NFPA 704, also known as a  “Fire Diamond” or a “Safety Square” appears most commonly on doors or containers. When you see one, it means there is a hazardous material present. And the numbers and symbols on the diamond correlate to how dangerous the material is.    So first off is the four colors, each one represents a different type of hazard. Red is for flammability because fire is usually represented with red. Yellow is for chemical reactivity because chemicals reactions involve swapping electrons and electricity is yellow I guess. Blue is for health hazard because why not. And white is just extra space for other stuff.So the three colored diamonds (or if you want to be politically correct the African American diamonds) each have a number from zero to four, and the numbers are kinda like a threat level for that category. If the level is 0, then you have to be some kind of professional to mess this up. Sand, for example, has a level 0 for its flammability. The only time sand burns are when it’s stuck in cracks of your speedo for too long. Also please note that the health section does not apply to consumption. For example, motor oil has a blue section of 0 but that in no way makes it safe to drink. If the number is one, then there is a threat present, but you still have to be an advanced idiot to cause any harm. Cellulose (the primary chemical found in paper) has a flammability of 1. So don’t hold it over a fire for a while and you’ll be fine. Two is where things start being kinda a big deal. Capsaicin (The thing that makes peppers spicy) has a health level of 2. So don’t go chopping up some jalapenos and then wiping your butt with your bare hand. It ain’t going to kill you, but it will mess your day up for sure. If you see a three, that’s when you know you better watch out. Gasoline, it’s got a flammability of 3. And we all know gasoline. You see gasoline walking by, and you better take the cigarette out of your mouth, get the static off your clothes, fix your hair, make yourself presentable, and don’t make eye contact. That’s the only way to keep yourself safe. And finally four, it’s the highest number there is. Regarding fire diamonds that is. If you see a four the best thing to do is just to start walking backwards because if you are close enough to read that four chances are you aren’t where you need to be. Nitroglycerin has a reactivity of 4. If you don’t know about nitroglycerin basically if you soak a tissue in it and then hand it to your friend to sneeze in, well, they aren’t going to be your friend anymore… mostly because their face got blown off. So yeah, fours are nothing to sneeze at.So let’s move on to the white bottom bit of the diamond. Unlike me, this square is not just a white waste of space. This is the spot for any extra warnings you need to know about. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory like radiation or biohazard. So I’ll just go through the ones that aren’t as easy to interpret. So the symbol OX  (unless you hear faint mooing in the distance) it doesn’t mean what you think. OX is short for oxidizer which is basically something that produces oxygen when exposed to heat. This doesn’t sound so bad until you realize heat plus oxygen rarely ends well for most fuels. If you see a W with a line through the middle, it means white people arent aloud to touch the material. Just kidding, white people are aloud to do whatever they want. It actually means don’t mix with water or it could explode or multiply or something. SA means Simple Asphyxiant, referring to gases like helium. It means, while this gas isn’t poisonous, it’s also ya know, not air. So if you breathe it for too long, you will still die

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