For years industries that use bulk chemicals or compressed gas in cylinders have followed the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) 704 Warning signage guidelines. You may have notice these diamond-shaped stickers or wall placards with blue, red, yellow and white boxes on them in your business or around town.
These sign perform a valuable function. They give emergency response personnel like firefighters an immediate indicator of the potential danger of the chemicals or gas inside a tank or behind a door. This addresses the health, flammability, instability, and special hazards presented from short‐term, acute exposures that could occur as a result of a fire, spill, or similar emergency.
Each of the 4 quadrants on a NFPA 704 diamond have a color with a number or symbol inside it. The quadrants are arranged as follows:
- Health (blue) on the left
- Flammability (red) on the top
- Instability (yellow) on the right
- Special hazards (white) at the bottom
In each quadrant is a rating assigned by an expert. For stored carbon dioxide gas, the “health” rating is 3 out of a 0-4 scale. This means “Short exposure could cause serious temporary or moderate residual injury.” For CO2, flammability and instability are both rated 0, while special hazards (like cannot mix with water) is left blank because none are identified.
When am I required to use the NFPA 704 rating system for stored CO2?
NFPA 704 diamond placards or labels are required if your Federal, state or local regulation or code requires their use. NFPA 704 does not specify if a 704 diamond is required. It only tells you how to label the container, tank or facility if it is required.
Unfortunately, all municipal codes relating to CO2 storage are slightly different. The only way you can be sure if a NFPA 704 diamond is required in your business is to contact your local code inspector or fire department.
However, even if the NFPA 704 diamond is not required in your area, it still makes sense to use them in areas indoors or outdoors that contain CO2 tanks cylinders. Imagine you are a firefighter going into a building as the result of a reported gas leak. Wouldn’t you like to see a sign that instantly tells you the potential dangers inside?
To make it easy to post the NFPA 704 sign for CO2, we’ve included one that meets the indoor 8x8" signage specifications along with our NBIC signs in english and spanish. You can download all 5 signs suitable for printing in color from the CO2Meter.com website.
Learn more about the NFPA 704.
Download NBIC and NFPA safety signs for CO2 (pdf).
Learn about our Remote CO2 Storage Safety Dual Alarm. It meets state and local municipality inspection codes requirements around stored CO2.