Remove All Electrical Connections From Inside Chemical Refrigerators and Require Magnetic Closures

By James A. Kaufman

Standard refrigerators should not be used for storage of flammable or reactive chemicals. Electrical connections within the refrigerator can be an ignition source for flammable vapors. In fact, it’s been reported that there are nearly a dozen sources of ignition in a standard household refrigerator.

The motor under the refrigerator is also a potential ignition source. Explosion-proof refrigerators have their motor and compressor assemblies encased in an enclosure to prevent ignition. In addition, the refrigerator is wired with explosion-proof connections to the receptacle.

If the door has a latch mechanism instead of a magnetic closure, pressure built up in an explosion will blow the door off and cause more serious damage.

Every year two or three refrigerators explode because of improper storage. Make sure your refrigerators are correct for your application.

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Saving Energy, Saving Money Magazine Issue Cover
Saving Energy, Saving Money

Published: April 1, 2012

Cover Story

Saving Energy, Saving Money

In 2002, when Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California, decided to build the Molecular Foundry laboratory, they employed the help of Steve Greenberg, an in-house energy management engineer.