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E103.2 Evaluation Questions
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The following are sample evaluation questions:
- What is the material? Correct identification is important; exact spelling is vital. Check labels, MSDS, ask responsible persons, etc.
- What are the concentration and strength?
- What is the physical form of the material? Liquids, gases and finely divided solids have differing requirements for spill and leak control and containment.
- How much material is present? Consider in relation to permit amounts, maximum allowable quantity per control area (from Group H occupancy requirements), amounts which require detached storage and overall magnitude of the hazard.
- What other materials (including furniture, equipment and building components) are close enough to interact with the material?
- What are the likely reactions?
- What is the activity involving the material?
- How does the activity impact the hazardous characteristics of the material? Consider vapors released or hazards otherwise exposed.
- What must the material be protected from? Consider other materials, temperature, shock, pressure, etc.
- What effects of the material must people and the environment be protected from?
- How can protection be accomplished? Consider:
- Proper containers and equipment.
- Separation by distance or construction.
- Enclosure in cabinets or rooms.
- Spill control, drainage and containment.
- Control systems—ventilation, special electrical, detection and alarm, extinguishment, explosion venting, limit controls, exhaust scrubbers and excess flow control.
- Administrative (operational) controls—signs, ignition source control, security, personnel training, established procedures, storage plans and emergency plans.
Evaluation of the hazard is a strongly subjective process; therefore, the person charged with this responsibility must gather as much relevant data as possible so that the decision will be objective and within the limits prescribed in laws, policies and standards.
It may be necessary to cause the responsible persons in charge to have tests made by qualified persons or testing laboratories to support contentions that a particular material or process is or is not hazardous. See Section 104.7.2 of the Fire Code of New York State.
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