Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 09:23:25 -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: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: 3 RE: [DCHAS-L] flammable cabinet question
In-Reply-To: <259DD82B-6300-48D0-97AE-620842F1DD8A**At_Symbol_Here**>

Brad, that's quite the response.  Let me address your points in order.

1. How old are the cabinets?  Were the self-closers retrofitted on a manual door model or did you purchase it as a self-closing unit?  Did it come with those features not working and did you complain to the manufacturer under the warranty?  Regardless, these problems sound easily fixable with about 20 minutes of work.   I have to ask why these problems haven't been fixed as you have already identified the doors in their current state as a safety hazard.

2. These are self-closing retrofit kits that are for manual door models.  You get the pistons and additional parts.  There will obviously be some markup there, but it is nowhere near preposterous as you think.  I am still working on getting the installation literature so everyone can see how it goes together.  Here is a picture of one of the kits: http://eag

More importantly, it should please you to know that individual fusible links are available separately for $2.60 each.  So if someone wants to get some chain and hooks from Ace Hardware (disclaimer: we are NOT Ace Hardware distributors, wink) and insert a fusible link, you can do that.

3. That self-conflict is laid bare every time I write about a product that I have an economic interest in (and therefore, experience with).  But I would make that same recommendation regardless - the discussion on the list pointed out a problem with some self-closing models, and this is a way to fix that problem.   Getting rid of self-closing requirements is, of course, another solution, but does not address the issue of fire containment.

As to the "knee jerk", you appear to be overlooking the very, very, very REAL issues of bonding and grounding, particularly for drum cabinets or those using metal containers.   People will often dispense liquids with the cabinet doors open and, in many workplaces. they are completely unaware of the static issues presented by a stream of flowing liquid.  If failure to bond/ground results in a fire in front of an open cabinet, the fusible link of an automatic door can make the difference between a fire and a catastrophic fire.

For the record, I have seen manual door cabinets left open at a number of universities in my career.   I will freely admit that the 4 gallon one in my home garage is manual, but then again I am the only user of it, and I don't dispense with the door open.

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

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

With all due respect, that=92s 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=92t even reach.

2)  To charge $185 dollars for two 6=94 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 =93We ought to make it so that the door can=92t be left open.=94  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 =91one size fits all=92 response of a fusible link chain to hold the door open (no guarantee that there wasn=92t a iteration in the middle there that omitted the fusible link=85)

Does it sound like I=92m 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=92t 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)

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.