safety valve, device attached to a boiler or other vessel for automatically relieving the pressure of steam before it becomes great enough to cause bursting. The common spring-loaded type is held closed by a spring designed to open the valve when the internal pressure reaches a point in excess of the calculated safe load of the boiler. Safety valves are installed on boilers according to strict safety regulations.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.