From: "Muehlhausen, Al"
Subject: RE: house hold refrigerators in labs with flamables No Best regards, Al Muehlhausen, CIH Senior Industrial Hygiene Specialist, Health Safety & Environmental and Business Continuity ==From: ILPI Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] house hold refrigerators in labs with flamables If you are talking about storing flammable materials inside them, no. You can make them explosion-resistant (rather than explosion-proof) if you have a technician who can remove the lights and door switches and relocate the temperature controls to the outside of the unit in a box that is physically sealed. That's what I had in my lab for years. However, NEVER use a stock unmodified consumer fridge in a lab even if you don't store flammables in it because of the possibility that someone will do so months or years from now despite whatever warnings are on it. If you're asking whether they pose an electrical spark source risk in the context of an overall laboratory environment, yes, they do. But so does just about any other electrical product in the laboratory - heating/stirring plates, temperature controllers, cold baths, vacuum pumps, ovens, furnaces, radios, etc. Then again, a fridge is located on the floor, a region where spills are likely to occur. Obviously, it's wise to locate flammable solvent cabinets as far from such spark sources as possible. Rob Toreki =====================================================Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names you know and trust. Visit us at http://www.SafetyEmporium.com esales**At_Symbol_Here**safetyemporium.com or toll-free: (866) 326-5412 Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012 ==Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2011 09:59:59 -0500 From: Barbara Foster Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] house hold refrigerators in labs with flamables Guidance on this subject can be found in the 2011 edition of Prudent Practices, pp. 153-154. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12654&page=153 -Barbara Barbara L. Foster, NRCC-CHOCertified Chemical Hygiene OfficerDirector of Laboratory Safety C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry West Virginia UniversityPhone (304) 293-2729 == From: Michael Ng Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] house hold refrigerators in labs with flamables The threshold amount is 0mL. You can find this standard from NFPA 45 Section A.126.96.36.199. Two problems will occur if flammables are stored in household refrigerators: 1. The temperature provided by a regular household refrigerator is higher than flash points of most flammable solvents. 2. Household refrigerators contain ignition sources such as the light bulb, light bulb switch, compressor, thermostat, etc. If enough flammable vapors accumulate in the household refrigerator, the refrigerator may explode or catch on fire when the door is opened (the light bulb lights up) and if the temperature exceeds the flash point (0 Celsius exceeds many flammables flash points). This standard was adopted by NYC Fire Department's Bureau of Fire Prevention, thus making it law in all laboratories in NYC. Michael Ng Environmental Health and Safety Manager Long Island University Brooklyn Campus Buildings and Grounds 1 University Plaza M101 Brooklyn, NY 11201 Tel: (718)-488-1608 Fax: (718)-488-3337 michael.ng**At_Symbol_Here**liu.edu
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