Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 15:07:04 -0600
Reply-To: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: [NAOSMM] Need your opinion on fire procedures
Comments: To: Vinette Achtert


This is interesting, and I'm not certain how I got on this list, but if 
you want the opinion of a Board-Certified Emergency Physician and a 
doubly-Board Certified Medical Toxicologist who at one time invented, 
edited, and managed what was at that time one of the largest collections 
of Toxicology, Occupational Medicine, and Environmental Series of 
databases available, (including such things as HAZARDTEXT, the DOT 
Response Guides, and the Coast Guard CHRIS Manual) and who is the 
sometime HAZMAT consultant to the Elk Mountain, WY volunteer fire 
department -- last time I looked, certified by the State Fire Marshall 
at the HAZMAT "awareness" level, but so are all others in our 10-12 
member squad (and who at least once has had the privilege of "ride 
along" with the Paris Fire Brigade Mobile Intensive Care ambulance 
service), then:

This sounds like a very minor fire and as long as the laboratory hood 
was functioning normally, there was no significant heat release and 
therefore no real potential for other combustion of flammable 
items/products to occur, the appropriate fire extinguisher was used, and 
the potential dangers -- both toxic and fire -- of 50 unsupervised 
experiments, then the sensible thing was already done:  (i.e., the fire 
was out, nobody was harmed, and there was no obvious need to either 
sound a fire alarm or evacuate).  I'd guess that the smoking area of 
this institution is a greater fire and health hazard risk that this 
seemingly quite minor incident which appears to have been handled 
appropriately.  Naturally, as discussed below, an incident report should 
be made and filed with whoever is appropriate, listing what happened, 
who was present, and who did what.  Geez, we've ALL had to take 
chemistry at sometime in our careers, and most of us dropped something 
or spilled something, or let a distillation go on at too high a 
temperature.  Naturally, the OSHA Lab Safety Standard should be 
consulted when appropriate.

Yours truly,

Alan H. Hall, M.D.
President and Chief Medical Toxicologist
Toxicology Consulting and Medical Translating Services, Inc. (TCMTS, 
Elk Mountain, WY
Clinical Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Denver, CO

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Vinette Achtert 
  To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU 
  Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2005 4:38 PM
  Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] [NAOSMM] Need your opinion on fire procedures

  If the fire is small and contained, or if we have any small
  incident/spill, the lab instructor will handle the problem. We have an
  incident report to fill out for our Safety dept. but often Security is
  called so they have a report on record but we would not sound the fire
  alarm to evacuate the building in this case.

  Vinette Achtert
  Central Stockroom Manager
  University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
  600 S. 43rd Street
  Philadelphia, PA 19104
  215.596.8843 (P)
  215.596.7449 (F)

  -----Original Message-----
  [mailto:naosmm-bounces**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Bradley, Shelly
  Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2005 2:33 PM
  Subject: [NAOSMM] Need your opinion on fire procedures

  What is your standard procedure for a fire?




  There was a small fire in a 4" diameter oil bath contained in a hood.
  The fire was put out with a fire extinguisher and public safety was
  notified.  The integrity of the vessel being heated was not 
  and there were no toxic chemicals involved.  The department has been
  criticized for not sounding the fire alarm.  

  Immediate evacuation would have left ~50 experiments unsupervised in
  multiple labs.  



  What do you think should have been done?


  Shelly Bradley

  Laboratory Coordinator

  Chemistry Department

  Campus Chemical Compliance

  Hendrix College

  1600 Washington Ave.

  Conway, AR 72032


  Phone:  (501) 450-3812

  Fax:      (501) 450-3829


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