Vacation Fire & Emergency Safety Tips by Harry J. Oster
With summer upon us, a vacation is on the minds of many. Your destination may be to a camping site, a motel at the shore or another summertime hotspot.  Wherever your destination, when packing for your summer vacation, don’t forget to include a short fire and life safety checklist. 
Let’s review the “Top 10” basic fire and emergency safety tips and considerations to take with us on our summer getaways:

  • Before leaving your office and home: Shut down and secure all portable utilities (gas burners, electronics, etc.)
  • Once you arrive, how will you report a fire or emergency? Is a telephone, fire alarm pull box or other means available?
  • Develop an escape plan with your travel companions should a fire or emergency occur.
  • Know the location of at least two exits in your new surroundings.
  • Establish a meeting place in the event of a fire or emergency (good examples include a large tree outside the motel or a business across the street).
  • Pack a first aid kit and flashlight.
  • If your clothing catches fire, remember to Stop, Drop and Rock (side to side).
  • If cooking over an open flame, tie back hair, long sleeve shirts, and other loose clothing.
  • Never use a barbeque grill indoors - this includes garages!
  • Enjoying your favorite summer cuisine? Do you know what to do for someone who is choking? Learn basic first aid and CPR; consider visiting www.redcross.org/en/takeaclass

In closing, remember;

  • A fire is fast, dark and deadly;
  • An emergency can strike at a moment’s notice;
  • Be prepared. Practice fire and emergency safety all year long.

A safe vacation means no vacation from fire and emergency prevention and safety!

Working with Recombinant DNA by Paul Rubock


While the ”NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules” have been in effect for over thirty years, it is only within the past few years that the NIH has been vigorously monitoring academic facilities for compliance.  Their oversight has taken the form of site visits that include documentation review and interviews with investigators and administrators charged with compliance oversight.  EH&S constantly enhances and modifies programs for compliance in many areas, including rDNA use.  For the latest guidance updates on rDNA use, please see http://www.ehs.columbia.edu/recombdna.html.  While the full scope of the program can not be thoroughly captured in a short Safety Matters column, a few critical items deserve emphasis:

  • The NIH Guidelines apply to all uses of recombinant DNA (rDNA) at institutions where NIH funding is used for any rDNA work.
  • All rDNA work must be described in a submission to the University’s Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC); the link above provides the process details and instructions for such submissions.
  • The use of replication deficient vectors does not eliminate the need for IBC submittal.
  • All users of rDNA must be trained.  In the next few months, a training module will be posted on RASCAL and successful completion will be a pre-requisite for IBC approval.
  • Accidents, potential exposures, and incidents of non-compliance with the NIH Guidelines must be reported to the IBC and NIH.  Please refer to the NIH link to requirements and reporting criteria

 

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