Safety

Tip of the week: Note the difference between flammable and combustible liquids

Hospital Safety Insider, March 26, 2008

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The distinction between flammable and combustible liquids is determined by how easily they ignite--in other words, their "flash point."

The flash point of a flammable or combustible liquid is the lowest temperature at which it gives off enough vapor to form an ignitable mixture with air and produce a flame when a source of ignition is present:

  • Flammable liquids have flash points below 100 degrees F and a vapor pressure at or below 40 pounds per square inch at 100 degrees F
  • Combustible liquids have flash points at or above 100 degrees F

Flammable liquids ignite more readily than combustible ones. Flammable liquids also have the ability to vaporize and form flammable mixtures when exposed to air.



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