Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 08:33:41 -0500
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: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: 3 RE: [DCHAS-L] flammable cabinet question

From: "Bradley, Shelly" 
Date: November 10, 2010 2:10:40 PM EST
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] flammable cabinet question

Excellent information Rob, please send me the information when you get 
Thanks so much,
Shelly Bradley=E2=80=A8Instrumentation Specialist=E2=80=A8Laboratory 
Development Assistant=E2=80=A8
Campus Chemical Compliance Director=E2=80=A8
Chemistry Department
=E2=80=A8Hendrix College=E2=80=A8Conway, AR 72032=E2=80=A8(501) 


From: "Norwood, Brad" 
Date: November 10, 2010 2:01:19 PM EST
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] flammable cabinet question

With all due respect, that=E2=80=99s bullcrap, and on several fronts.
1)  We have a flammables cabinet with self-closing doors manufactured by 
Eagle.  Neither door can be held open by the manufacturer-provided 
fusible link, because on the left door, the hook slips off of the door.  
On the right, the chain doesn=E2=80=99t even reach.
2)  To charge $185 dollars for two 6=" chains with a hook from 
Ace Hardware and a fusible link inserted in it is ludicrous.
3)  As a testing lab highly oriented to the regulatory environment, I 
recognize the severe conflict of interest inherent in your claim that 
every state that requires self-closing flammable cabinet doors should 
also require the hooks and fusible links to hold them open.
Once again, the main lesson here is that increased regulation is not 
always the best response to complex issues.  In this case, I suspect a 
knee-jerk response to a fire that got worse because a flammable cabinet 
door was left open.  Someone said "We ought to make it so that 
the door can=E2=80=99t be left open.="  That got implemented.  
Then the Law of Unintended Consequences kicked in, and someone started 
recognizing a significant increase in spills of flammable solvents 
because self-closing doors started whacking people in the midst or 
removing or restoring bottles to the cabinet.  That necessitated yet 
another =E2=80=98one size fits all=E2=80=99 response of a fusible link 
chain to hold the door open (no guarantee that there wasn=E2=80=99t a 
iteration in the middle there that omitted the fusible link=E2=80=A6)
Does it sound like I=E2=80=99m cynical?  Yes.  I simply do not like it 
when The Government dictates minutiae (like dictating that incandescent 
lights will no longer be produced and instead everyone must use CFLs.  
Idiotic, and it won=E2=80=99t save the planet, it will pollute it even 
worse.  Stupid regulation).
Dr. Bradley K. Norwood
Laboratory Director
Arista Laboratories
1941 Reymet Road
Richmond, VA  23237
(804) 271-5572 ext. 307
(804) 641-4641 (cell)

From: "Jean & Ken Smith" 
Date: November 11, 2010 3:19:54 AM EST
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] flammable cabinet question

I am not sure that ignoring some laws is the correct way to do things.  
Cal/OSHA and the State Fire Marshall do require the self closing doors 
in California.  Fed OSHA may also require it.
In the string of responses there were stated ways to use them safely.  
There are cabinets with the fusible links that can be propped open to 
move the bottles/containers safely.  The fusible links were added a few 
years ago to protect the contents from fire by having the links melt and 
automatically shut the doors that were inadvertently or purposefully 
left open.
I worked for Cal/OSHA for many years and this problem would be a magnet 
for citations.  In general, I found that universities were very prone to 
have multiple problems =E2=80=93 some very serious =E2=80=93 during my 
inspections and subsequently received many citations.  Many private labs 
had similar situations that had to be fixed, but the majority was quite 
Retired Chemist and CIH

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.