Laboratory Emergency Plan
Each laboratory must prepare an emergency plan and all personnel should be familiar with it. This emergency plan should include:
- An inventory that includes the quantities and locations of all flammable, pyrophoric, oxidizing, toxic, corrosive, reactive, radioactive materials, nonionizing radiation, biological materials, and compressed and liquefied gases.
- A list of responsible personnel who are designated and trained to be liaison personnel for the fire department or other emergency responders.
- Action to be taken by laboratory personnel upon activation of the fire alarm. This should include instructions to turn off flames and other ignition sources, close the fume hood sash, close all hazardous materials containers, and turn off all electrical equipment. All staff are required to exit the building when the fire alarm is activated.
- Location of emergency equipment in the laboratory (fire extinguishers, emergency shower, eyewash, spill kit and fire blanket if available).
- Procedures for extinguishing clothing fires (stop, drop & roll, cover face with hands and use fire blanket, do not use fire extinguisher), using emergency shower and eyewash and spill kits.
- Primary and secondary evacuation routes to the outside of the building.
- Identify an area outside of the building to meet and account for all laboratory personnel.
- Instructions not to reenter the building until qualified Emergency Responders provide notification that it is safe to return.
Laboratory equipment, materials and research can be protected from loss during emergencies, by taking appropriate precautions that will minimize the impact of dangerous conditions resulting from fire, severe weather, utility failures or loss of services (e.g. electric power, heat, air conditioning, water, etc.)
Prepare a lab contingency plan that meets your specific needs. This plan should be shared with your lab, your department and your Building Manager for inclusion in the Building Emergency Plan. The plan should be implemented whenever a severe weather event has been issued. Remember, you must take responsibility to protect your laboratory and research.
The following documents may be useful to you in preparing your lab for emergencies:
- Is your laboratory prepared for a hurricane? Download the Hurricane Preparation Checklist
- Environmental Health and Safety Policy 2-2:Laboratory Emergency Spill Plan
- The Laboratory Emergency Information Template for your lab door. It includes space for emergency contact information and hazard warnings.
- The Laboratory Emergency Plan Template includes evacuation and emergency response information.
- The Laboratory Fire Safety Compliance Checklist includes information on preventing fire emergencies in your lab.
- Learn about Fire Safety requirements for your lab.
- Learn how to use open flames safely in the laboratory.