Chemical Storage Color Codes (NFPA 704)

J. T. Baker Storage Code Colors

These are examples of NFPA 704 warning signs.
These are examples of NFPA 704 warning signs. Nuno Nogueira

This is a table of chemical storage code colors, as devised by J. T. Baker. These are the standard color codes in the chemical industry. Except for the stripe code, chemicals assigned a color code generally may be stored safely with other chemicals with the same code. However, there are many exceptions, so it is important to be familiar with the safety requirements for every chemical in your inventory.

J. T. Baker Chemical Storage Color Code Table

ColorStorage Notes
WhiteCorrosive. May be harmful to eyes, mucous membranes and skin. Store separate from combustible and flammable chemicals.
YellowReactive/Oxidizer. May react violently with water, air or other chemicals. Store separate from combustible and flammable reagents.
RedFlammable. Store separately only with other flammable chemicals.
BlueToxic. Chemical is hazardous to health if ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Store separately in a secure area.
GreenReagent presents no more than a moderate hazard in any category. General chemical storage.
GrayUsed by Fisher instead of green. Reagent presents no more than a moderate hazard in any category. General chemical storage.
OrangeObsolete color code, replaced by green. Reagent presents no more than a moderate hazard in any category. General chemical storage.
StripesIncompatible with other reagents of the same color code. Store separately.

Numeric Classification System

In addition to the color codes, a number may be given to indicate the level of hazard for flammability, health, reactivity, and special hazards. The scale runs from 0 (no hazard) to 4 (severe hazard).

Special White Codes

The white area may contain symbols to indicate special hazards:

OX - This indicates an oxidizer that allows chemical to burn in the absence of air.

SA - This indicates a simply asphyxiant gas. The code is limited to nitrogen, xenon, helium, argon, neon, and krypton.

W with Two Horizontal Bars Through It - This indicates a substance that reacts with water in a dangerous or unpredictable manner. Examples of chemicals that carry this warning include sulfuric acid, cesium metal, and sodium metal.