So, how safe are oxygen generators in their INTENDED location?

From: (Daniel P. B. Smith)
Organization: The World Public Access UNIX, Brookline, MA
Date:         27 May 96 13:35:39 
Followups:    1 2
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

It's been widely reported that the (proximal!) cause of the ValuJet crash
is suspected of being a cargo hold fire caused by oxygen generators
carried as cargo.  The newspaper stories say emergency oxygen is generated
by a chemical system, and the generators get as hot as 500 degrees Fahrenheit
in use.

Like most laypeople, I'd never heard of the things before.  (I'd assumed
there was a tank of oxygen onboard somewhere).

Naturally, this leads me to wonder: if it is dangerous to carry them as
cargo, just how safe is it to have them "stored" in the overhead
compartments?  The newspaper stories say that they're well insulated, of
course.  How are the oxygen generators, _and their insulation_ tested for
safety and integrity?

Daniel P. B. Smith