Who You Gonna Call for Emergencies…Public Safety by John LaPerche

It is important to know to call Public Safety for all emergencies that occur in laboratories, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The accuracy and detail of the information provided to Public Safety can save lives. Remember to provide them with as much information as possible to help them properly respond to the emergency. Provide the following:

Who you are;

  • Name, uni, phone number you can be reached at

What the emergency is;

  • Fire, chemical spill, medical emergency

Where the emergency is;

  • Building, Floor, Room

Severity of the situation;

  • Size and type of chemical spill
  • Number of people injured
  • Need for medical, fire or police assistance


Contacting Public Safety during a lab emergency helps ensure first responders arrive to the proper building without
delay. Columbia is a large, complex place, and first responders (FDNY, NYPD, EMS) may not be familiar with the
campus, resulting in delays. Notifying Public Safety will allow them to meet arriving units in the street and guide them
to the location of the emergency.

If the emergency is a fire or smoke condition, immediately pull the nearest fire alarm located by the exit stairs and once
you are in a safe location, call Public Safety and provide them with the information above. For other emergencies such
as chemical spills, laboratory accidents or injuries during normal working hours, a call to Environmental Health and
Safety must also be made. Our trained staff in chemical, biological, radioactive, and hazardous materials will respond
immediately to assist as necessary. The Public Safety Office also has emergency contact phone numbers for EH&S staff
for off-hour emergencies in laboratories.

EH&S – Morningside – 212-854-8749
EH&S – Medical Center – 212-305-6780
Public Safety NYSPI – 212-543-5555

Public Safety Morningside – 212-854-5555
Public Safety Medical Center – 212-305-7979
NYPH Security – 212-305-2222

ChemTracker System Integration with Laboratories by Christina Clark

Did you know that ChemTracker can be used at your Columbia University lab to enhance both safety and compliance? ChemTracker offers specific functions including inventory management by container, location, owner and department; it can also help labs locate expired chemicals, identify chemical surplus and provide information about chemical hazards. Labs can access fire code classifications, links to Safety Data Sheets and to the National Institute of Health online database. With this software labs have the ability to print inventory reports by site, regulation and facility. Students, researchers, and Principal Investigators can access the highest quality, lab specific information, while successfully tracking all incoming and outgoing materials. Used to its fullest, ChemTracker provides labs with "centralized, safe and secure off site data storage with easy, distributed access via web browser," greatly streamlining lab management and compliance.

ChemTracker is accessible via the EH&S website — http://www.ehs.columbia.edu/cms.html

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