Title:
SAFETY CONTAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A safety container can include a hazard indicator located on an external surface thereof. The hazard indicator can include indicia to convey to personnel in the vicinity the nature of the hazard posed by the materials stored in the safety container. The hazard indicator can be made, at least in part, of a reflective material, preferably a retroreflective material. The indicator is disposed on the exterior surface of the safety container to help personnel locate the safety container in low light situations and to indicate the nature of the contents stored in the safety container, especially in situations where the safety container is located in a room where there is smoke or low light. The safety container can be in the form of a safety cabinet or a portable safety can, for example.



Inventors:
Mcluckie, Carol J. (Barrington, IL, US)
Maruszak, Patricia M. (Itasca, IL, US)
Marcus, Gary A. (Hoffman Estates, IL, US)
Carter, Glen Alan (Mattoon, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/056055
Publication Date:
04/02/2009
Filing Date:
03/26/2008
Assignee:
Justrite Manufacturing Company (Des Plaines, IL, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B81/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ING, MATTHEW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEYDIG VOIT & MAYER, LTD (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A safety container for storing hazardous material, the safety container comprising: an enclosure defining an opening and a cavity for storing the hazardous material, the enclosure including an external surface; and an indicator disposed on the external surface of the enclosure, the indicator including indicia configured to convey information about the hazardous material stored in the enclosure, the indicator including at least a portion comprising a reflective material.

2. The safety container of claim 1, wherein the indicia comprises a writing.

3. The safety container of claim 1, wherein the indicia comprises a graphical symbol.

4. The safety container of claim 2, wherein the indicia comprises a graphical symbol.

5. The safety container of claim 1, wherein the indicia comprises a reflective material.

6. The safety container of claim 5, wherein the reflective material is retroreflective

7. The safety container of claim 1, wherein the reflective material is retroreflective.

8. The safety container of claim 6, wherein the retroreflective material has a coefficient of retroreflection of at least 35 candelas per foot candle per square foot.

9. The safety container of claim 1, further comprising: a second indicator disposed on the external surface of the enclosure.

10. The safety container of claim 1, further comprising: a door rotatably attached to the enclosure, the door movable between an open position and a closed position, the door configured to selectively cover at least part of the opening of the enclosure when in the closed position; and wherein the indicator is disposed on an outer surface of the door.

11. The safety container of claim 10, wherein door includes a top end, and the indicator is disposed adjacent the top end of the door.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/593,422, filed on Nov. 6, 2006, which in turn claims the benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/799,591, filed on Mar. 6, 2006, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a safety container for flammable, combustible, or other hazardous materials.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A safety container for storing flammable or explosive materials is known in the art. Such a safety container can be located at a plant allows for the onsite storage of flammable material. The safety container can be in the form of a safety cabinet or a portable safety can.

The safety cabinet can be provided to insulate flammable material stored within it from the direct effects of an external fire to prevent the flammable material from adding to the deleterious effect of the original fire. The safety can may also be used to store flammable material. Because it is portable, a safety can may not always be stored in a safety cabinet. Because of the nature of the materials stored in a safety container and the risks they pose to personnel in the vicinity of the safety container, it is desirable to alert those in the area of these risks.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the present invention, a safety container can include a hazard indicator located on an external surface thereof. The hazard indicator can include indicia to convey to personnel in the vicinity the nature of the hazard posed by the materials stored in the safety container. The hazard indicator can be made, at least in part, of a reflective material, preferably a retroreflective material.

These and other features of the present invention will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the detailed description, in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, provided herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a safety container in the form of a safety cabinet according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the safety cabinet of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the safety cabinet of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail view taken from FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along line V-V in FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged detail view taken from FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the safety cabinet of FIG. 1 wherein a pair of doors of the safety cabinet are in an open position.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged detail view taken from FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the safety cabinet of FIG. 1 with a top portion of the outer shell removed for illustrative purposes.

FIG. 10 is a front elevational view of an embodiment of a reflective hazard indicator suitable for use with the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a front elevational view of another embodiment of a safety container in the form of a safety cabinet according to the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of the safety cabinet of FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a front elevational view of another embodiment of a safety container in the form of a safety cabinet according to the present invention.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a safety container in the form of a safety can according to the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a safety container in the form of a safety can according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

In the following description, reference is sometimes made to the “left,” “right,” “top,” “bottom,” “front,” or other regions of the safety cabinet and its various components. It should be understood that these terms are used solely for convenient reference, inasmuch as the safety cabinet may be used omni-directionally.

Turning now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a safety container in the form of a safety cabinet 30 according to the present invention. The safety cabinet 30 can be used to store, for example, flammable liquids, flammable waste, corrosives, pesticides, or combustible waste. The safety cabinet can include a base assembly 31, an enclosure 32 resting upon the base assembly 31 and defining an access opening to an interior chamber, a left door 34 and a right door 36 hingedly mounted to the enclosure 32 to selectively seal the access opening, a hazard indicator 38 disposed on an exterior surface of the right door 36, a lock bar 40 for selectively preventing the doors 34, 36 from being opened, and a pair of padlocks 41, 42 for selectively locking the lock bar 40 to the enclosure 32.

The safety cabinet 30 can be provided with an indicator 38 that is disposed on an exterior surface thereof to identify readily the safety cabinet as a device for storing hazardous materials and to indicate clearly the nature of the contents stored therein. For example, the indicator 38 can identify the nature of the hazard posed by the material stored in the safety cabinet 30. The indicator 38 can include indicia configured to convey information to an observer thereof. The indicia can be a graphical symbol and/or writing to convey information concerning the contents stored in the safety cabinet 30. For example, the indicator 38 can include writings such as “Flammable” or “Danger” and a graphical symbol depicting a flame. It should be appreciated that the indicator 38 can include writings in any language and convey any message through a selected combination of letters and/or symbols.

In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the indicator 38 is disposed on the right door 36 adjacent a top end 111. In other embodiments, a plurality of multiple indicators 35 can be located at various positions on the safety cabinet 30.

In some embodiments, the indicator 38 can include indicia formed, at least in part, from a reflective material so as to be particularly visible when struck by light such as from a flashlight, for example, in low-level lighting conditions. In yet other embodiments, the indicator 38 can include, at least in part, a retroreflective material such that at least a portion of incident light hitting the retroreflective material is redirected toward its originating source. For example, the indicator 38 can include a suitable reflective material such as those commercially available from 3M of St. Paul, Minn., including the reflective sheeting marketed as Scotchlite™ reflective sheeting, Series 510-10, for example. In other embodiments, any other suitable retroreflective material can be used. In yet other embodiments, a reflective ink or paint can be applied directly to the exterior surface of the safety cabinet to form the indicator 38 using any suitable technique, including silk screening, for example.

Referring to FIG. 10, another embodiment of an indicator 238 is shown. The indicator 238 can be in the form of a label 240 that is secured to an external surface of the safety cabinet via its adhesive-coated back surface comprising a pressure-sensitive adhesive. The indicator 238 includes indicia 242 including a pair of graphical symbols 244, 245 and a plurality of written messages 247, 248, 250, 251, 253, 254. The graphical symbols 244, 245 each include a triangle with a flame inside the triangle. In other embodiments, the indicator can include a plurality of symbols that are different from each other. The messages 247, 248, 250, 251, 253, 254 are in different languages, namely, English, Spanish, and French. In other embodiments, a single message can be used. In yet other embodiments, messages in different languages can be included.

The indicia 242 can be formed from a material that is reflective, and even more preferably from a material that is retroreflective. In this embodiment, the entire indicator label 240 comprises a retroreflective material that has a coefficient of retroreflection, as measured by ASTM E810, that allows the indicator 238 to retain its reflectivity when viewed at a wide entrance angle. For example, the indicator 238 can have a coefficient of retroreflection of at least about 35 candelas/footcandle/square foot when measured using a 2° observation angle and a −4° entrance angle, where the observation angle is an angle between the line formed by a light beam striking the reflective surface (the illumination axis) and the light formed by its reflective beam (the observation axis), and the entrance angle is the angle formed by the illumination axis and a line perpendicular to the surface at the same point (the retroreflector axis). Preferably, the indicator 238 has a coefficient of retroreflection when the indicator is totally wet of at least 90% of the value of the coefficient of retroreflection when the indicator 238 is dry.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the safety cabinet 30 can include a latch system 43 for selectively retaining the doors 34, 36 in a closed position to cover the access opening of the enclosure 32. A paddle handle 44 can be mounted to one of the doors 36 and operably arranged with the latching system to disengage the latching system to allow the doors 34, 36 to move from the closed position to an open position. The latch system can comprise a three-point latch with one point latching the doors 34, 36 together and the other two points latching the door 36 to the enclosure 32. The paddle handle 44 and the latching system 43 of the safety cabinet 30 can be similar, for example, to the paddle handle and latching system as shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,729,701, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

The lock bar 40 is securable to the enclosure 32 such that the lock bar 40 prevents the paddle handle 44 from moving to actuate the latch system and prevents the doors 34, 36 from moving from the closed position. The padlocks 41, 42 can be disposed at each end 45, 46 of the lock bar to lockingly retain the lock bar 40 to the enclosure 32. The base assembly 31 includes a pair of forklift pockets 48, 49 that are disposed in spaced relationship to each other and configured to accommodate a respective blade of a forklift fork to allow the use of a forklift for transporting the safety cabinet from one location to another. The safety cabinet 30 of the present invention can be similar in other respects to the safety cabinet as shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,729,701.

Referring to FIG. 2, the latching system 43 can automatically latch the cabinet doors 34, 36 in the closed position. To open the doors 34, 36, the latching system may be released by operation of the paddle handle 44. In the illustrative embodiment, the latching system is disposed within the right cabinet door 36 and engages the enclosure 32 and the left door 34 to automatically latch both doors 34, 36 closed. In other embodiments, the paddle handle and the latching system can be disposed within the left cabinet door 34. In yet other embodiments, the access opening of the enclosure can be selectively covered by a single door.

Referring to FIG. 2, a pair of retaining arms 51, 52 and a pair of lock bar supports 53, 54 can be provided to support the lock bar 40 and to retain the lock bar 40 to the enclosure 32. As shown in FIG. 1, the lock bar 40 is mounted to the retaining arms 51, 52 and extends across the front 56 of the safety cabinet 30 between the left retaining arm 51 and the right retaining arm 52 so that the cabinet doors 34, 36 may not be opened while the lock bar 40 is secured in place.

Referring to FIG. 2, the retaining arms 51, 52, the lock bar supports 53, 54, and the paddle handle 44 of the latching system are in vertical alignment with each other. This allows the lock bar 40, when put in place on the safety cabinet 30, to rest on the retaining arms 51, 52 and the lock bar supports 53, 54 while also covering the paddle handle 44, as shown in FIG. 1, to prevent the handle 44 from operating. When secured in place on the cabinet 30, the lock bar 40 protects the paddle handle 44 from damage and prevents the paddle handle from being operated to avoid the accidental or unauthorized opening of the safety cabinet.

Referring to FIG. 2, the left lock bar support 53 is attached to the left cabinet door 34, and the right lock bar support 54 is attached to the right cabinet door 36. The lock bar supports 53, 54 are similar to each other, and, thus, the description of one is applicable to the other, as well. Referring to FIG. 4, each lock bar support 54 includes a plate 58 and a projecting support portion 60. The plate 58 is connected to the door 36 to which the lock bar support 54 is mounted, such as by welding, for example. Referring to FIG. 5, the support portion 60 extends outwardly from an outer surface 62 of the door 34. The support portion 60 includes a notch 64 that extends a predetermined distance downwardly from an upper edge 65 of the support portion. Preferably, the notch 64 extends to a point proximate the vertical midpoint of the support portion 60. The notch 64 of the lock bar support 53 is configured to matingly engage with a corresponding notch in the lock bar.

Referring to FIG. 2, the left retaining arm 51 is similarly attached to the left side 68 of the enclosure 32, and the right retaining arm 52 is attached to the right side 69 of the enclosure 32. The retaining arms 51, 52 are similar to each other, and, thus, the description of one retaining arm is applicable to the other retaining arm, as well. Referring to FIGS. 3 and 6, a distal end 72 of the retaining arm 52 extends a predetermined distance beyond the outer surfaces 62 of the doors. Referring to FIG. 6, the distal end 72 includes a mounting notch 74 and a lock hole 76. The mounting notch 74 is similar in size and configuration to the notch of the lock bar support. The mounting notch 74 extends downwardly a predetermined distance from an upper edge 77 of the retaining arm 52. Preferably, the mounting notch 74 extends to a point proximate the vertical midpoint of the retaining arm. The mounting notch 74 is configured to matingly engage a corresponding notch in the lock bar.

Referring to FIG. 7, the enclosure 32 can include an outer shell 104 and an inner shell 105. The outer shell 104 includes an outer bottom wall 107 (FIG. 2), an outer left side wall 108, an outer right side wall 109, an outer rear wall 110, and an outer top wall 111. The enclosure 32 includes the inner shell 105 to provide a double-walled construction, wherein each said outer wall of the outer shell 104 has a corresponding inner wall of the inner shell 105, with said inner and outer walls separated by a predetermined distance to define an insulative air space. The inner shell 105 defines the interior chamber that is accessible through the access opening selectively sealed by the doors. In some embodiments a shelf, or a plurality of shelves, can be disposed in the interior chamber to provide various storage options.

Referring to FIG. 2, a sealed sump area 114 can be provided between the inner bottom surface 115 and the outer bottom surface 107 of the enclosure 32. The sump area 114 is liquid tight and is provided to collect any liquid that may leak from a vessel stored in the cabinet 30. The enclosure 32 of the safety cabinet 30 can be similar in other respects to the enclosure as shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,729,701, for example.

Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, the safety cabinet 30 can include a retaining system 117 for retaining the doors 34, 36 in an open position, as shown in FIG. 7. Referring to FIG. 9, the safety cabinet 30 can include a closure system 118 to automatically close the doors 34, 36 in the event of a fire and to assist in moving the doors from an open position to a closed position under normal conditions. The retaining system 117 and the closure system 118 can be respectively similar in function and in construction to the retaining system and closure system as shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,729,701.

Referring to FIG. 7, in use, the left and right doors 34, 36 can be manually moved by a user between the closed position, as shown in FIG. 2, and the open position shown in FIG. 7. The loading and unloading of the safety cabinet 30 are facilitated if the left and right doors 34, 36 remain in the open position. The retaining system 117 is provided to retain the left and right doors 34, 36 in the open position, as shown in FIG. 7.

In a preferred embodiment, the retaining system 117 includes a first retaining element 120 with a first fusible link 122. The first retaining element 120 has a detent feature that acts to retain the left door 34 in the open position. The first fusible link 122 is mounted to the left door 34 and the enclosure 32. The fusible link 122 is constructed such that the fusible link 122 fuses, i.e., melts, when the ambient temperature is above a selected level to thereby detach the link from the enclosure 32 to allow the closure system to move the door 34 to the closed position. The retaining system 117 includes a second retaining element 124 with a second fusible link 126. The second retaining element 124 is similar to the first retaining element 122 and is used to hold the right door 36 in the open position. The second fusible link 126 is similar to the first fusible link 120 and similarly provides means to release the right door 36 in the event of a rise in ambient temperature. The second link 126 is mounted to the right door 36 and the enclosure 32.

In one embodiment of the fusible link, the link is constructed such that it will fuse when the ambient temperature is 165° F. In embodiments of the safety cabinet including a single door, the retaining system can include a single retaining element.

In use, the left and right doors 34, 36 can be moved from the closed position, which is shown in FIG. 2, to the open position, as shown in FIG. 7. The retaining system 117 acts to retain the left and right doors 34, 36 in the open position. The left and right doors 34, 36 can be moved to the closed position from the open position either manually by overcoming the retaining hold of the retaining elements 120, 124 or automatically by providing a means to automatically close the doors 34, 36 in the event that the fusible links 122, 126 melt.

Referring to FIG. 9, the closure system 118 is provided to automatically close the doors 34, 36. In the illustrative embodiment, a first air cylinder 130, which includes a moveable piston 132, is rotatably mounted to the enclosure 32. The first air cylinder 130 is disposed between the outer and inner top walls of the enclosure 32. A left linkage 134 is mounted to the left door 34 and rotatably mounted to a distal end 136 of the piston 132. The piston 132 of the first air cylinder 130 is configured to bias the left door 34 to the closed position. A first stop 137 is provided to limit the range over which the first air cylinder 130 can rotate in a closing direction 138. In a similar fashion as the first air cylinder 130, a second air cylinder 140, which includes a moveable piston 142, is rotatably mounted to the enclosure 32. A right linkage 144 is mounted to the right door 36 and rotatably mounted to a distal end 146 of the piston 142 of the second air cylinder 140. The piston 142 of the second air cylinder 140 is configured to bias the right door 36 to the closed position. A second stop 147 is provided to limit the range over which the second air cylinder 140 can rotate in a closing direction 148. It will be understood that in other embodiments, other biasing elements can be used in place of the first and second air cylinders 130, 140, such as, springs, for example.

In the event of fire, for instance, the closure system 118 cooperates with the fusible links 122, 126 to automatically close the doors 34, 36. When the ambient temperature exceeds the predetermined level, the first fusible link 122 and the second fusible link 126 melt. The first and second air cylinders 130, 140 can act to move the left and right doors 34, 36, respectively, to the closed position. Under normal operating conditions, the closure system 118 can provide an assist feature during the manual closing of the doors 34, 36 by urging the doors 34, 36 to the closed position once the retaining system 117 is overcome.

Referring to FIG. 9, to further seal the interior chamber of the enclosure 32 from the outside environment when the doors 34, 36 are in the closed position, the left door 34 can include a baffle 149 extending along substantially the entire height of the door 34 and projecting at an oblique angle therefrom. Once the left door 34 is closed, the right door 36 may then be closed to engage the baffle 149. Thus, during the closing of the left and right doors 34, 36, it is advantageous that the doors 34, 36 close in sequence wherein the left door 34 reaches the closed position prior to the right door 36 doing so. It is also advantageous that this sequence be maintained regardless of the sequence in which fusible links 122, 126 melt.

The illustrative embodiment of the closure system 118 of the safety cabinet 30 includes a timing mechanism 150 mounted to the enclosure 32 to control the sequence of the closing of the doors 34, 36 such that the left door 34 is placed in the closed position before the right door 36 is. The timing mechanism 150 is constructed in a fashion similar to the timing mechanism disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,992,098, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The timing mechanism 150 includes a timing slide bracket 152 that is disposed between the outer and inner top walls of the enclosure 32. The timing slide bracket 152 includes a slot 154 and is slidably mounted upon a slide pivot pin 156, which is disposed in the slot 154. The timing slide bracket 152 is moveable over a range of travel that is defined by the dimensions of the slot 154.

A slide bracket spring 160 is attached to a spring anchor 162 and to an end 163 of the timing slide bracket 152 to bias the timing slide bracket 152 to a normal position, as shown in FIG. 9, with the slide pivot pin 156 positioned at the leftmost extreme of the slot 154. When the doors 34, 36 are in the open position, the timing slide bracket 152 is positioned in the normal position. A stop 164 is mounted to the timing slide bracket 152 and is disposed such that the stop 164 will contact the right linkage 144 as the right door 36 closes. In this manner, during the closing of the right door 36, the stop 164 engages the right linkage 144 such that the stop 164 selectively prevents the right door 36 from moving to the closed position.

An actuating plate 170 is pivotally mounted to the inner top wall of the enclosure 32 by a plate pivot pin 172 and is pivotally mounted to the timing slide bracket 152. When the actuating plate 170 is rotated in a closing direction 174, the timing slide bracket 152 is moved in a disengaging direction 176. The right door 36 will remain partially open until the timing slide bracket 152 moves leftward a sufficient distance to position the stop 164 out of the path of the right linkage 144.

In operation, the doors 34, 36 are closed either manually or automatically by moving the doors 34, 36 from the open position to the closed position. The right door 36 can rotate toward the closed position until the right linkage 144 contacts the stop 164, thereby preventing further movement of the right door 36. The left door 34 can freely rotate from the open position toward the closed position until it engages the actuator plate 170. Continued movement of the left door 34 pivots the actuator plate 170 about the pin 172 in the closing direction 174, thereby drawing the timing slide bracket 152 in the disengaging direction 176 to move the stop 164 out of the path of the right linkage 144. The left door 34 is moved to the closed position. The right door 36 completes its movement to the closed position. The timing mechanism 150 allows the left door 34, which includes the baffle 149, to move to the closed position before the right door 36 does. Such an arrangement allows the left and right doors 34, 36 to cooperate to provide a protective seal.

In embodiments of the safety cabinet including a single door, the closure system can include a single air cylinder, linkage, and stop. Such a closure system can also omit the timing mechanism 150.

Referring to FIG. 2, once closed, it is preferred that the doors 34, 36 remain closed for maximum safety. To provide automatic latching capability, the latch system 43 is provided. The latch system 43 is disposed in the right door 36. In the illustrative embodiment, the safety cabinet 30 includes both the left and right doors 34, 36. The latch system 43 can operate to automatically latch both of the doors 34, 36 in the closed position. The latch system 43 is particularly useful in conjunction with the closure system when the safety cabinet includes left and right doors 34, 36. The timing mechanism of the closure system ensures that the left door 34 is in the closed position prior to the right door 36 being in the closed position. With that sequence in place, the latch system 43 can automatically engage the left door 34 and the enclosure 32 without operation if the paddle handle 44 to latch the right door 36 to the left door 34 and to the enclosure 32, thereby selectively retaining both the left door 34 and the right door 36 in the closed position.

Referring to FIGS. 11 and 12, another embodiment of a safety container in the form of a safety cabinet 230 according to the present invention is shown. The safety cabinet of FIG. 11 is similar to the safety cabinet of FIG. 1 except that the safety cabinet of FIG. 11 has a smaller capacity than that of the safety cabinet of FIG. 1. The safety cabinet of FIG. 1 has a 45 gallon capacity, whereas the safety cabinet of FIG. 11 has a 30 gallon capacity. The safety cabinet of FIG. 11 is similar in other respects to the safety cabinet of FIG. 1. The lock bar 40 of the safety cabinet 30 of FIG. 1 can be used with the safety cabinet 230 of FIG. 11.

Referring to FIG. 13, another embodiment of a safety container in the form of a safety cabinet 430 according to the present invention is shown. The safety cabinet 430 includes a pair of indicators 438, 439 that are disposed on an exterior surface thereof to identify readily the safety cabinet as a device for storing hazardous materials and to indicate clearly the nature of the contents stored therein. The indicators 438, 439 are each constructed in a fashion similar to the indicator label 240 such that each indicator 438, 439 is reflective. In the embodiment of FIG. 13, the first indicator 438 is disposed on the left door 434 adjacent a top end 511 thereof, and the second indicator 439 is disposed on the right door 436 adjacent a bottom end 513 thereof. The safety cabinet 430 can be similar in other respects to the safety cabinets shown and described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/593,832, filed on Nov. 6, 2006, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,729,701.

Referring to FIG. 14, another embodiment of a safety container in the form of a safety can 629 according to the present invention is shown. The safety can 629 is an example of a Type II safety can. In other embodiments, the safety container can take the form of another type of safety can (such as a Type I can, for example). The safety can 629 includes a receptacle 652 and a valve mechanism 654 constructed as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,772,918, for example. The receptacle 652 defines an enclosure with an opening and a cavity for storing the hazardous material. The valve mechanism 654 selectively occludes the opening to the cavity inside the receptacle 652.

The receptacle 652 includes an external surface with an indicator 738 affixed thereto. The indicator 738 is constructed in a fashion similar to the indicator label 240 such that the indicator 738 is reflective. In the embodiment of FIG. 14, the indicator 738 is a reflective band that encircles the exterior surface of the receptacle 652. The indicator 738 can include indicia 739 that indicates the nature of the hazardous material stored in the safety container. The indicia 739 can be provided in a repeating manner circumferentially around the band such that at least a portion of the indicia is visible from different vantage points relative to the safety container. Preferably, the indicator 738 is configured such that information is visible at substantially any radial point around the 360 degree circumference of the safety container.

The safety can 629 may be equipped with a flexible nozzle to facilitate the transfer of liquid stored in the safety can to another vessel. The safety can 629 can be similar in other respects to the safety cans shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,772,918, for example. In other embodiments, the safety container 629 can be similar to those shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,390,153.

Referring to FIG. 15, another embodiment of a safety container in the form of a safety can 829 according to the present invention is shown, which includes a clamp assembly 857 and a cage 859. The cage 859 is mounted to the receptacle 852. The clamp assembly 857 is mounted to the valve mechanism 854. The cage 859 can be provided to protect the valve mechanism 854. The clamp assembly 857 can be provided to add an additional safety feature to inhibit the unintentional opening of the valve mechanism 854. The clamp assembly 857 and the cage 859 can be constructed in a fashion similar to that shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,772,918, for example.

The receptacle 852 defines an enclosure with an opening and a cavity for storing the hazardous material. The valve mechanism 854 selectively occludes the opening to the cavity inside the receptacle 852. The receptacle 852 includes an external surface with an indicator 938 affixed thereto. The indicator 938 is constructed in a fashion similar to the indicator label 240 such that the indicator 938 is reflective. In the embodiment of FIG. 15, the indicator 938 is a reflective band that encircles the exterior surface of the receptacle 852. The indicator 938 can include indicia 942 that indicates the nature of the hazardous material stored in the safety container. In other embodiments, the indicia 942 can be provided in a repeating manner circumferentially around the band such that at least a portion of the indicia is visible from different vantage points relative to the safety container. Preferably, the indicator 938 is configured such that information is visible at substantially any radial point around the 360 degree circumference of the safety container.

All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.

The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.

Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Of course, variations of those preferred embodiments will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.