your employer's work practices for the safe transport, handling, and storage of flammable liquids in non-bulk containers and compressed gases. Check with your supervisors for specifics about transport and storage, or if you have questions.