The test facility PICARD, which stands for Pressure Increase in Cryostats and Analysis of Relief Devices, has been designed and constructed for cryogenic safety experiments. With a cryogenic liquid volume of 100 L, a nominal design pressure of 16 bar(g) and the capacity of measuring helium mass flow rates through safety relief devices up to 4 kg/s, the test facility allows the systematic investigation of hazardous incidents in cryostats under realistic conditions. In the course of experiments, the insulating vacuum is vented with atmospheric air or gaseous nitrogen at ambient temperature under variation of the venting diameter, the thermal insulation, the cryogenic fluid, the liquid level and the set pressure in order to analyze the impact on the heat flux and hence on the process dynamics. A special focus will be on the occurrence and implications of two-phase flow during expansion and on measuring the flow coefficients of safety devices at cryogenic temperatures. This paper describes the commissioning and the general performance of the test facility at liquid helium temperatures. Furthermore, the results of first venting experimen ... mehrts are presented.