The newly published FM Global Data Sheet 7-29 on flammable and combustible liquids (now called “Ignitable liquids”) incorporates the very long awaited special consideration for high flashpoint liquids – those having a “confirmed and documented” closed-cup flashpoints ≥500 deg. F.  FM now officially recognizes that these “atypical ignitable” liquids, when not heated above ambient temperature, are a very low fire hazard.

So what does this potentially mean for you if you have these types of liquids at your sites?  The simple answer is that based on the container type and capacity, a reduced level of protection, compared to previous requirements, is acceptable.

As an example, portable metal containers of 40 or more gallon capacity can be stored by themselves in any manufacturing or storage area of a facility, provided the sprinkler protection for the occupancy in the surrounding area is adequate and meets a minimum sprinkler design that is usually found in most manufacturing or storage areas.  Additionally, containment and/or drainage to control the fire exposure is not needed.  The important fact in this example is that the sprinkler protection is NOT based on the high flashpoint liquids, but rather the surrounding occupancy.  This means greater flexibility in your material handling of these products and possible cost savings due to the reduced level of protection needed.

Harrington Group can assist in a fire risk assessment to help evaluate your particular situation involving high flashpoint ignitable liquids for other container types and sizes and in offering the most economical solutions for adequate protection.

By Jeff Harrington, CEO and Founder of Harrington Group, Inc.