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Process or storage vessels and pipe systems that contain ignitable ranges of oxygen and flammable vapors are susceptible to catastrophic explosions. If the oxygen and vapor mixture is ignited by sparks, arcs, friction, compression or other heat sources, the expanding flame front may cause significant injuries and damage. One method of lessening the likelihood of a flash fire is by the installation of a flame arrestor in the equipment or on the end of a vent or process line. Flame arrestors are used in many industries, including refining, oil exploration and production, pharmaceutical, chemical, petrochemical, pulp and paper, sewage treatment, landfills, mining, power generation, and bulk liquids transportation.

Yes, OSHA has rules for the use of flammable liquids in areas that are not designed as a Hazardous Location.  OSHA covers Hazardous Locations in 1910.307, but those areas that do not rise to the level of being a Hazardous Location fall under 1910.334(d) which states:

These are my Flammable Liquids related articles as of 6/1/2015

  1. Does OSHA regulate electrical equipment in areas where flammable liquids are present but are not hazardous locations?
  2. Another "weak roof-to-shell seam" failure and results
  3. Good video explaining how static is created and why it is worse in winter (video)
  4. How a "weak roof-to-shell seam" works on an atmospheric storage tankFlammable Liquid Tanks on “Legs”
  5. Controlling flow rates of non-conductive flammable liquids
  6. FLASH FIRE on top of "rig tank" (i.e. frac tank)
  7. Cheat Sheet for Classifying Flammable Liquids under the new GHS (NC-OSHA)
  8. Bonding and Grounding of plastic containers during the dispensing or transferring of Class I flammable liquids (OSHA)
  9. “Dropping trailers” of flammable liquids
  10. Do flame arrestors really work? (Video)
  11. Atmospheric Flammable Liquid Tank Launches (video)
  12. Fatal burns from Diesel Flash Fire (TN-OSHA #12-2009)
  13. Forklift strikes overhead flammable liquid line causing flash fire fatality (TN-OSHA #21-2010)
  14. Aboveground Flammable and Combustible Liquid Tank Emergency Venting — Part 9: Vent Sizes
  15. Aboveground Flammable and Combustible Liquid Tank Emergency Venting — Part 8: Venting for Pressure Tanks
  16. Aboveground Flammable and Combustible Liquid Tank Emergency Venting – Part 7: Interpolated Value Tank Venting Requirements
  17. Aboveground Flammable and Combustible Liquid Tank Emergency Venting – Part 6: Wetted Area and Vent Capacity
  18. Aboveground Flammable and Combustible Liquid Tank Emergency Venting – Part 5: Calculating Wetted Area
  19. Things you may not know about flammable storage cabinets
  20. Aboveground Flammable and Combustible Liquid Tank Emergency Venting - Part 4: Wetted Area
  21. Aboveground Flammable and Combustible Liquid Tank Emergency Venting - Part 3: Venting Requirements
  22. Aboveground Flammable and Combustible Liquid Tank Emergency Venting — Part 2: Tank Shapes
  23. Aboveground Flammable and Combustible Liquid Tank Emergency Venting – Part 1: Tank Types
  24. Flammable Liquids Conductivity (Updated 1/18/14)
  25. Tanker Ship Hold Explosions from Flammable Atmospheres
  26. Flammable Liquid Tank Explosion & Hotwork
  27. Flammable Liquids and Tote Accident
  28. Understanding OSHA's Flammable Liquid Std Ventilation Requirements
  29. What is the REAL PURPOSE of flammable storage cabinets?
  30. Flash Fire with Non-Conductive Flammable Liquid
  31. A study of flammable liquid storage tank accidents
  32. UPDATE on the Magna Blend flammable liquid fire
  33. Plastics and Flammables - It's what can occur outside the container we tend to over look
  34. Is a flame arrestor required in a "safety can"?
  35. Flammable Liquids, Portable Tanks, and Polyethylene Containers
  36. CAUTION! Frac Tanks are NOT designed for Flammable and Combustible Liquids
  37. The importance of PROPER SECONDARY CONTAINMENT for Flammable Liquids (Videos)
  38. Flammable Liquid Storage Tanks and Venting
  39. Flammable Storage Cabinets... Did you know?
  40. Flammable Liquids... Static Generation and the floor we walk on!
  41. "Switch Loading" Flammable and Combustible Liquids is a Serious Risk that is often unknown or misunderstood
  42. How much flammable liquid can I have outside of the storage room or cabinet?
  43. Flammable Liquids 101 - Part A
  44. Plastics and Flammable Liquids...SAFE?
  45. Methods to Control Static Electricity when processing non-Conductive Flammable Liquids    
  46. Safe Handling of non-Conductive Flammable Liquids
  47. Making sense of non-conductive flammable liquids
  48. Non-conductive Flammable Liquids & Filters
  49. Sources of Static Generation in Flammable Liquid Processes
  50. Flame Retardant Clothing use guidelines from NFPA 2113
  51. Flammable Liquids - 102, Surface area and MIE's
  52. Flammable Liquids 101 - Part B

This is an excellent photo that shows what happens when a FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS ATMOPSHERIC STORAGE tank does not have proper or adequate emergency venting.  As we can see in this photo (Source: AP) the tank is still in tank, but with a large hole (e.g. new vent!).  This tank was estimated to have reached the height of 60' and landed approximately 75 yards from its foundation.  Ignition was a lighting strike.


OSHA, as well as NFPA and IFC, permit a "weak roof-to-shell seam" as the means for emergency venting on an OUTSIDE ABOVE GROUND ATMOSPHERIC storage tank for flammable liquids.  This method was vey common in the early days, but has since been replaced with engineered fire vents.  This video does an excellent job demonstrating how a "weak roof-to-shell seam" works and why emergency responders MUST be aware of how a flammable liquid tank will vent when involved in a fire scenario.  The video at the bottom of the page shows what happens when the "weak roof-to-shell seam" does NOT work as designed.  This same video then demonstrates a proper "weak roof-to-shell seam" working and we should take notice of the distance this tank roof travels!

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