In a case of fire, what actually happens inside a safety cabinet? How long will it last? And what is special about a Type 90 Safety Cabinet in accordance with DIN EN 14470-1? What endurance test findings reveal?
Who of us would ever enjoy hearing that dangerous substances were released by a devastating major fire in the nearby chemical factory and that one is well-advised to keep all windows shut? Whereas a feeling of unease is only natural after such news, handling dangerous substances is also a daily must for global production, development and research — many major methods of production would not work without them.
Handling flammable liquids has a particularly high risk potential for humans, the environment and equipment. Minor and major fires are mainly caused by incorrectly using or storing flammable media. The good news is, though, that the small-scale and large-scale disasters provoked by burning dangerous substances can be nipped in the bud. Companies should therefore try to make the safe handling of dangerous substances one of their continuous and permanently updated processes. Thus, globalisation must not only look at primary economic benefits but keep safety in mind — aimed at establishing a high level of safety that is uniform throughout the worldwide organisation.
Different Directives and Practices
One of the hurdles to be overcome in homogenising the regulations of global players are the many different national directives and old practices. North America and Europe in particular, though sharing a similar base, have developed quite different solutions in the field of fire prevention.
European Standard DIN EN 14470-1, for example, specifies that the temperatures inside a Type 90 safety cabinet must not exceed 200 °C (392 °F) after 90 minutes exposure to fire. US test programs UL 1275 and FM 6050 (based on NFPA 30) only demand ten minutes of fire and a maximum temperature of 163 °C (325 °F) inside the cabinet.
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