Reading the Chemical Hazard Diamond or Fire Diamond


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The diamond is subdivided into four smaller diamonds. The upper diamond is colored red and is associated with fire hazards. The numbers in the fire hazard diamond range from 0 to 4. As the numbers increase, the chemical’s flash point decreases. 0 indicates a substance that will not burn, 1 indicates a substance with a flashpoint above 200 degrees Fahrenheit, 2 indicates a substance with a flashpoint above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and not exceeding 200 degrees Fahrenheit, 3 indicates a substance with a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and 4 indicates a substance with a flashpoint below 73 degrees Fahrenheit. The right-hand diamond is yellow and is associated with reactivity. The reactivity numbers range from 0 to 4. 0 indicates a stable chemical, 1 indicates a chemical that is unstable if heated, 2 indicates the possibility of a violent chemical change, 3 indicates that shock and heat may detonate the chemical and 4 indicates that the chemical may detonate. The lower diamond is white and is associated with specific hazards. These contain abbreviations that describe specific hazardous characteristic of the chemical. O X indicates an oxidizer, A C I D indicates an acid, A L K indicates an alkali, C O R indicates corrosive, a W with a line through it indicates use no water, and a symbol of a dot surrounded by three triangles indicates radioactive. The leftmost diamond is blue and is associated with health hazards. The numbers in the health hazard diamond range from 0 to 4. 0 indicates a normal material, 1 indicates slightly hazardous, 2 indicates hazardous, 3 indicates extreme danger, and 4 indicates deadly.
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) hazard diamond summarizes the major hazards of a chemical substance. Source: OpenStax Chemistry 2e

OpenStax Chemistry 2e

You may have seen the symbol shown in the image above on containers of chemicals in a laboratory or workplace. Sometimes called a “fire diamond” or “hazard diamond,” this chemical hazard diamond provides valuable information that briefly summarizes the various dangers of which to be aware when working with a particular substance.

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 704 Hazard Identification System was developed by NFPA to provide safety information about certain substances. The system details flammability, reactivity, health, and other hazards. Within the overall diamond symbol, the top (red) diamond specifies the level of fire hazard (temperature range for flash point). The blue (left) diamond indicates the level of health hazard. The yellow (right) diamond describes reactivity hazards, such as how readily the substance will undergo detonation or a violent chemical change. The white (bottom) diamond points out special hazards, such as if it is an oxidizer (which allows the substance to burn in the absence of air/oxygen), undergoes an unusual or dangerous reaction with water, is corrosive, acidic, alkaline, a biological hazard, radioactive, and so on. Each hazard is rated on a scale from 0 to 4, with 0 being no hazard and 4 being extremely hazardous.

Source:

Flowers, P., Theopold, K., Langley, R., & Robinson, W. R. (2019, February 14). Chemistry 2e. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. Access for free at: https://openstax.org/books/chemistry-2e


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