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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (A+ 4 Real)
 9  Chapter 12: Material Safety: a Personal and Technical Report on Hazardous Material Handling
      9  Reading and Understanding MSDSs
           9  Section Four - Fire/Explosion Data

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Section Four - Fire/Explosion Data
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Hazard Ratings
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Flash Point

Well, enough soap boxing. This section, as the title suggests, gives information concerning the product’s flammability and explosive properties. The first piece of information we find in this MSDS is the flash point. The flash point is the minimum temperature, at which a liquid gives off a vapor sufficient to be ignitable. With flash point of just 7 degrees above zero, it will pretty much be ignitable at any given time. However, wait, it gets better, the two propellants, Iso-Butane and Propane have flash points of –117°F (-83°C) - and –156 0F (-104°C) respectively. Therefore, the seven-degree flash point is for the actual useable product and does not reflect the properties of the propellants. It would be a good idea to keep this in mind anytime you reviewing a MSDS for product with extremely flammable propellants. Although they should, the flash point and the auto ignition point may not take into account the propellants!

The auto ignition point is the temperature at which a substance spontaneously combust. That is, the lowest temperature at which a material begins to burn in air in the absence of a spark or flame.

Now, the upper explosive limits (UEL) and lower explosive limits (LEL), these limits may also be called the upper and lower flammability limits (UFL and LFL). Explosive limits specify the concentration range (%) of a substance to air, in which it will burn or explode in the presence of an ignition source (spark or flame, or even by a light switch). So, according to this MSDS, Tcat’s Unreal Kleen should not be ignitable if the airborne concentrations are below 1% or above 12.5 %.

Should Tcat’s Unreal Kleen accidentally catch on fire, you may want to know the proper method to put it out. It this case, the preferred extinguishing would dry chemical (many portable fire extinguishers use dry chemical), carbon dioxide and chemical foam. (These are rated as “Class C” extinguishers in the USA)

Many MSDSs may also include information that really only relevant to the fire department, large companies that have a trained fire brigade and those responsible for developing and implementing emergency response plans. Information such as the potential of container explosions and BLEVEs (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion), public health risks, respirator protection and other protective requirements when combating fully engaged fires. I omitted such information here, as this is a tutorial for the average hazard substance user to be able read a MSDS and as such, if a fire necessitates calling the fire department, you should not stick around, but get to the designated place of safety.

Call the Fire Department

On that note, let me state, that it is my in my humble opinion, that any fires that cannot be immediately extinguished with readable available gear necessitates calling the fire department. Also, if you do try extinguishing the fire yourself, never ever, under any circumstance, allow the fire (or the possibility of the fire) to come between you and your means of escape.



Previous Topic/Section
Section Four - Fire/Explosion Data
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Next Page
Hazard Ratings
Next Topic/Section

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Version 1.0 - Version Date: March 29, 2005

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