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Fire Safety Checklist for the School of Earth Sciences

  • The focus of fire safety inspections are building egress for emergency response, identifying potential sources of fire, flammable liquid storage, and minimizing spread of fire.
  • Use previous regulatory agency inspection findings and self-inspections reports as a starting point to prepare for inspections. Remember to document the corrections and share the findings with all members of your research team.
  • Egress, Hallways, Corridors, Stairwells - Exit paths must be maintained free of obstructions.
    • No storage, combustible materials (wood, plastic, paper) or equipment staging for disposal is permitted.
    • Any item that has been approved for corridor storage must be anchored in a manner approved for seismic safety and must not reduce the width of the corridor to less than 44" (22" when its door is open) and cannot be in front of an electrical panel.
  • Fire Doors
    • Keep all doors to corridors closed unless they are attached to hold open devices connected to a fire detection/suppression system (magnetic hold-opens).
    • Door stops of any kind (flip-ups, wedges, blocks) are prohibited.
  • Safety Equipment and Fire Suppression Systems
    • Maintain clear access to safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull box, safety showers or eyewash stations at all times.
    • Are the emergency exit signs properly lit and positioned to safely direct occupants out of the building?
    • 18" Sprinkler Clearance - Do not store any item within 18" of the ceiling in buildings with automatic fire sprinklers, except along a wall. This is particularly important when sprinklers are located near shelving units.
    • Fire Extinguishers
      • Properly mounted on walls using wall mounts
      • Serviced within the past year and properly charged.
  • Electrical Safety - Most electrical fires result from faulty electrical outlets, old wiring, and problems with cords, plugs and extension cords.
    • Keep all equipment in safe-working condition. NEVER use defective tools or equipment with frayed electrical cords.
    • Surge protectors and power strips are not "daisy-chained".
    • Extension cords are intended for short-term use only and not as a permanent power supply for equipment.
  • Flammable Liquid Storage
    • Verify quantities of flammable liquids reported in ChemTracker and information posted in life safety box.
    • Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinets - Use approved storage cabinets with self-closing doors
    • Do not store on the floor or in gravity flow containers
  • Seismic Restraints - The loss of even the most common or least expensive equipment can delay research.
    • Gas Cylinders - Restrain with two sets of chains (1/3 from the top; 1/3 from the bottom); no more than two cylinders per set of chains.
    • Equipment
      • Secure ALL equipment and furniture taller than four feet and more than 400 pounds.
      • Bench top equipment (microscopes, balances, centrifuges, analytical equipment) can be easily and unobtrusively secured for a very modest charge. In many cases the price is less than $25/unit.
  • Additional Lab Considerations
    • Storage - Avoid storing items on top of wall cabinets, refrigerators or in areas where they pose a potential risk to occupants.
    • CAP Team member can conduct a site visit to prepare your lab for a fire safety inspection.