Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2007 16:51:38 -0500
Reply-To: Yung Morgan <pmorgan**At_Symbol_Here**EHS.UMASS.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Yung Morgan <pmorgan**At_Symbol_Here**EHS.UMASS.EDU>
Subject: Aftermath of a fire
Dear members,
I like to ask any idea from the group about what to do in the aftermath of a
fire. Do you have a certain set of protocols you make all personnel go
through before the lab or space can be cleared for reoccupation?  Do you ask
for a thorough clean up by the department? How about air and surface
 Recently one of our biology labs had a fire from an oven which overheated
to 500 F with some plastic which was left in with the glassware. The fire
which resulted blew out black soot throughout the lab and into adjoining
bathrooms though the vent system. Our group responded with the local fire
department who put out the fire and went in to investigate the fire without
any respiration protection. The researcher and her group were in the lab
cleaning out all the sooty glassware with only dust masks given to them by
the custodial staff who refused to go in. They were not too happy when we
made them clear the lab for a few days whereby a contractor was brought in
at the PI expense to hepa-vacuum the area( including the adjoining
bathrooms).Another consultant  was also brought in for wipe samples and air
samples for VOCs and particulates. We let the group occupy the lab as soon
as surface samples were taken as they can open the windows but not the small
interior office where all graduate students congregated. The lab was then
cleared for reoccupying after I have a verbal confirmation from the lab that
all samples have below detection level. It took about a week for the lab to
be reoccupied. 
My questions: 
1.	Is this overkill? 
2.	What do other institutions do in the aftermath of fires? Spills of
hazardous materials? 
3.	How about your fire response group? do they have a procedure to
reenter the area with respiration protection?  
Any thoughts or comments you all may have would be helpful to rewrite our
fire and spills responses procedures. Thanks in advance. 
Have a fantastic (and safe) Holiday season! 
Yung Morgan, MsPH
Chemical Safety
Industrial Hygiene Services
Environmental Health and Safety
117 Draper hall
UMASS,Amherst MA 01003
phone (413)  545-2682
Fax  (413) 545-2600
email : pmorgan**At_Symbol_Here**

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