Laboratory Emergencies

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:

For more information on laboratory emergencies, please click one of the following links:


Laboratory Emergency Plan

A Laboratory Emergency Plan should be developed and implemented to protect personnel, equipment, and laboratory facilities whenever an emergency event threatens laboratory operations, or when directed by the University's Emergency Management system. This plan should be shared with your department and provided to your Building Manager for inclusion in the Building Emergency Plan. The plan should include, at a minimum, the following information.

Emergency contact information
Include the names and numbers for personnel in your lab. Ensure that key contact information is properly posted on lab doors and provided to your department. Establish a phone chain to relay information to all lab personnel.
Hazard information
Include information on the type of hazardous materials and/or operations that take place in the lab, including specific information for emergency response personnel.
Safety equipment
Ensure that all lab personnel are familiar with the location and use of safety equipment, including eye washes, safety showers, fire extinguishers, chemical spill kits, flashlights, etc.
Emergency notification
Ensure that all lab personnel know how to report and respond to emergencies, including fire alarm and emergency evacuation.
Laboratory shutdown procedures
Ensure that laboratory personnel are aware of procedures for securing materials and experiments during emergencies (see below).
Care for refrigerated or frozen materials
Establish procedures for consolidating and maintaining materials that require refrigeration or freezing, in the event of a power outage.

Remember, you must take responsibility to protect your own laboratory and research.

Use the Laboratory Emergency Plan Template to document, post your plan, and for review with your lab staff.


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