How do I work with and store flammable liquids in my garage

A flammable liquid is a combustible liquid that can easily catch fire. Flammable liquids have a flash point of less than 100 degrees F, whereas combustible liquids have a flashpoint of above 100. Liquids with a lower flashpoint ignite easier.


You need a well-ventilated area to store flammable liquids in order to reduce vapour concentrations. They need to have suitable warning labels, and they should be kept in a cool, temperature-controlled dry area. You should store the liquids in approved, properly labelled safety containers; there are portable containers available for easier handling. It is best to store the containers near the area you will be using them, and it is good practice to keep no more than one day’s supply. Always keep containers closed when not in use (

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For a combustible or flammable liquid fire to start, a mixture of air and vapour must be ignited. In a working area, this is possible from simple things like smoking, sparks from electrical tools, welding tools, grinding tools and sparks caused by static electricity from rotating belts, open flames from boilers and pilot lights, embers from incinerators, and hot surfaces such as steam pipes and hot plates.


To be totally safe, be careful when purchasing hazardous materials. Choose the least hazardous options and learn how to work safely with them. Make sure your working area is well ventilated; if you’re unsure, enquire about ventilation equipment that meets the relevant fire code requirements.

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There are various types of garage shelving from sites like

that are ideal for the storage of flammable liquids, from heavy-duty shelving to industrial racking. Always store flammable liquids away from working areas and other materials as this will reduce the spread of fire to other materials in storage.


Be careful when dispensing or transferring flammable liquids to another container. Be sure the containers are closed after dispensing to control hazardous vapours, and never transfer liquids near any ignition sources. Clean up any liquid spills immediately and don’t leave them in doorways, thus blocking escape routes in the case of a fire. Wear the appropriate safety and protection equipment for whatever job you are doing.

Always practice good housekeeping, be aware of the hazards you are working with, and be sensible using them.

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