Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2010 12:26:58 -0400
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: "Shiel, Dan" <dan.shiel**At_Symbol_Here**PFIZER.COM>
Subject: Re: flammable cabinet question
In-Reply-To: A<4CD3C2C7.8648.0091.0**At_Symbol_Here**>
The self-closing doors are commonly fitted with a chain and fusible link
that can be used to safely hold the doors open while moving bottles in
and out, but I have been amazed at how many folks don't realize that
it's there and what it's for.  

The self-closing doors are essentially the same principle as a spring
return valve for flammable dispensing, i.e., if there is a spill or fire
during movement of materials, then the cabinet will get isolated (with
the intent in a fire scenario that the rest of the material in the
cabinet does not become part of the fire and/or that the fire is inside
the cabinet gets starved of air). 

As for the self-closing requirement, look at your locally applicable
fire code or check with your "Authority Having Jurisdiction" -- in
California, the 2007 Fire Code requires self-closing doors at section
3404.  And it has been very controversial just as we have seen
in this forum's exchange!



Dan Shiel, MBA, CSP, CHMM
Director, Risk Management Services
Pfizer La Jolla/ GO R&D West
10777 Science Center Drive
San Diego, CA 92121

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of
Eric Clark
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 8:38 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] flammable cabinet question

This issue was brought up just last week during the quarterly safety
committee meeting.  People find it inconvenient to hold the
spring-loaded doors open to the flammable cabinet while placing or
retrieving gallon sized bottles of liquids - especially since the bottom
of the door is slightly higher than you can hold with your foot.  Lots
of work-arounds were discussed.  At this point all I can add to the
discussion is that MaryAnn's not the only one who's noticed that
unintended negative consequence resulting from a safety regulation.   

Eric Clark, MS, CCHO, CHMM 
Safety & Compliance Officer
Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory

>>> "Yaeger, Mary Ann"  11/5/2010 5:24 AM >>>
We have had chemicals dropped a few times because of the self closing
doors.  Has anyone else had this problem?  In trying to keep the door
open, or not realizing how close the door is  people have bumped the
door pulling out the chemical and dropped the bottle.  Our older
cabinets are not self closing and we don't have a problem with the doors
being left open.  I prefer those that are not self closing.


MaryAnn Yaeger, MS
Supervisor of Laboratory Services,
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Wesley College
120 N. State Street
Dover DE 19901
Ph. 302-736-2389
Fax 302-736-2301

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 5:53 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU 
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] flammable cabinet question

State and local codes will vary so you should consult your local or
state fire marshal's office.   For example, it is my understanding that
California requires self-closing doors.  The major US manufacturers sell
both manual and automatic door models, so there is obviously no federal

Given the obvious safety advantages of automatic door closers, the
question should be why one would wish to defeat a safety feature that
is, at best, a trivial annoyance.  I strongly endorse their use whenever

Best wishes,

Rob Toreki

Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
you know and trust.  Visit us at 
esales**At_Symbol_Here**  or
toll-free: (866) 326-5412
Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012

On Nov 4, 2010, at 5:19 PM, Bradley, Shelly wrote:

Are self-closing doors required on flammable cabinets? (Specifically
those under fume hoods)
If not, are there any restrictions on removing closers from flammable
cabinet doors as long as the door latches?


Shelly Bradley
Instrumentation Specialist
Laboratory Development Assistant
Campus Chemical Compliance Director
Chemistry Department
Hendrix College
Conway, AR 72032
(501) 450-3812

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