Fire Safety in the Laboratory

Do you know what the hazards are in your laboratory?
  • Type of materials and how they should be used?
  • Reaction and hazard potential?
  • Proper storage methods?
  • Emergency response procedures?
  • Special considerations when working with material?
  • Have you inspected your lab for fire hazards?
    Use the Laboratory Fire Safety Compliance Checklist (in Adobe PDF format).
If the answer is 'no' to any of these questions, you should ask your supervisor and/or consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)! You need to know the characteristics of the chemicals you are working with on a daily basis. The MSDS can be obtained through your department, by contacting EH&S, contacting the manufacturer or visiting MSDS websites on the Internet.
Do you know the location of the safety equipment in and around your laboratory? Take the time now to locate your nearest:
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Emergency eye wash station.
  • Emergency showers.
  • Spill clean up material.
  • Alarm pull box.
In the event of an emergency you do not have time to waste in trying to find them!
Do you know these additional fire safety tips?
  • Outlets should never be overloaded with multiple plugs.
  • Do not use extension cords.
  • Use multi outlet devices that have their own self contained circuit breaker.
  • Never cover light bulbs with paper or clothing.
Do you know what type of fire extinguisher is appropriate for your area and how to use it most effectively?
Make sure you read our short guide to fire extinguishers.

Note: If you need more than one extinguisher to put out the fire, do not go get one; instead, you must evacuate!


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