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Product Safety Information

General Dust Collection Safety

Before purchasing or installing a dust collector, the buyer is cautioned to do so in accordance with all prescribed Federal, State, local, OSHA, NFPA, and any other applicable codes or regulations relating to the type of dust being collected. This equipment should be installed and wired by a licensed electrician following all applicable codes. Note: Local codes can be significantly different from national codes. The customer assumes the responsibility for contacting their insurance underwriter with regard to specific application requirements of venting or if additional fire protection and safety equipment are required.


Oneida Air Systems is not responsible for how the dust collector is used or installed. Dusts with deflagration or explosion risks, such as wood dust, may require additional safety equipment, including but not limited to venting, spark detection, suppression systems, or back draft dampers; installation in an outside location; or installation in a protected area away from personnel. The buyer assumes the responsibility for contacting their insurance underwriter regarding specific engineering controls or application requirements. We suggest referencing NFPA 664, 654 and 68 codes for more information. Oneida Air Systems' dust collectors may not be suitable for some applications and are not designed to be used in explosive atmospheres. Oneida Air Systems equipment should only be installed and wired by a licensed electrician following all applicable local and national electrical codes.

The following points are worth heeding:

  • It is the buyer’s responsibility to follow all applicable federal, state, local, OSHA, NFPA, or authorities having jurisdiction codes and regulations when installing and operating this dust collector.
  • Fire Marshals may want the unit located outside of the building. If the collector is located inside the facility, controls such as spark detection, suppression, or explosion venting may be required.
  • Most local jurisdictions consult or adopt NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) codes. However, other codes may apply. Local codes may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
  • NFPA664 Code book, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities, applies to woodworking operations that occupy areas of more than 5,000 sq. ft. or to areas where dust producing equipment requires an aggregate dust collection flow rate of more than 1,500 CFM (cubic feet per minute). This exempts some small operators from the NFPA code 664, but other codes may apply in your jurisdiction. Consult your local Fire Marshal for help.
  • Additional information can be found in NFPA Code Book 664.

Health & Safety Hazards of Dusts

Some dusts created by power sanding, sawing, grinding, drilling, and other construction activities contain chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Examples of these chemicals are lead from lead-based paints; crystalline silica from bricks, cement, and other masonry products; arsenic and chromium from chemically-treated lumber; and even just certain types of exotic woods. Risk from these exposures varies, depending on how often this type of work is performed. To reduce exposure to these chemicals, work in a well ventilated area with approved safety equipment, such as an OSHA and NIOSH-approved respirator designed to filter out microscopic particles.

In addition to being a health risk, wood dusts and chips are also considered combustible. Airborne wood particles below 420 microns in size and in certain concentration ranges can deflagrate (burn very rapidly) when ignited. An energy source such as a spark or ember can ignite a dust mixture resulting in an expanding flame front, which can cause an explosion if tightly contained. A disturbance that raises a cloud of accumulated fine dust can raise additional dust clouds, which can cause a series of explosions that can level an entire building. Until this type of fire has been witnessed, it is difficult to believe the devastation. This type of fire is rare but worth safeguarding against.

The best way to avoid a wood shop fire is to keep the shop clean. A shop ankle deep in dust with layers of fine dust everywhere is an accident waiting to happen, which is why a good dust collection system is so essential. A properly designed and installed dust collector reduces overall fire hazards, but it also adds new concerns as a fire hazard is still present. Combustible material is now in the storage container of the dust collector rather than scattered throughout the shop.

Reducing Risks Within The Shop

The following recommendations should be taken into consideration in addition to all applicable local and national fire safety codes:

  • DO NOT use wood dust collectors to collect other types of flammable dust or vapors - Fire or explosion may occur!
  • NEVER introduce sparks or sources of ignition into the dust collector.
  • NEVER collect sparks from a bench grinder into a wood dust collector.
  • CHECK the dust bin frequently for smoldering material.
  • ALWAYS check storage bins for smoldering material before leaving for the day.
  • AVOID using excessively large wood waste bins unless they are emptied regularly.
  • KEEP personnel at least 20 feet away from unit when possible.
  • KEEP portable fire extinguishers handy. The ABC type (dry chemical) is generally a good choice for small wood shops. Additional information on portable extinguishers can be found in Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers NFPA Code Book 10.
  • USE CAUTION with sanding units in particular. They can produce large concentrations of dust in the combustible range. Make certain enough air volume (CFM) is at the suction point to capture all the particulate generated. This high air volume will dilute the mixture below the lower limit of flammability. Be careful not to generate sparks into the sanding dust.
  • EMPTY the dust bin and clean the filter often, especially when sanding regularly.
  • DO NOT overload woodworking equipment, especially sanders. Excessive frictional heat can spontaneously ignite dust.
  • BE AWARE of how sparks can be easily generated in the shop Examples include: High speed sanders and abrasive planers striking foreign material (e.g. nails, staples, etc.) and creating a red-hot metal fragments; Knots in hardwood can create frictional sparks; Tramp metal (metal dust and filings) when drawn into the collector can spark against ductwork while being conveyed, etc.
  • GROUND all equipment and ducting. Static sparks can ignite wood dust. (Avoid using PVC drain pipe and other insulative components)
  • DO NOT allow accumulation of layers of fine dust on horizontal surfaces (especially overhead lights, electrical boxes and fuse panels which can ignite dust.)
  • UNPLUG your dust collector before servicing or cleaning the unit.
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