The American University in Cairo


Purpose of the Standard
• This standard provides basic requirements for the protection of life and property in laboratory work where hazardous chemicals are handled through prevention and controls of fires and explosions. • To protect personnel from the effects of toxic, corrosive, or otherwise hazardous chemicals to which they may exposed as a result of fire or explosion.

• Educational Occupancies:
• Building used for the gathering of 6 or more persons for the purposes of instruction, such as schools, universities, colleges, and academies.

• Laboratory Unit:
• An enclosed space used for experiments or tests. It may contain one or more separate laboratory work areas.A laboratory unit is classified as A, B, or C according to the quantities of flammable and combustible liquids.

• Laboratory Work Area:
• A room or space for testing, analysis, research, instruction, or similar activities that involve the use of chemicals. This work area may or may not be enclosed.

• Hazardous Chemicals:
• A chemical with one or more of the following hazard ratings as defined in NFPA 704, Standard system for the identification of fire hazards of materials. Health-2,3, or 4; Flammability 3 or 4; Reactivity 2, 3, or 4.

Laboratory Unit Fire Hazard Classification
Excl. quant. In cabinets and cans Lab. Unit Flam. Or Class Comb. Class Class A High Hazard Class B Interm. Hazard Class C Low Hazard I I, II, and IIIA I I, II, and IIIA I I, II, and IIIA Excl. quant. In cabinets and cans Incl.. quant. In cabinets and cans Unsprink Incl.. quant. In cabinets and cans Sprink.

Unsprink Sprink.

300 gal. 400 gal. 150 gal 200 gal. 75 gal. 100 gal.

600 gal. 800 gal 300 gal. 400 gal. 150 gal. 200 gal.

600 gal. 800 gal. 300 gal. 400 gal. 150 gal. 200 gal.

1200 gal. 1600 gal. 600 gal. 800 gal. 300 gal. 400 gal.

Explosion Hazard Classification
• A laboratory work area shall be considered to contain an explosion hazard if:
• 1- Storage of materials with a reactivity hazard rating of 4. • 2- Use or formation of materials with reactivity hazard rating of 4. • 3- Highly exothermic reactions such as polymerizations, oxidations, nitrations, peroxidation, hydrogenation, or organo-metalic reactions.

Construction Notes
• Laboratories will be classified (NFPA 101) as : Business – Health Care, Industrial • Compartmentation of each laboratory unit is achieved by providing: (One-hour rated separation from adjacent labs or other areas. – Self-closing fire doors with at least ¾ hour rating. • Two or more exits must be provided for labs of 200 feet area or more.

• Doors to corridors from laboratories must swing in the direction of exit. • When central supply of flammable, combustible or oxidizing gases is provided, shut-off valves in accessible locations must be provided, in addition to those at the points of supply and use.

• Controls for air, gas, and other utilities must be color coded and labeled. • GFCI on electrical outlets within 6 feet of all sinks.

Laboratory Unit Layout

Fire Protection
• • • • Portable fire extinguishers Fire alarm systems Evacuation and emergency plans. Automatic extinguishing systems (sprinkler system). • Inside standpipe and hose systems.

Lab Ventilating Systems
• Haz. Chemicals shall not be recirculated. • Location of fresh air intakes – avoid drawing of hazardous chemicals from labs. • Negative pressure in the labs relative to the corridors or adjacent non-labs areas. • Location of air supply diffusion devices to avoid air current (hoods, exhaust system, and fire detection or ext. systems)

• Min. 6 air change per hour – fume hoods. • Open use of hazardous chemicals – 10 or more air change per hour. • Exhaust ducts – negative pressure. • Hoods air velocity : 80 – 100 fpm • Local exhaust systems (elephant trunks or snorkels.

• Exhaust ducts to outside the building – roofs 10 feet above roof level. • Lab hoods shall be located in areas of minimum air turbulence. • Lab hoods shall not be located adjacent to a single means of access to an exit or high traffic areas.

Chemical Storage & Disposal
• Hazardous chemicals – minimum necessary • Segregation of incompatible materials. • Dating of the first opening – 6 months testing and evaluation and disposal. • Class I transference – bonding and grounding. • Classification of chemical wastes. • No disposal of chemical wastes to the sink.

Maximum Allowable Container Capacity
Flammable Liquids Flammable Liquids Flammable Liquids Combustible Liquids Combustible Liquids Container Types IA IB IC II IIIA

Glass Metal Safety Cans Metal Drums

1 pt 1 gal 2 gal N/A

1 pt 5 gal 5 gal 5 gal.

1 gal 5 gal 5 gal 5 gal

1 gal 5 gal 5 gal 60 gal

5 gal 5 gal 5 gal 60 gal

Compressed and Liquefied Gases
• Manual shutoff valves at each point of supply and each point of use. • Permanent piping shall be identified with the name of material. • Cylinders of gases having health hazard rating of 3 or 4 shall be kept in ventilated hood or other continuously mech. Ventilated enclosure.

Maximum quantity and size limitations for comp. Gas cylinders
Flamm. Gases and/or oxygen Flamm. Gases and/or oxygen Liquefied flamm. gases Liquefied flamm. gases Gases with health hazards ratings of 3 or 4

Sprinklered Space

Unsprinkl. Space

Sprinklered Space

Unsprinkl. Space

Max. # of cyl. Per 500 ft² or less Max. Cylnder Size (inches)






10 X 50

10 X 50

9 X 30

9 X 30

4 X 15

Lab Operations and Apparatus
• Automatic shutdown – unattended lab operations. • Refrigerators or freezers for flam. Substances: Class I, Division 1 locations inside the ref. • Outside the ref. : Class I, Division 2. • Over-temp shutoff switches for electrically heated equipment.

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