FM Global unveils US$16m electrical hazards lab

FM Global has just opened its US$16m electrical hazards and gas detection laboratory, part of the commercial insurer's Rhode Island Research Campus where it carries out testing for companies operating in hazardous environments.

The new lab, where building materials and structures are subjected to the same forces they would suffer in a major hurricane, earthquake or fire, will test industrial grade electrical and gas detection equipment as well as certifying that products are explosion-proof, flameproof and suitable for use in hazardous locations under these extreme conditions.

“As industries and operations evolve, so can their electrical hazards,” said FM Global's senior vice-president, engineering and research, Brion Callori. “For those companies who operate in hazardous environments, explosions caused by electrical equipment can put a company out of business. There is no margin for error. This laboratory will help FM Global and its clients be well positioned to address such hazards.”

In detail: FM Global's Electrical Hazards and Gas Detection Laboratory

The impressive lab has been in construction for nearly two years, and is located at the insurer's 1,600-acre Research Campus in West Glocester, where it has been conducting tests for over 50 years.

Features include:

• Two fortified concrete explosion bunkers with up to 2-foot (0.6-m) thick walls complete with military-grade blast doors strong enough to withstand the equivalent of detonating 4 pounds of TNT.

• Labs that can replicate some of the most corrosive and damaging environments on the planet

• A test site that can handle the most toxic and combustible gases found in industry

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