As residents of the Upper East Side and the West Bronx were reminded during the last week of June, electricity emergencies can occur at any time. Less than a week into the summer of 2007, thousands of New Yorkers experienced the first blackout of the season. Preparedness is the key to handling emergency situations, including blackouts and other emergency events. Laboratories must ensure that safe conditions are maintained, and sensitive research is not compromised.
The status of all electrical equipment must be periodically assessed.
Connect critical equipment to Emergency Power outlets to ensure that electricity will be supplied in the event of a wide spread outage.
Contact Facilities Operations to assess the availability of Emergency Power supply in your area.
Surge-protect ‘sensitive’ equipment.
During a blackout, all other electrical equipment should be disconnected, if this can be done safely, to prevent surge-related malfunction.
Perform regular data back-ups to guard against data loss.
In the event of a power outage during the work day:
Do not initiate or continue procedures involving any type of hazardous materials.
Ongoing experiments should be terminated or secured and stabilized.
Close all open chemical containers and return them to safe storage.
In the event of a total outage, fume hoods may not be operational. Close fume hood sashes upon exiting the lab to prevent the release of vapors into your work area.
Finally, use this opportunity to assess your lab’s overall emergency preparedness. Does everyone in the lab know what to do in case of a fire, chemical spill or personal injury? Does the lab have all of the necessary materials on-hand and in working order?
Please feel free to contact EH&RS/EH&S with any questions or concerns regarding emergency preparedness.