NFPA requires a number of different types of labels, but when someone says "NAFA labels" they are most likely talking about NFPA hazard labels. These are labels, and signs, that use the NFPA 704 diamond to quickly show the type and the severity of the hazards presented by a substance.
An NFPA label can consist of just the NFPA 704 diamond, or it may include additional information. All that NFPA requires is the NFPA diamond. So it is the NFPA diamond that defines a label as being an NFPA label.
The purpose of an NFPA label is to inform emergency responders about the hazards of the substances used or stored in a facility. By using a standard color coded graphical system an emergency responder can immediately get the information they need - even under limited visibility and stressful conditions.
The NFPA 704 diamond includes four smaller diamonds.
Blue - ranks the severity of the health hazard
Red - ranks the flammability of a material (How readily does it burn?)
Yellow - ranks the instability of a material (How likely is it to explode?)
White - identifies any special hazard(s)
In the blue, red and yellow diamonds a number from zero to four is used to show the hazard level, with zero being the lowest and four being extremely dangerous.
The white area may contain abbreviations or symbols warning about special hazards.
Notice that these four provide information that is primarily of interest to firefighters. The health, flammability, and instability of a substance are key characteristics firefighters need to know.
NFPA labels or signs should be used in any location where having hazard warning information would be useful to a firefighter during an emergency. They should be posted in prominent places and be large enough to be easily seen even with visibility limited by smoke. That means that doors leading to areas where chemicals are stored should have an NFPA label. Storage tanks and vessels should be marked with NFPA 704 diamond labels. Some facilities are now marking their pipes with NFPA diamonds. Remember, firefighters have probably never been in your facility before. They need adequate warning about dangers behind doors, in cabinets, in drums, pipes or tanks.
Other labels such as RTK labels also use the NFPA 704 diamond. In those cases the NFPA diamond is doing double duty. It provides information for emergency responders, and it helps provide the day-to-day information employees, contractors and visitors need to know about substances in the workplace. However, when used as an RTK label, more information is required on the label. It cannot be just the NFPA 704 diamond. What are RTK Labels?
Your best choice for making NFPA labels is a DuraLabel printer. DuraLabel printers are thermal printers that produce long-lasting, easy-to-read NFPA diamond and RTK labels. DuraLabel printers are the only printers that have over-sized RTK die-cuts that produce large, high visibility RTK labels. DuraLabel printers are the only printers that have NFPA diamonds designed to improve the visibility of the numerical ratings. With DuraLabel printers you get the best and you pay less. Call 1-888-326-9244 today and ask about special DuraLabel NFPA kits. You'll be glad you did.
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