8 Great Practices For Delivering Combustible Materials

Combustible materials ignite and release vapors that are highly flammable when exposed to fire or heat. The flammability of the explosive material will depend on how volatile the material is.

When handling combustible materials, you may need to follow the following precautions:

  • Replace pieces of equipment that may produce sparks
  • Avoid smoking around combustible materials
  • Use explosion-proof types of equipment 
  • Label and close storing equipment
  • Install fire sprinklers in a storage facility 
  • Implement additional safety precautions for combustible liquids that may be above their flashpoints.

You may also need added measurements to avoid accidents during the transportation of combustible materials from one place to another. Some of these measurements include:

1. Dispense Of Flammable Liquids Carefully

Some flammable liquids may need to be transferred into the appropriate transportation containers. You need to be extra careful by ensuring the proper sealing of the containers. That way, you can control hazardous vapors and spills. 

You should also avoid dispensing these liquids in the wrong storage containers such as the different types of FIBC bags that are highly flammable. Additionally, steer clear from ignition sources, including open flames, sparks from welding, tobacco smoking, and others. 

Consistently ground and bond metal containers when dispensing flammable liquids. During the process, refrain from pressuring shipping containers with air. The increase in pressure may damage containers or create an explosive environment inside the container.

2. Establish Suitable Ventilation

During storage, adequate airflow needs to be maintained to reduce the risk of fire and health problems. Knowing the kind of materials stored, the size of the transit space, and the layout of the storage space will play a vital role in minimizing hazards. 

You should make use of hoods and ducts with welded joints that prevents the condensation of flammable vapors. The size of storage areas will determine if exhaust fans will be sufficient in providing ventilation. 

However, for these ventilation options to work effectively, you’ll have to perform regular cleaning. Clean ducts and filters will reduce the intensity of any fires and lessen the chances of spontaneous combustion.

Before installing proper ventilation options, make sure they meet the requirements of the fire code.

3. Use Proper Containers For Storage

Use containers that government agencies have approved. The best type of container is safety cans which have been deemed safe. These cans are either from low conductivity plastic or metal that comes in different capacities. 

These cans have spring spout caps that open up when pressure builds up inside. These automatic caps let vapor out, which prevents an explosion in the event of a fire. 

However, before storing combustible materials, inspect all containers for any damage and mislabeling. Store these containers away from other production areas to lower the spread of any fire. It’ll also prevent accidental connection with other incompatible materials.

4. Stick To The Loading And Unloading Procedures

When loading and unloading combustible materials, start by ensuring that the vehicle won’t move. Then, use tools that won’t damage the containers during both processes. And since most materials become hazardous when exposed to heat, load them away from sources of heat.

Once they’re loaded up, secure these containers by fixing them against the movement. Next, minimize the chances of damaging packages with valves by loading them the right way during transportation.

Always load these containers into closed spaces unless they’re water- and fire-resistant. You should also keep smokers away from these materials during both processes.

When they’re in transit, packages shouldn’t be opened or mixed up with other packages. Additionally, they should follow cargo heater rules to avoid explosions.


5. Use Protective Equipment 

Anybody who comes into direct contact when handling these materials should use protective equipment that’ll prevent exposure. This equipment will reduce the risks associated with hazardous materials and covers employees against inhaling or exposure to harmful materials. 

Therefore, every person involved should choose the proper protective equipment meant for a specific kind of job.

6. Maintain Equipment Used For Transit And Storage

Maintenance of pieces of equipment will play a vital part in preventing accidents. Conduct frequent repairs of equipment such as adding explosion-proof fittings. Then, ensure that you remove any obstruction on containers to facilitate the ability of links to close fully.

Alternatively, you can introduce splash guards that’ll enclose machines to avoid liquid spills. As a result of spillages, providing and emptying drip trays will prevent fires.

7. Use Proper Labels

Every package or container containing these materials requires a label that has different pieces of information. One type of information may be on the composition and physical state of the materials. Another may explain the properties of the waste, and the other may give the name and address of the generator.

Additionally, personnel should use handwritten labels and train handlers on the different meanings of the marking. And once a container or a package is used, personnel should wash off previous markings to avoid any confusion.

8. Get Rid Of Combustible Waste Materials Properly

Materials from combustible wastes need to be appropriately disposed of to prevent any accident. You can begin by cleaning the drums used in the storage of waste materials. These drums should be grounded and bonded before the cleaning process. 

Use waste disposal cans to store paper, cloth, and solid materials that have come into contact with combustible products. Label all waste containers to avoid pouring waste products down the drain.

You can contact waste collection companies to dispose of these wastes, for they follow environmental laws during disposal processes. 

Bottom Line

Delivering combustible materials needs special attention due to their highly volatile nature. Personnel should properly dispense flammable liquids to avoid increasing pressure in containers during transportation. Transporters should maintain an adequate flow of air in transit to reduce the risk of fire and health impact. Appropriate containers should be able to open up when pressure increases during transit to allow vapor out. Lastly, loading and unloading protocols must be followed to ensure the safe delivery of combustible materials. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you proceed with your operations.


TBN Editor

Time Business News Editor Team