It is the prime responsibility of companies that manufacture and supply chemicals to provide safe storage buildings for their chemicals to safeguard the safety and health of the workers, as well as the public and the environment.
Chemical storage buildings have a leak-tight sump area at the bottom to prevent leakage and contamination on the surrounding storage area and they are built to store flammable liquids, chemicals and hazardous waste safely and securely. Basically, chemical storage buildings are customized to accommodate any type of container, according to the volume capacity of chemicals that are normally stored.
To safely secure from leakage and contamination, all Class 1 flammable and combustible liquids in drums in an outside location must be stored in a chemical storage building, which is a standard requirement and procedure. The classification of Class 1 flammable and combustible liquids are: Class 1A – those liquids that have flash points below 22.8 degrees Centigrade and boiling points below 37.8 degrees Centigrade; and Class 1B – those liquids that have flash points below 22.8 degrees Centigrade and boiling points at or above 37.8 degrees Centigrade.
Since the Factory Mutual System Approval label and the FB Approved fire rated wall and roof design are standard basis for storage buildings, almost all chemical storage buildings must be fire-rated designed and approved. Fire ratings upgrade mean the time duration in which a structure can withstand the damage of fire, therefore, fire-rated storage buildings are constructed following these criteria: standard buildings must pass the 2-hour and 4-hour fire ratings upgrade, walls must pass the 2-hour and 4-hour fire ratings upgrade, and roofs must pass the 1.5-hour and 3-hour fire ratings upgrade. The standard structure of fire-rated buildings must come with hydraulic operated self-closing, fire-rated doors and fire damper protected vents.
Basically, chemical storage buildings are constructed of galvanized steel and gauges used depend on the storage capacity, such as a16 gauge galvanized steel is used or a 12 drum capacity, while larger buildings are constructed of a 12 gauge galvanized steel. Heavy gauge steel with leak tight seams is the standard material for the sump, which refers to the bottom part of the storage building which functions as reservoir, and the sump interior is coated with corrosion resistant material, a high-density polyethylene liner. The standard capacity of the sump must be at least 25% of the liquid storage capacity of the building; therefore, if the building is designed to store four 55-gallon drums, the sump can only contain 55 gallons.
During the changing of the seasons, a change in temperature can affect the storage of the chemicals, such that if you are storing a liquid that may freeze and, in the process, the chemicals may expand and cause its container to burst, an explosion proof heater must be used during the cold seasons; and, in the same manner, if you’re storing a liquid that has a low flash point and the weather conditions allow for a high internal air temperature, an explosion proof air conditioning unit must be installed.
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