In buildings where an explosion risk is present, safety regulations require an explosion relief vent to be fitted for occupant safety. There are several Australian and International standards which regulate the use of explosion relief vents and consider such factors as the use and application of equipment and safety regulations in place.
An explosion relief vent is an access hatch or door which allows the door or hatch to be shut and locked during normal operating pressures, but releases when excess pressure is applied from inside to protect occupant safety and structural integrity. According to international standards, the opening size must be large enough to allow the shockwave to be safely dispersed and prevent injury to occupants and damage to the structural integrity of a building. The size of the explosion vent must be calculated by a recognized and specialized construction engineer. When these calculations are performed, factors such as the type of explosion risk (gas, solid or liquid), placement of the vent, theoretical extent of the shockwave, the construction of the building and the distribution of space within the building must be considered.
To protect occupants, the release of poisonous gasses and flying shrapnel released by an explosion must be taken into account, and if no containment solutions are in place, the direct area around a building may be declared a danger zone.
NEN-EN 1991-17:2006 specifies the requirements an explosion vent must meet. Gorter explosion relief access products are fitted with the patented Explosion Release Control (ERC) which instantly releases the vent when a preset pressure is applied to it. Under normal operating pressures, a Gorter explosion venting roof hatch can be used as safely and conveniently as any other Gorter roof hatch.
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