Laboratory Emergency Preparedness - University of Houston
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Laboratory Emergency Preparedness

Teaching and Research Laboratories require an Emergency Response Plan to prepare for emergencies in an all hazard approach, and a Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans to ensure continued performance of laboratory essential functions under a broad range of circumstances.

The UH Office of Emergency Management can provide assistance with Emergency Management Plans and Continuity of Operations Planning for your laboratory.

Tips on Planning for Laboratory Emergencies:

  • Take actions and precautions to minimize the impact of fire, severe weather events, utility failures e.g. (power outages, heat, water, air conditioning, etc.)
  • Develop a laboratory specific contingency plan, in coordination with your Building Coordinator, Department or College, Office of Emergency Management, etc.
  • Maintain and constantly update inventories of hazardous materials including quantities and locations of all flammable, pyrophoric, oxidizing, toxic, corrosive, reactive, radioactive materials, nonionizing radiation, biological materials, and compressed and liquefied gases.
  • Maintain and periodically update a list of responsible personnel who are designated and trained to liaise with other university department during emergencies (Fire Marshal Office, Office of Emergency Management, UHPD, Environmental Health and Safety).
  • Develop instructions to be taken in event of a Fire Alarm such as instructions to turn off flames and other ignition sources, closing the fume hood sash, securing hazardous materials containers, turning off all electrical equipment prior to exiting the building.
  • Post notice indicating location of nearby emergency equipment in the laboratory (fire extinguishers, emergency shower, eyewash, spill kit and fire blanket if available).
  • Provide instructions on responding to small fires using Fire Extinguishers, using emergency shower and eyewash and spill kits as well as First Aid Kits.
  • Post Primary and secondary evacuation routes to the exterior of the building along with an area outside of the building to meet and account for all laboratory personnel.
  • Post instructions regarding building reentry following and emergency.