Fire Hazards

Fire hazards are abundant in laboratories. Precautions must be taken to prevent fires and explosions and reduce the risk of loss of life and property.

Flammable liquids

Flammable liquids must be stored and handled with extra caution to prevent laboratory fires.

  • The maximum container size of flammable liquids is 5L.
  • No more than 50L of flammable liquids, and a total of 300L of flammable and combustible liquids are allowed outside of a flammable liquids storage cabinet at any time.
  • Flammable liquid storage cabinets
    • No more than 500L of flammable or combustible liquids can be stored in in the cabinet
    • A maximum of three cabinets are allowed in a room
    • In large rooms up to three additional cabinets may be used provided they are at least 30m apart from the other group of three cabinets

Hot surfaces

  1. Keep floor clean to prevent falling sparks and hot metal from causing a fire. Cover wood floors with metal or other non-combustible material.
  2. Use fire retardant curtains.
  3. Turn off and unplug appliances such as soldering irons and coffee pots when workday is over.

Sparks and ignition sources

  1. Use only codes and standards (CSA)-approved equipment and tools when working in a lab with flammable liquids.
  2. Do not work with flammable liquids near ignition sources. This includes open flame, heat guns and hot plates.
  3. Use brass or plastic tools when working with flammable liquids.
  4. Oil motor bearings frequently.
  5. Take precautions with metal-to-metal or metal-to-concrete contacts.


  1. Keep equipment, tools and machinery clean and in good working order.
  2. Prevent machinery from overheating.
  3. Separate flammable items from flames or hot surfaces.
  4. Repair or replace leaking pipes, tanks or gas lines.
  5. Wipe up spills.
  6. Remove doorstops or wedges used under fire doors.
  7. Report broken fire doors or exits that are blocked or locked.
  8. Keep corridors, exits and stairways clear.
  9. Maintain a clean working area.
  10. Fire fighting equipment is inspected by Plant Operations.