Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 19:54:30 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Kohler, Chris E" <cekohler**At_Symbol_Here**INDIANA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Explosion Proof Refrigerator Storage
In-Reply-To: <11CC0BE37AB97342930C3366A6D1F3612CB6DF**At_Symbol_Here**>

Interestingly, NFPA 45, A. actually describes the method and signage
 for a modified refrigerator but we don't let our folks modify them. For on
e thing they could feasibly do it wrong and also once you modify it the man
ufacturers liability disappears as well.


-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Ne
il Edwards
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2010 1:58 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Explosion Proof Refrigerator Storage

Although I have heard of converting an ordinary refrigerator to one that wo
uld be safe for flammable storage, I would not recommend doing so. I think 
it is far more prudent to purchase a refrigerator that has been designed wi
th the appropriate safety features for your purpose.

The distinction between flammable and explosion-proof refrigerators lies in
 the fact that, while both are safe for storage of flammable liquids (becau
se there is no open ignition source inside the refrigerator), the explosion
-proof variety gives an added measure of safety by having its EXTERNAL sour
ces of ignition sealed (e.g., the compressor), so that there is no chance o
f causing a fire or explosion if there are flammable vapors immediately OUT
SIDE the refrigerator. In many situations, the considerable extra expense i
s not justified. In addition, an explosion-proof refrigerator must be hard-
wired to a sealed connection to electrical power; it cannot simply be plugg
ed into an outlet; so there is additional expense to accomplish this as wel

Neil Edwards
Laboratory Manager
Department of Chemistry
Long Island University - C. W. Post Campus

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List on behalf of Don Abramowitz
Sent: Fri 7/30/2010 1:01 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Explosion Proof Refrigerator Storage
Generally, it is not necessary to store flammable liquids in an explosion p
roof refrigerator. Flammable liquid cabinets are ideal for ordinary storage
. Your reference to 37.8 degrees C seems to correspond to the definition of
 a flammable liquid (a liquid with a flash point at or below 100 degrees F)
. I've never seen that as a criteria for deciding what materials require re
frigeration. (Flashpoint is simply the temperature at which a solvent gives
 off enough vapor that it can be ignited with a spark and continue to burn.
 Gasoline has a flash point well below zero, and it rests comfortably in ou
r car gas tanks on hot days.) 

Explosion proof refrigerators come into play when you decide, for whatever 
reason, that you want to refrigerate flammable liquids. This is because put
ting flammable liquids in a regular refrigerators creates an ignition hazar

I don't know of anyone who converts regular refrigerators to explosion proo
f ones. For an ordinary stockroom situation, I see no need to store all of 
your flammable solvents under refrigeration. 


Donald Abramowitz 
Environmental Health & Safety Officer 
Bryn Mawr College 
Bryn Mawr, PA 

We are in the process of annual review of our chemical inventory and I was 
hoping to get some help with the specific guidelines of what chemicals must
 be stored in our explosion proof refrigerator. I have read several resourc
es that indicate a flashpoint of 37.8C is the cut off however this covers a
 lot of lab solvents and I would not have enough room. Our acetone for exam
ple is stored in our vented flammable cabinets. Does anyone know of a site 
which gives detailed information on refrigerator storage. Also our stockroo
m only has an explosion proof refrigerator and vented flammable cabinets we
 have no "Flammable" refrigerators available. 
Does anyone in the Chicago area know of a company that can convert our hous
ehold refrigerators into flammable ones? As always thank you all in advanc 
for the help. 

Kathleen Schmidt-Nebril, NRCC-CHO 
Chemistry Division Department of Natural Science 
Dominican University 
River Forest, IL 60305 

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