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 .
- 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!