NFPA Hazard Rating SystemNortheastern University's laboratory doors are posted with emergency information to warn occupants
and The Boston Fire Department personnel of the presence and identification of hazardous materials inside each laboratory. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed a system for
indicating the health, flammability, reactivity and special hazards for many common chemicals through use of the NFPA 704 Diamond. The hazard rating for the laboratory is determined by looking at all the chemicals, gases and special lab uses in the laboratory and coming up with a rating for each hazard category based on criteria established below.
Please read the rating information in each category, take an inventory of your laboratory and rate each category accordingly. To look up a rating for a particular chemical click on the link at the bottom
of the page. If you do not find the chemical listed, a review of the chemicals MSDS sheet may help you rate the chemical in question. To look up a chemicals MSDS click on the "MSDS" link at the bottom of the page.
If there are any questions regarding a chemical rating, please either email your question or call the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at x2769.
If you have a new laboratory or are a new Principal Investigator, please contact EHS: firstname.lastname@example.org
HealthUse the most severe rating code regardless of volume.
Health (Blue) Detailed Description of Health Rating
|4||Danger||May be fatal on short exposure. Specialized protective equipment
|3||Warning||Corrosive or toxic. Avoid skin contact or inhalation|
|2||Warning||May be harmful if inhaled or absorbed|
|1||Caution||May be irritating|
|0||No unusual hazard|
FlammabilityThe greatest volume of one code determines the marking. The only exception is if a more severe code has a volume of 3 gallons or greater, then that code is used instead of a lower code of greater volume. If the laboratory total volume of flammables or combustibles is less than one pint for all, then the rating for the laboratory for this area shall be zero
Description of Flammable Rating
|4||Danger||Flammable gas or extremely flammable liquid|
|3||Warning||Flammable liquid flash point below 100°F|
|2||Caution||Combustible liquid flash point of 100° to 200°F|
|1||Combustible if heated|
ReactivityUse the most severe rating code regardless of volume.
Reactivity (Yellow) Detailed
Description of Reactivity Rating
|4||Danger||Explosive material at room temperature|
|3||Danger||May be explosive if shocked, heated under confinement or mixed
|2||Warning||Unstable or may react violently if mixed with water|
|1||Caution||May react if heated or mixed with water but not violently|
|0||Stable||Not reactive when mixed with water|
Special InformationIndicate the presence of the following regardless
Special Information Key
(White) Detailed Description of Special Information Rating
Special Signage Key (These are signs that
shall or must be posted in addition to the NFPA diamond)
NFPA Hazard Rating D - I
NFPA Hazard Rating J - R
NFPA Hazard Rating S - Z
NFPA Rating Gases
NFPA Rating Rating - Text Version
Material Safety Data Sheets