Talk:NFPA 704

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* See Template_talk:NFPA_704 to include the NFPA 704 diamond on a Wikipedia page.


It would be nice if there were a short list of examples. I'm curious as to what each number means in particular outside of just "how dangerous" a substance is. For example I've heard that for flammablility

  • 0. Inflammable
  • 1. Can be ignited (things like wood etc)
  • 2. Easily ignited
  • 3. Likely to ignite (Gasoline)
  • 4. Ignites when exposed to air

But that's just something I heard somewhere.
--Meekohi 05:10, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

this advice could end up saving your life: Inflammable does not mean non flammable. From "inflammable, adj. Easily ignited and capable of burning rapidly; flammable. See Usage Note at flammable." 00:25, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
This is a sore point for me, y'all. Something that catches fire -- that gets inflamed -- is said to be "inflammable." It's critical that the word "inflammable" not be used as above. In fact, the word "inflammable" should replace "flammable" in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added 17:08, 6 April 2011 (UTC) by (talk)
Well, "flammable" is not wrong, and everyone will understand you. If you say "inflammable" you may be more scientific, but many people will misunderstand. Also: I's a sore point for me, y'all, if you don't bother to sign your edits properly. --BjKa (talk) 15:12, 13 May 2015 (UTC)


There's more than enough info here to satisfy a user using Wikipedia as a reference tool. I'm getting rid of the stub template. --JD79 23:42, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Radioactive trefoil image[edit]

The "radioactive trefoil" image embeded in this article is in SVG format, and that is not fully supported by many browsers. It would e a good idea to replace it with a PNG. --unsigned by at 17:00, 18 April 2006

This is what he was originally talking about: Radioactive.svg, although I guess his point is moot now.--BjKa (talk) 15:12, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Ammonium chloride?[edit]

It says that Ammonium chloride is in class 2 in Blue/Health, but in Ammonium chloride page it says it's in class 1. --unsigned by at 19:40, 3 May 2006

Similarly, it says that sodium chloride is in class 0 but on the NaCl page it's in class 1. 23:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Salt is bad for your health =) -- (talk) 07:19, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
It also made the unqualified statement that carbon dioxide is noncombustible, but in fact if you make the temperature high enough the oxygen will dissociate from the carbon and then it will burn. That is a huge problem if you're fighting certain sorts of fires, such as flammable metal fires. It might seem like an obscure technical point, but using a CO2 extinguisher on some metal fires could get you killed.
I have tried to clean the Health and Flammability sections by using almost the exact phrasing from the description column of the standard. (I left out the specification from the detail column.) The Reactivity section wasn't as bad, so I didn't change it.
The description of when the W with a bar symbol is used doesn't exactly follow the standard either, the standard is more specific than "unusual". But I don't want to be too picky.
Personally, I think it would be a good idea to leave the examples for the standard. Although the main points are stable, the details in the standard changes from year to year. We don't want people looking at this article and getting incorrect information.
Since this is about life safety and people could die from errors, I think its probably better to send people to the NFPA website to look at the actual standard than to give them incorrect information.
I am wondering if the article needs to include a disclaimer, something referring people to the actual standard if they need to assemble a "fire diamond" for something they are shipping.
-- (talk) 03:12_04:26, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Spelling of chemical names[edit]

In the White/Special section, changed from the American spelling, "Cesium," to the British spelling, "Caesium." Since NFPA is a US based organization, I believe US spelling is more appropriate and have accordingly reversed that change. (I see made a similar change for sulfur/sulphur in another article where a regional association is not present, so either spelling should be equally acceptable.) Pzavon 17:02, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I removed the link. --unsigned by at 04:30, 5 June 2006

OXY special symbol[edit]

I saw this OXY symbol in the special area. I saw this in two places: on a truck with oxygen containers, clearly marked, and in a pool shop, which pretty much has oxygen in it. I'm not sure why these were there (i'm not sure if they are flammable or any other thing) but I'm wondering if anybody else saw this. Thanks. --FinalHeaven 05:02, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Oxidizers (such as oxygen) contribute to the combustion of other materials, making them burn with more intensity than they would in a normal atmosphere, and can make some materials burn that would otherwise have difficulty doing so normally. In general, they can make a fire (and fighting a fire) more hazardous. --CheMechanical 19:41, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
NFPA 704 specifies "OX". OXY would be more understandable, but the standard says OX.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:14, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Understandability is relative. Chemical science uses the term "Redox" and not "Redoxy". --BjKa (talk) 15:12, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

broken box?[edit]

Why does the diamond not render correctly in this article? It's actually outside the infobox. -- Mikeblas 02:34, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Look at the recent history of the article. At 02:22 on 21 February 2007 Flip619 made changes and contributed the following Edit Summary: "made heading fire diamond into an example of an actual chemical; someone please fix the table (or everything about it, really)"
It is pretty clear to me that Flip619 is not skilled in modifying tables, thus the mis-alignment. I lack those skills, too. So please fix it if you can. --Pzavon 15:41, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Ethanol image[edit]

The image used in this topic clearly shows a bottle of Ethyl Alcohol (Ethanol), but the dedicated topic for Ethanol gives a different NFPA 704 rating, specifically Blue/Health is 2 instead of 0, and Yellow/Reactivity is 1 instead of 0.
Considering the nature of ethanol as an antiseptic and fuel, logical reasoning dictates that the label on the bottle in the image is erroneous (and hence the NFPA 704 on the dedicated topic is more accurate, if not correct), but is it possible to resolve this discrepancy for sure?
The ratings for Acetone, the other substance in the image, are consistent.
--WhiteCrane (talk) 02:32, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

The image on this page File:Nalgene bottles.jpg contradicts the article on ethanol. The NFPA 704 color code is not the same. --Ysangkok (talk) 17:17, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Normally I would say the image should be trusted, because there is no reference saying that ethanol has a health level of 1. However, it sounds more reasonable that it would have a health rating of 1, because people who drink often die early.--The High Fin Sperm Whale (talk) 23:46, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I searched the ORCBS database [1] for "ethyl alcohol" (CAS 000064-17-5) and found that it's health code is 2, while it is 1 for mixtures with water containing less than 50% alcohol. Sv1xv (talk) 10:02, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
"because people who drink often die early" is spurious. NFPA ratings are for acute (immediate) hazards which are to be encountered by an emergency responder. Your statement would apply to HMIS ratings which are for chronic (long-term) hazards which would be encountered by a worker. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

This is what this is all about: Nalgene bottles.jpg --BjKa (talk) 15:12, 13 May 2015 (UTC)


Article claims acetylene gets a yellow 1, whereas the actual article on acetylene gives it a yellow 3. Evercat (talk) 18:18, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, Level 1 is incorrect for acetylene. I removed it as an example for Instability. Noah 07:21, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
And replaced it with Sodium hydroxide? thats worse, its a 4! --unsigned by, 15:04, 26 May 2009
Yes um... Sodium Hydroxide isn't the best example either! --saumaun (talk) 17:48, 19 February 2010 (UTC)


> The white "banda" area can contain several symbols
What's a "banda"? I don't see this word in any dictionaries. -- (talk) 23:12, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Apparent vandalism from 07:36, 2 December 2006. I have reversed it. MetaEd (talk) 16:55, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

BIO hazards should not be listed[edit]

The article says that BIO means a biological hazard. But the NFPA 704 is for chemical hazards, not biological ones. In fact, BIO hazards, like the smallpox virus, do not even have NFPA 704s because they are only for chemical hazards. --The High Fin Sperm Whale (talk) 23:28, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Agree. Also, I don't understand why any of these "Non-standard symbols" are included if they're not part of the NFPA code. If they are "occasionally used in an unofficial manner" by NFPA then the article should clearly so state. If used by others, e.g.manufacturers, then perhaps there should just be a cross-reference to Hazard symbol or at least some explanation as to why they're included in this article, perhaps something along the lines of their being "frequently found alongside the NFPA 704 diamond." --Ileanadu (talk) 14:26, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I would love to see this concluded then. Is there a stable list by now, so that we can get rid of these non-approved codes (remove them from the article)? The standard is not free, so I can not check it myself. --DePiep (talk) 18:19, 29 September 2014 (UTC)


I don't think RDX is an ideal example of a 4 for instability. In its pure, crystalline form its fairly reactive, but in most forms (Any form its used in, specifically.) it's actually completely stable. -- (talk) 12:02, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

SA under white(special)[edit]

After reviewing the NFPA website ( I saw that they do not use "SA" as a valid term for the white area of the diamond, but I wanted to make sure this was correct before modifying the actual page. --Chicagotrains (talk) 20:05, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Good thing you checked. The example they show is W with a bar through it, but SA and OX can appear there too. See section 8 of NFPA 704.
(Free registration required.) -- (talk) 02:12, 18 January 2013 (UTC)


The previous link to the Seton Resource site referencing the Hazard Communication document was dead. I checked Google's cache and it was an HTML version of the official OSHA .PDF file. I have replaced the link. --saumaun (talk) 14:50, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

The HAZCOM Song[edit]

There is a song about the NFPA diamond and similar systems called The HAZCOM Song at --Maddie273 (talk) 04:22, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Hazardous building?[edit]

Is the "particularly hazardous building" picture (with 4 4 4 codes) a fake? It's hard to imagine what real item it could describe. If a fake, it probably should be deleted. --unsigned by User:Paul Koning, 18:02, 16 May 2011

If the building contains multiple hazardous products the building is labeled according to the worst of each hazard, not the worst individual compound. Thus this could mean it contains three chemicals, one which is 4/0/0, one which is 0/4/0 and one which is 0/0/4. That is not even hard to do in a laboratory setting. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:20, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Somebody took the picture out. I'm adding it here.
A particularly hazardous building's hazard diamond sign.
If above IP is correct, then the pic and his explanation would be a valuable addition to the article. So the question remains: Are buildings really labeled like this? --BjKa (talk) 15:12, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Different url[edit]

Strange two URLs: and redirect to same article, but they have slightly different text.
Flammability (Red)
0 Will not burn (e.g., carbon dioxide)
Instability/Reactivity (Yellow)
... (e.g. ammonium nitrate, chlorine trifluoride)
Flammability (Red)
0 Will not burn (e.g., argon)
Instability/Reactivity (Yellow)
...(e.g. ammonium nitrate)
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:27, 7 March 2012 (UTC)


According to the weblink "Listing of NFPA 704 ratings for many chemicals", acetone's health level is 2, not 1. The examples must be corrected or the weblink must be deleted. Kind regards. Utku TanrıvereMessage 08:17, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

According to this photo, the external link is exactly false. I'm hiding it. Utku TanrıvereMessage 08:20, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

More info needed[edit]

Would be nice to mention when this standard was first published and what standard(s) it replaced. Would someone else like to research this? --dcljr (talk) 04:39, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Nevermind. I just added some info. If anyone knows more, though... --dcljr (talk) 05:13, 27 December 2012 (UTC)


Any reason "E" is used? I saw that used in chemboxes a few times. I deleted them. --DePiep (talk) 08:15, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Table layout needs cleanup[edit]

Could somebody who knows Wikitables clean up the several tables in the article? The leftmost column ought to be given a standard width (10em?), and the rest of the page width made available for the explanatory text. Right now, the tables are a real hodgepodge. --Reify-tech (talk) 04:42, 24 May 2014 (UTC)


See Sodium borohydride. It has Personal Protection J code from source [2]. It is not available in {{NFPA 704 diamond}}, so |NFPA-O=J doesn't show. --DePiep (talk) 18:59, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

References broken again[edit]

24-Aug-2015: The material references for this article are dead links.

Reference 2 displays as "was taken down by slideshare as in violation of guidelines" (probably posting a copyrighted work). NFPA provides the ability to view (but not download) via - free registration is required. and are not in service.

Rectapedia (talk) 10:29, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

What Chemical is that?[edit]

Is there a chemical bearing the 1-3-2-W label given in the main image? If so, can it be added to the caption? (talk) 19:13, 25 May 2016 (UTC)