First check with your facility people or the original building drawings to make sue the room was not permitted as a solvent storage room in which case it May have been required to be an electrically classified area per the National electric code. (Which could be why there is no power there now.) If it is electrically classified there are a lot of requirements you need to meet that are best addressed outside this discussion.
Assuming it is not permitted as a solvent storage room then the basic issue is if there is a credible risk of building up enough vapors in the area that you can create an ignitable concentration. If the room is used for dispensing, transfers, or other open activities involving flammable materials then there is a good chance this needs to be evaluated carefully by a knowledgeable professional.
If the room is used just for storage then the next question is how well ventilated is it as there will always be some vapors emitted over time. Typically you require 1 CFM/SF of floor area minimum with at least 500 CFM. If you have that amount then you are probably OK for just storage. If you don’t then you need to evaluate your specific situation.
Assuming you have enough ventilation then a standard outlet is allowed. If the refrigerator is never to handle any flammable materials, ever, and you feel sure you can ensure that it can be a standard refrigerator. I would, however, always recommend it be one designed for storage of flammables as I find that keeping them out over time is problematic.
You can feel free to call me with any specific questions.
Pilot plant and laboratory consulting, safety, design, reviews, and training
Richard P Palluzi LLC
72 Summit Drive
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Some faculty at my institution have asked whether we can install a fridge in the chemical stockroom for reagents that need to be stored between 2 and 8 C. Currently, there are no electrical outlets in the stockroom.
Flammable materials, corrosives, and the usual miscellaneum of oxidizers and toxics are all stored in this space (in appropriate cabinets, of course!).
I have two major questions:
Thanks for your help,
Chemical Safety Officer
Office: Browning Hall/ISB 314
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