Lab Safety Emergency Procedures During Power Outages


It is important to remember that some equipment 
cannot be turned off and certain other pieces of 
equipment do not shut themselves off when there 
is a power outage.  Pre-plan specific procedures 
for your laboratory while adhering to the following:

*    Close chemical fume hood sashes.  No work is 
     allowed in fume hoods during a power outage.

*    Ensure that all chemical containers are 
     secured with caps, parafilm, etc., 

*    All non-essential electrical devices should 
     be turned off.  Keep the doors of refrigerators 
     and freezers closed.  Check to ensure large 
     lasers, radio frequency generators, etc. have 
     been turned off.

*    Turn off all gas cylinders at the tank valves.  
     If a low flow of an inert gas is being used to 
     "blanket" a reactive compound or mixture, it 
     may be appropriate to leave the flow of gas 
     on.  The decision to do this should be part 
     of the written SOP specific for each lab and 
     included in this CHP.

*    Check all cryogenic vacuum traps (N2, CO2 + 
     solvent).  The evaporation of trapped materials 
     may cause dangerous conditions.

*    Check all pressure, temperature, air, or 
     moisture sensitive materials and equipment.  
     This includes vacuum work, distillations, glove 
     boxes used for airless/moistureless reactions, etc.