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  1. NC Fire Prevention Code Section
  2. NFPA 30 Chapter 4
Flammable liquid storage cabinets are intended for the storage of flammable and combustible liquids.This Guide applies to all UNC-Chapel Hill facilities, including leased properties. It  covers the design, construction, and installation of Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets; the Guide does not address the proper use of Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets.


Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets must be UL listed and must meet NC Fire Prevention Code requirements.

Cabinet Capability

Where flammable liquid storage cabinets are required, they shall be designed such that they do not exceed 120 gallons for the combined total quantity of all liquids (i.e., Classes 1, 2, and 3).

NFPA 30, Chapter 4-3.1

NFPA 30 Chapter 4-3.1 still contains the limit (Check most recent NC Fire Protection Code)

One or more Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets are required for laboratories which store, use, or handle more than 10 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids.


Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets shall be conspicuously labeled in red letters on contrasting background “FLAMMABLE – KEEP FIRE AWAY.”

NFPA 30, Chapter 4-3.5

When flammable or combustible liquids present multiple hazards, the laboratory design shall address the storage requirements for each hazard.

For example, acetic acid is a corrosive and flammable material.

Therefore, if stored in a flammable cabinet with other flammable materials, it must be segregated through the use of separate barriers (e.g., secondary containment). Incompatible material shall not be stored within the same cabinet.

Materials (NFPA 30, Section 4-3.3(b))

New Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets must be constructed of steel.

Good Practice per UNC-Chapel Hill EHS

Wood cabinets are not UL-listed or EHS approved.

Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets shall be constructed as follows:

  1. Minimum wall thickness of 0.044 inches (18 gauge).
  2. Double walled construction with a minimum air gap of 1- 1/2-inches between the walls including the door, top, bottom, and sides.
  3. Tight-fitting joints welded or riveted.
  4. Liquid-tight bottom with a door sill of at least 2 inches.
  5. Three-point latch on doors.


Cabinet doors shall be self-closing and self-latching.

Venting (NFPA 30, Chapter 4-3.4 and NFPA 99, Chapter 10-7.2.3)

Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets are not required to be vented except for odor control of malodorous materials. Vent openings shall be sealed with the bungs supplied with the cabinet or with bungs specified by the manufacturer of the cabinet. If vented, cabinet should be vented from the bottom with make-up air supplied to the top. It shall be vented outdoors to an approved location or through a flame arrester to a fume hood exhaust system. Construction of the venting duct should be equal to the rating of the cabinet.


Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets shall NOT be located near exit doorways, stairways, or in a location that would impede egress. Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets must NOT be wall-mounted. Wall-mounted cabinets are not UL-Listed or Fire Marshal-Approved.

Laboratory design must ensure that Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets are NOT located near an open flame or other ignition source.

Good Practice per UNC-Chapel Hill EHS

An open flame or other ignition source could start a fire or cause an explosion if an accident or natural disaster brought the ignition source and flammable liquids or vapors together.