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The American University in

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

Excl. Excl. Incl.. Incl..

quant. In quant. In quant. In quant. In
cabinets cabinets cabinets cabinets
and cans and cans and cans and cans

Lab. Unit Flam. Or Unsprink Sprink. Unsprink Sprink.

Class Comb.
Class A I 300 gal. 600 gal. 600 gal. 1200 gal.
High I, II, and 400 gal. 800 gal 800 gal. 1600 gal.
Hazard IIIA
Class B I 150 gal 300 gal. 300 gal. 600 gal.
Interm. I, II, and 200 gal. 400 gal. 400 gal. 800 gal.
Hazard IIIA
Class C I 75 gal. 150 gal. 150 gal. 300 gal.
Low I, II, and 100 gal. 200 gal. 200 gal. 400 gal.
Hazard IIIA
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
• 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
• 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
• Classification of chemical wastes.
• No disposal of chemical wastes to the sink.
Maximum Allowable Container
Flammable Flammable Flammable Combustible Combustible
Liquids Liquids Liquids Liquids Liquids

Container IA IB IC II IIIA

Glass 1 pt 1 pt 1 gal 1 gal 5 gal

Metal 1 gal 5 gal 5 gal 5 gal 5 gal
Safety Cans 2 gal 5 gal 5 gal 5 gal 5 gal
Metal Drums N/A 5 gal. 5 gal 60 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
Maximum quantity and size
limitations for comp. Gas
Flamm. Flamm. Liquefied Liquefied Gases with
Gases and/or Gases and/or flamm. gases flamm. gases health
oxygen oxygen hazards
ratings of 3
or 4

Sprinklered Unsprinkl. Sprinklered Unsprinkl.

Space Space Space Space

Max. # of 6 3 3 2 3
cyl. Per 500
ft² or less
Max. 10 X 50 10 X 50 9 X 30 9 X 30 4 X 15
Cylnder Size
Lab Operations and Apparatus
• Automatic shutdown – unattended lab
• 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.