Chemical Storage

UNB Reference Number: 7843
Authorized by: E. Parr Johnston, President,
Effective Date: November 2014
PDF version
Chemical Storage Checklist


To outline University policy on chemical storage.  To ensure compliance with the City of Fredericton's Wellfield Area Designation Order (WfPADO).


All University departments which have chemical storage rooms or cabinets.


  1. Flammable substances in quantities of five litres or greater in open rooms or laboratories shall be stored in "safety containers" approved by Factory Mutual (FM) or Underwriters Laboratory of Canada (ULC). Supplier containers of 20 litres or greater in size shall not be used or stored in open rooms or laboratories.
  2. Greater than 50 litres in total of flammable substances shall be stored in an FM or ULC approved "fire-rated" storage cabinet; greater than 750 litres of flammable substances shall be stored in a "fire-rated chemical storage room".
  3. All rooms designated for chemical storage shall be approved by the Physical Plant department. The location of all storage cabinets shall be approved by the Physical Plant department and the Safety Office. A maximum of three cabinets may be located within a room.
  4. All chemical storage rooms shall meet the requirements of the National Fire Code of Canada (NFCC) for storage capacity, ventilation, electrical service and shall be electronically monitored for heat and fire by the Security department on a 24 hour basis.
  5. Doors to all chemical storage rooms shall display cautionary signs bearing the following information: restricted access; emergency contacts and telephone numbers; "In Case of Fire" procedures; and the Dangerous Goods class(es) of chemicals contained within.
  6. Departments shall assign responsibility for chemical storage rooms, shipping, receiving and disposal of hazardous materials to an employee who has obtained certification under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act. TDG Certification is valid for three years.
  7. The administrative head of the department shall ensure a safety inspection of all chemical storage rooms and cabinets is conducted monthly by the employee responsible for the area and using a checklist provided by the Safety Office. The completed checklist shall be forwarded to the head of the department for appropriate action and copied to the Safety Office.
  8. All University departments shall maintain current central inventories of all hazardous materials. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) shall be readily available for each product.
  9. All hazardous materials shall be segregated within a storage room or cabinet by hazard class. New chemicals shall be segregated from waste chemicals. Containers shall exhibit no signs of deterioration and shall be compatible with contents.
  10. Air, moisture and shock sensitive substances shall be stored in air-tight containers according to the manufacturer's recommendations and shall be stale-dated.
  11. All containers shall display a legible supplier or WHMIS label bearing the chemical name, reference to MSDS, cautionary phrase and the receiving date.
  12. When dispensing flammable liquids from or into containers constructed of conductive material, the containers shall be grounded.
  13. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and commercial spill clean-up materials shall be located adjacent to any chemical storage room or cabinet. Staff responsible for the area shall be knowledgeable in their use. PPE shall be cleaned and spill clean-up materials shall be replenished immediately following use.
  14. If a chemical spill or leak presents a threat to people, property or the environment and cannot be brought under control with existing departmental resources, the emergency procedures for fire shall be followed by activating the fire alarm, dialing 9-911, as well as alerting the Security Department.

Refer also to University Safety Policy numbers 7823, 7824, 7825, 7826 and 7827A.

(National Fire Code of Canada; New Brunswick Occupational Health & Safety Regulations)