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Solvent storage is a serious issue

25 May 2016

The decisions you make on the subject of solvent storage and handling can have serious consequences , so making a fully informed decision is vital. This is the advice of Labtex MD Greg Smith who is so concerned about the issue that he has published a white paper on the subject, in collaboration with storage specialists Asecos.

The crux of the matter is that the minimum standard operating in the UK,  BS 476 is less stringent than the European standard BS EN 14470-1, which requires storage cabinets to offer significantly greater fire protection . Compliance with the higher of the two standards is not only “best practice” but may in some circumstances allow larger volumes of substances to be stored .

Asecos cabinets are designed and built to comply with BS EN 14470-1.

They offer vastly superior protection over single or double wall steel cabinets ,manufactured  to BS 476. In the UK it is recommended that no more than 50 litres of highly flammable solvent be stored in a single workspace using single skinned metal cabinets manufactured according to BS 476 . However, subject to a thorough risk assessment, the 50 litre recommendation can be exceeded when using high specification safety cabinets such as those manufactured according to BS EN 14470-1.

These cabinets minimise the risks associated with storing flammable substances by protecting the contents for a known and tested length of time (fire rating).

This has several implications –  larger volumes stored can mean less handling with its attendant dangers , but more importantly, the much higher fire protection could save lives in an extreme situation,  even protecting the company from serious legal actions .

This complex but important topic is explained in detail in the White Paper which can be downloaded free at

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