Flammable liquid storage

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Blog entry by MTBrian posted 02-20-2010 08:42 PM 1922 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am always concerned about a fire in my shop, as the shop is in the house. I really cannot afford the 500 dollars for a steel cabinet. I have an old refrigerator that has the compressor removed from it. I was considering using this to store my paint, stain and thinners. There is no electricity to this unit, so im not worried about a spark, but is there a danger of explosion? Everything that will be stored in this container will be properly sealed, and the temperature in the shop ranges from about 50 to 5 degrees. Does anyone no a reason why this idea may be dangerous?

5 comments so far

View CaptainSkully's profile


1601 posts in 3678 days

#1 posted 02-20-2010 08:47 PM

Interesting. Are fire cabinets vented in some way to allow fumes to escape safely. It seems to me that a refrigerator might keep flammable vapors trapped and more dangerously concentrated, but I don’t know.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View MTBrian's profile


27 posts in 3546 days

#2 posted 02-20-2010 08:57 PM

they do appear to have two 2 inch vents with flash arrestors, so that might need to be a modification i would need to add.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3600 days

#3 posted 02-20-2010 09:31 PM

My flammable storage cabinet has a vent on it, though it’s not hooked up. The difference between it and a fridge though is that a fridge is sealed when you shut the door, a fire cabinet isn’t, so if a lid isn’t perfectly sealed you may get a buildup of fumes. If, for some strange reason, a fire were to start in it, I doubt a fridge will be able to prevent it from spreading. It’s lined in plastic and insulation that’s not meant to handle intense heat and would most likely just add fuel to the fire. The only positive I see for using an old fridge to store chemicals is that if fumes are leaking from a can they can’t get to an ignition source.

I suggest looking at craigslist and ebay and see if any used ones come up for a decent price. It is a big thing to worry about and think of it this way, it may be a big investment, but if it keeps your shop/house from burning down, isn’t that worth the investment?

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Pimzedd's profile


611 posts in 4262 days

#4 posted 02-20-2010 09:45 PM

Justrite makes quality flammable storage cabinets. Go to Justrite and you can see the various codes for cabinets. I find it interesting that there is a code for a wooden storage cabinet.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3234 days

#5 posted 02-20-2010 09:50 PM

that is a interressting thing you brought up
but consider this the insulation and the inside of the cabinet is flamingo and plastic
so if you do use it my solution wuold be put a slow running small ventilator in the bottom
so it will blow air in to it and then you use a small tube from the top and aut of the shop
then there will bee no risk unless if there is a real fire in your shop :—)
even with a real stealcabinet you have to do that (here in Denmark there is a law abaut it, if it is in shops
were other people can come )


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