Temperature-sensitive chemicals are substances that exhibit changes in their physical or chemical properties in response to variations in temperature. These changes can include alterations in state (solid to liquid to gas), chemical reactivity, solubility, conductivity or other characteristics. In this post, we’ll look at temperature-sensitive substances, including flammable liquids, to provide some guidance of considerations to keep these chemicals stable and safe.

Examples of Temperature-Sensitive Substances

Temperature-sensitive substances are widely encountered in various fields, including chemistry, biology, medicine, hospitality, manufacturing and industry. Many chemicals have some sort of temperature sensitivity that requires them to be handled and stored in an environment that does not exceed the recommended temperature range.

Some examples of temperature-sensitive chemicals may include:

  • Pharmaceuticals: Many medications and vaccines are sensitive to temperature changes. Some need to be stored at specific temperatures to maintain their effectiveness.
  • Lithium-ion batteries: Li-ion batteries are sensitive to temperature extremes, particularly excessive heat and humidity. High temperatures can lead to overheating and malfunction, while low temperatures may affect performance.
  • Gases: The behaviour of gases is highly temperature-dependent, as described by the ideal gas law. Changes in temperature can affect the pressure and volume of gases.
  • Chemical Solids: Certain substances may undergo phase transitions, such as melting or sublimation, at specific temperature thresholds.
  • Lubricants and Fluids: The viscosity of liquids, including lubricants and hydraulic fluids, can be influenced by temperature. Extreme temperatures may alter their flow characteristics.
  • Alcohol: Many types of alcohol require specific storage temperatures to ensure that there is a controlled risk of ignition of the flammable liquid.
  • Polymers: Some polymers exhibit changes in their physical properties, such as flexibility and brittleness, based on temperature fluctuations.

Chemicals that Must Be Stored at Specific Temperature

Storing temperature-sensitive chemicals properly is crucial to maintain their stability and safety. The specific storage conditions depend on the chemical properties of the substances in question.

Here are some general guidelines:

Read and Follow Chemical Manufacturer's Recommendations

Always refer to the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations for storing temperature-sensitive chemicals. Manufacturers typically provide information on the ideal temperature range and storage conditions for their products.

Temperature-Controlled Storage

Use temperature-controlled storage to suit the chemical's requirements for safe storage. While we recommend purpose-built temp-controlled stores, some workplaces may find other types of storage useful for the chemicals, such as refrigerated storage. However, keep in mind that certain substances aren’t suitable for basic cold storage. Temperature-controlled stores from Storemasta are intrinsically safe, with hazardous area rated HVAC systems which control ignition risk. Ensure that the storage unit maintains a consistent temperature within the specified range.

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Storemasta provides temperature-controlled storage solutions for use in the outdoor environment.

Insulated Storage

For goods that don’t require a HVAC system, there is the option of Insulated Dangerous Goods Storage. These units offer protection from heat through a weatherproof storage container that’s insulated for even temperature storage. Fresh air intake allows for ventilation, with non-slip and non-spark flooring and non-combustible insulated panelling assisting with the safe storage of flammable substances.

Avoid Temperature Fluctuations

If you’re not using a temperature-controlled store – but do require a certain temperature range for your chemicals, consider the location of your store. Don’t place temperature-sensitive chemicals near doors, windows, vents or any type of electrical system. Train staff to understand the hazards associated with the temperature-sensitive substance so that the chemical is always handled and stored with care.

Use Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Refer to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each chemical to understand its specific storage requirements, hazards and emergency procedures. Your safety data sheet is the most important resource when determining how your chemicals should be handled and stored. Always use the safety data sheet in conjunction with regulations and requirements that apply to your operations.

Ensure Clear Documentation

Clearly label chemical containers with the name of the chemical, storage requirements, and any other relevant information. Keep detailed documentation of storage conditions, including temperature logs if necessary.

Separation and Segregation

Store chemicals with different temperature requirements separately to prevent cross-contamination. Segregate incompatible chemicals to avoid potential reactions.

Use Secondary Containment

Use secondary containment measures, such as spill sumps, spill trays or other bunding products to contain spills or leaks — and prevent contamination. If temperature-sensitive substances leak, they can create a hazard simply due to the fact that they’re not in a controlled environment. This is in addition to other spill hazards such as human harm, vapour exposure, incompatible substances, environmental pollution and damage to property.

Inline CTA The Risk Assessment Process for Hazardous Chemicals

Keeping Temp Sensitive Substances Safe and Stable

Understanding and controlling the temperature sensitivity of these substances is crucial in various applications to ensure their stability, effectiveness, and safety. This knowledge is particularly important in industries such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, manufacturing, and research.

Storing temperature-sensitive chemicals requires careful consideration of factors like chemical properties, reactivity and ideal storage conditions.

Key considerations for cooled storage include:

  • Determining the optimal temperature range for storing the chemical. This information can typically be found on the chemical's label or in its safety data sheet (SDS).
  • Using the appropriate temperature-controlled storage equipment such as temperature-controlled stores.
  • Regularly monitor and record the temperature inside the storage unit to ensure it remains within the specified range.
  • Have a generator in place to ensure that the store can continue to run even if there are issues with the power supply.
  • Ensure regular inspections and maintenance of the HVAC system and electrical work to make sure that the store continues to operate optimally.

Storing Flammable Liquids in Temperature-Controlled Environments

At Storemasta, we are often asked about the storage of Class 3 Flammable Liquids within a temperature-controlled outdoor store.

Over time, we’ve developed some solutions to help businesses who are working with these volatile substances, so they can maintain the health and safety of their products through the tight control of the storage environment.

What Requirements Apply to Cooled Storage for Flammable Liquids?

There are a range of requirements for cooled storage of flammable liquids, to ensure the stability of the product – as well as the avoidance of ignition risks that could be sparked through faulty or poorly designed cooling systems.

It’s so important to remember that flammable liquids must not be stored near ignition sources – and that includes any equipment that could produce a spark. Storemasta temperature-controlled stores offer hazardous area approved HVAC systems, so you can keep your substances cool without worrying about the system creating a fire or explosion hazard.

Some general requirements of the Australian Standard 1940 include:

Type Of Temperature-Controlled Storage

Cooled storage may include a flammable liquids store, a modified flammable liquids cabinet or a partitioned section of a flammable liquids store.


For chemicals sensitive to extreme temperatures, consider insulating storage units to reduce the impact of external temperature fluctuations. However, remember that insultation should not promote a fire or release toxic gases in the event of a blaze. Insulation must be protection from exposure to and absorption of the flammable substances and their vapours. Just like any material used for the construction of a cabinet or store – it must be compatible with the stored chemical.


Ensuring proper ventilation in the storage area is a crucial consideration, especially if the chemical emits fumes or gases – such as flammable liquids. When dealing with temperature-controlled environments, the proper ventilation of the space is essential for safety and efficiency of the cooling system. Flammable vapours must be removed by forced extraction.

Emergency Preparedness

Have an emergency plan in place in case of power outages, equipment failures, or other unforeseen events.

Provide training to personnel on handling emergencies related to temperature-sensitive chemicals.

Regular Monitoring

Regularly monitor and record the temperature of storage units, to ensure they’re operating as they should be. Implement an alarm system to alert personnel if temperatures deviate from the specified range.

Also, we highly recommend creating procedures to ensure regular inspections and maintenance of the store itself, as well as the insulation — and the mechanical cooling systems by suitably qualified electricians.

REMEMBER: Storemasta Temperature-Controlled Stores can be tailored with optional extras to provide extra protection for your site. Talk to us about our latest innovations and monitoring systems by booking an online appointment.

Chemical Storage for Temperature-Sensitive Chemicals and Flammable Liquids

Understanding the requirements of your chemicals for storage is one of the most crucial aspects of site safety when working with dangerous goods. Applying the correct controls to your operations will help you keep people, property and environment safe from the hazards of temperature-sensitive substances.

To learn more about dangerous goods storage for all types of chemicals, see our helpful guide, The Ultimate DG Storage Handbook. This easy-to-understand eBook covers all the essential information that you need to ensure safe storage of substances at your workplace. It’s a small price to pay for maximum safety at just $6.99+GST. Get your downloadable copy today to find out more about dangerous goods storage to suit your organisation.

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