NFPA Hazard Rating System

What does the NFPA hazard rating system mean?

The NFPA hazard rating system refers to, in part, a safety standard put forth by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). This standard, NFPA 704, outlines a hazard rating system for emergency personnel.

The NFPA 704 standard also defines the necessary signage and information that needs to be displayed to alert personnel of the type of hazardous materials that are present.

This NFPA hazard rating system includes three color codes and five intensity levels.

Each color code (blue, red, and yellow) of the hazard rating system corresponds to a hazard: health, fire, and instability (denotation or chemical change).

Within each colored section, a numerical rating is given to the hazard. The ratings range from 0 to 4. A rating of 4 is the highest. If a 4 is in the red section of the hazard rating system, then the material should be considered highly flammable and therefore dangerous.

Within the NFPA hazard rating system, there is also a white colored section. This section is often left blank, but if a hazardous material presents a special hazard, such as a material that reacts explosively to water, then this section would be used.

There are only two symbols that are officially part of the NFPA hazard rating system for use in the special hazard section, with one additional symbol for simple asphyxiant gases that is recognized. Other additional symbols can be added by the end-user, and placed outside the NFPA diamond.

NFPA Ratings

Click here for more information about the full NFPA 704 hazard rating system and standard

What is the NFPA?

The NFPA is a non-profit organization that promotes safety standards, education, and advocacy on fire and electrical-related hazards. Learn more...

What are the NFPA color codes?

The NFPA color codes for the NFPA 704 standard identify the type of hazard that a material presents. The colors used are blue, red, and yellow, and each stand for a unique type of hazard. Learn more...

What is NFPA 704?

NFPA 704: Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response is a safety standard that defines how hazardous materials are identified for emergency responders. Learn more...

What is NFPA 170?

NFPA 170: Standard for Fire Safety and Emergency Symbols is a safety standard that defines fire safety, emergency, and other related safety symbols for use in signage, diagrams, and plans. Learn more... does not recommend or specify the use of a specific safety sign because it does not have knowledge of the hazard(s) our customers are identifying. It is the customer’s sole responsibility to identify the hazard(s) that may be present and select one or more signs (stock or custom) that accurately identify their specific hazard(s) and complies with any applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations, any worksite specific rules or regulations and/or any applicable safety standards (including, without limitation, ANSI and/or OSHA standards). disclaims any and all liability (excluding liability for our Product Warranty contained in our Terms and Conditions) for any sign selected by a customer and shall not be responsible for any personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of signs purchased from it or for the independent interpretation made of any applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations, any worksite specific rules or regulations, and/or any applicable safety standards (including, without limitation, ANSI and/or OSHA standards). Customer shall indemnify and hold and its corporate parent and its officers, directors and affiliates harmless from and against any and all claims, loss or expense (including attorneys’ fees) arising from or related to the purchase and use by customer or any third party of any sign purchased by customer from

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