Your NFPA Chart – What Does it All Mean?

Brooklyn Summerville, September 19, 2018

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), provides the United States with codes and standards to minimize the risks of fire and electrical hazards in emergency situations. In total there are more than 300 codes and standards that are enforced by 250 Technical Committees and over 8,000 volunteers.

You most likely use a form of the NFPA diamond when working in the hazardous industry, but do you know what each section of the diamond is for? If you know what the sections stand for, do you understand the ratings involved?

Red – Flammability Hazard

  1. Minimal – Will not burn under normal conditions
  2. Slight – Slightly combustible. Requires strong heating to ignite
  3. Moderate – Combustible. Requires moderate heating to ignite, flash point below 200F
  4. Serious – Flammable. Flash point 73F to 100F
  5. Extreme – Extremely flammable gas or liquid. Flash point below 73F

Blue – Health Hazard

  1. Minimal – No precautions necessary
  2. Slight – Breathing apparatus recommended
  3. Moderate – Breathing apparatus and face mask required
  4. Serious – Toxic. Full suit and breathing apparatus required
  5. Extreme – Highly Toxic. Fatal in short-term exposure

Yellow – Instability Hazard

  1. Minimal – Normally stable. Unreactive with water.
  2. Slight – Possible reaction if heated or mixed with water
  3. Moderate – Unstable. Possible reaction with water
  4. Serious – Possible detonation if shocked or heated in confined space or mixed with water
  5. Extreme – Explosive at room temperature

White – Specific Hazard

ACID Acid
ALK Alkali
COR Corrosive
OX Oxidizer
Radiation Graphic Radiation Hazard
W Use NO Water
P Polymerizes
SA Simple Asphyxiants

When displaying your NFPA diamond, there are several formats to choose from:

Reliance Label Solutions is proud to offer these formats in vinyl, paper, aluminum, and exterior grade 60 mil HDPE plastic for your company specific needs and mounting requirements. If you have questions regarding your companies labeling compliance with NFPA standards, call us at 800-656-9476. To view our product offering, please visit us at The GHS Store.

To stay up to date on the latest NFPA regulations, codes and standards visit NFPA.