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Seismic Enclosures



Who Should Use Seismic Enclosures?

Seismic EnclosureSeismically speaking, all premises can be classified as either essential or non-essential. The term essential applies to agencies and institutions that need to stay functional in spite of any earthquakes that may occur. A few good examples of essential premises are hospitals, data centers, government agencies, and fire and police stations. Because these locations handle and store mass amounts of critical data, it’s necessary for them to employ seismic-rated enclosures for the protection and preservation of network equipment.

The classification non-essential applies to, well, just about everything else. Businesses, schools, homes and any other properties that aren’t at a foreseeable risk of seismic damage are typically labeled as non-essential, and any server racks or enclosures used in these environments aren’t required to be seismic-rated.

Despite what you may think, Seismic-rated enclosures aren’t just for earthquake- prone areas anymore. While they are obligatory for housing electronic equipment in businesses and data centers located near fault lines, more and more “non-essential” environments are opting for the superior protection they offer. An example of this would be the use of Seismic enclosures in national security and tornado-prone regions, as well as other non-seismic premises that are subject to vibration from nearby airports, power facilities and railroad tracks.

Whether you live in a high-risk seismic zone, or are just seeking an extra measure of protection for your non-essential establishment, if you’re about to begin shopping for a seismic-rated enclosure, there are a few important things that you should know.


What Should I Look For in a Seismic Enclosure?

In order for you to be confident that the cabinet you select is up to the task of protecting your valuable equipment, there are a few key design features and test requirements that need to be met. While you’re shopping around, keep in mind that seismically sound enclosures should incorporate all three of the following design elements:

  • A Heavy-Duty Door: Instead of the single latch-point found on most non-seismic enclosures, be sure that the door of your earthquake worthy cabinet has a minimum of three! Extra door latchings, combined with high-quality hinges, give extra insurance in the face of the flexing and twisting that comes with intense seismic events.
  • Fully Welded Design: Full welding provides for an especially rigid structure. For the best results possible, be sure to opt for welded equipment-mounts as well… they’ll help to further reinforce the frame’s strength.
  • Appropriate Mounting Hardware: And speaking of equipment mounting components… it’s best to use locking nuts and washers when installing rack-mount accessories in seismic cabinets. Even if the shelves or drawers are welded or flanged, a little extra strength never hurts, and locking hardware serves just that purpose!

As far as testing requirements for seismic-rating go, there is only one that you need to be concerned with: the Telcordia GR-63-CORE Seismic Standard. While many companies produce “seismic-certified” enclosures that meet International Building Code (IBC) or Uniform Building Code (UBC) standards, look out! IBC and UBC codes are nowhere near as stringent as Telcordia standards, since they are primarily only calculations, based on the strength of a cabinet’s individual components. On the other hand, Telcordia ratings are given only to enclosures that can withstand being put through a simulated seismic event, and emerge from the test without any frame deformity or dislocation of components within the cabinet.

 Remember… even though you can’t control whether or not an earthquake will occur, you do have control over what sort of protection you’ll provide for your electronics!  Be sure to visit, where you’ll find GL720 and GL720-32 Zone 4 seismic enclosures from Great Lakes. Rely on us to help you keep your equipment safe, no matter what!


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